"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Crossing the Rubicon

The AMC series Rubicon -- a spy/intelligence community/conspiracy theory action drama -- was apparently cancelled yesterday after one season.  I watched it religiously on Sunday nights, and thought it was great, but I can see why a wider audience couldn't connect with it;  for a show that seemed to promise a lot of action, there was relatively little, and instead there was a lot of very intelligent talk about world politics that I fear most people wouldn't get.  I also think, sad to say, the leads in the show just weren't attractive enough to make the romantic aspects very compelling.  If you look at the shows that succeed on basic cable you see three or four patterns.   They either have very raw and crude humor (Dennis Leary's Rescue Me); or they have a lot of very violent action (The Shield, Dexter); or they have very beautiful young actresses and very handsome leading men with a lot of action, but relatively clean language and relatively less violence (Burn Notice, Covert Affairs, White Collar, etc.).   An exception to the rule (sort of) is Mad Men, but it makes up for a lack of action with extraordinarily beautiful people in great period 1960s costumes and sets.   If Rubicon was going to succeed, in other words, they needed a better looking cast. 

Anyway, farewell to Rubicon.  Maybe some other network will pick it up, the way Friday Night Lights jumped around. 

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