I MEAN. I suppose there is a chance that I am too quick to judge, and only time will tell, although it has already taught us that a lot of fucking people watched the series premiere on Sunday. Apparently Rubicon was the biggest whopper of a series premiere in AMC history, which is kind of like the biggest tiger attack in Siegfried and Roy history, right? There’s really just the one, I’m pretty sure. Ok, yes, I know that Mad Men is THE GREATEST SHOW OF ALL TIME, and if I don’t agree I will be BURNED AS AN INFIDEL, but when that show premiered, who had even heard of AMC? No one. Zero people had heard of it and zero people watched it (except for the rare occasion they would show Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid). So, anyway, Rubicon.
Let me just say that the #1 best thing about Rubicon is James Badge Dale’s hair. Those of you who watch 24 (not me) know what Monsieur Dale looks like with a crew cut:
My widow's peak leaves behind actual widows.
And we have occasionally been witness to terrible, terrible taming-of-the-jewfro incidents:
1 part hair gel, 2 parts afterbirth
But in Rubicon, we finally get the full, glorious Badgefro:
Doubles as a squirrel sanctuary.
Positively delightful. But other than that, what do we have?
Well, we have a show that is instantly so absurd that we are immediately faced with an almost insurmountable hurdle. Now, don’t get me wrong. I was a big fan of Lost and X-Files, both of which successfully danced circles around us, demanding greater and greater suspension of disbelief as they went on, which I was more than happy to muster up. But those shows were smart and tantalizing (and often infuriating). The writers seemed to put a lot of thought into the different ways they were fucking with us. And we appreciated that, right? So, compare the first few episodes of either of those shows, when they really got their hooks into you and you were like, “Holy shit, I wish DVR’s had been invented yet so I could watch these over and over and over!”
Holy shit, we are about to be so famous.
Unfamousness: not an option!
And what does Rubicon have to offer us? Other than the sneaking suspicion that life is not worth living?
Is this all there is?
That every day is dreary and sad and not worth the trouble of getting out of bed for?
There is not enough Xanax in the world for this shit.
That everything is terrible and our parents never really loved us?
I know they loved the dog more than me.
How about an entire show based on the premise that when you need to get in touch with some sinister motherfuckers, it’s easier to plant clues in newspaper crossword puzzles all over the world than get a fucking disposable cell phone AND CALL THEM. No, Rubicon! NO. That is not plausible. That is frankly less plausible than a mysterious time-traveling tropical island populated by fucking POLAR BEARS.
That is just some sad, paranoid schizophrenia bullshit – and that is your audience, apparently. This guy is your audience:
Mental illness is not a joke, Sloth.
So, already I’m like, come ON. I want to like this show! I love conspiracies! But you can’t take tired, old schizophrenic delusions and make a show where you take them seriously and expect US to take YOU seriously.
Also? In the pilot? They fake-killed one dude by ramming two trains together and killing 36 other people in the process. Really, Rubicon? A poison-tipped umbrella wouldn’t have been a WEE BIT more efficient?
Did the creepy guy following Badgefro around really have to wear a long, grey overcoat with his RUSSIAN SABLE HAT and stare at him menacingly from down the train platform? That was necessary? Because if this show isn’t supposed to be a joke, you’re doing it wrong.
For instance: Badgefro finds a mysterious piece of paper left behind by his mysterious fake-dead boss with a bunch of letters typed on it in some mysterious code. He spends a mysterious amount of time CRACKING THE CODE to reveal the mysterious message and what does it say?
THEY HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT.
Really, Rubicon? THAT’S what the mysterious coded message is? Because I’m pretty sure that if the mysterious fake-dead boss wanted to tell Badgefro that THEY HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT, he could have just SAID SO. It’s not bank codes, motherfuckers. It’s not social security numbers. It’s not the combination to the porn safe. IT’S JUST A SENTENCE THAT DOESN’T MEAN ANYTHING.
I disapprove of this method of communication.
And finally, because no Slothville post is complete without some mention of Val Kilmer, I do not approve of the casting of Dallas Roberts as Miles Fiedler. He’s this guy:
I'm all smarm, baby.
Who is following in Simon Baker’s footsteps as the poor man’s this guy:
Smarm's my middle name, baby.
That’s Dallas Roberts on the right, there:
Our parents didn't love us.
But every time we look at him we are painfully reminded that what we really want is this guy:
I'm the real deal, baby.
And it’s all just so……so……….
I will give you two more chances, Rubicon, but you’d better step up your fuckin game. Two more and that’s it!