On Paranoid Television: “Rubicon”

Posted by Tobias Carroll

I’ve been watching — and quite enjoying — Rubicon, the longform conspiracy thriller currently airing on AMC. The fine critics Alan Sepinwall and Maureen Ryan have each written good summaries of why this is something you should be watching. For me, much of what I like about the show are the minor details: the framed photo of, I believe, Fugazi that hangs in the apartment of protagonist Will; the cover to the first issue of Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles that occupies a similar position in the office of his colleague Miles. It’s not just the esoteric hat-tips that these represent; thematically and on a character level, they also make perfect sense.

I’m also impressed with the show’s attention to its characters’ body language and, even more generally, they way that it uses posture. Arliss Howard carries himself in one way, Dallas Roberts does so entirely differently, and Jessica Collins’s movements and posture are entirely distinctive. Even a show about characters trained to focus on minor details wouldn’t necessarily take the same approach to its own production. But the cast and crew of this series clearly do take that approach, and the result is a surprisingly rich experience.