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Wednesday, 22 of September of 2021

Tag » Rubicon

Podcast 003: A Worthy Experiment

“Challenges WHAT?”

These week on the podcast, we mull over the implications of the NBC and Fox midseason shakeups as well as some of the shows we wish weren’t on the brink of cancellation (real or imagined), a recap of some recent food television, and, of course, discussions of the shows we’re watching. Hit us with a comment if you have something to tag on (and you should) and enjoy the sweet sounds of our lovely voices.

Notes: • During the food television segments, Matt and Nick tried out the mute function on Skype. It didn’t work. Sorry. • Nick makes references to multiple properties throughout the podcast that are not only telling of his age but also are sometimes so esoteric some readers/listeners might not quite get how hilarious he is. To that point, submitted for your education is a hint of (Family) Double Dare and a dash of Hello Again with a smidge of Emily Quartermaine (from last week’s podcast).

Running Time: 77 minutes

Topics: Place in the Podcast

  • Walking Dead: 0:00:39
  • Terriers: 0:09:23
    • The Good Wife: 0:16:13
    • Rubicon: 0:18:18
  • NBC Midseason Shakeup: 0:21:01
  • Fox Midseason Shakeup: 0:35:24
  • Fringe: 0:40:38
  • Top Chef: Just Desserts: 0:49:04
  • Top Chef: All-Stars: 0:57:17
  • Private Practice: 1:00:40
  • No Ordinary Family: 1:07:23
  • The Cape: 1:11:40
  • In Treatment: 1:12:23

Podcast 002: Basic Cable is Just Like Everyone Else

Well, well, well. It’s an All-Monster Podcast. It’s like Rampage but better because we have four monsters tearing up your town instead of just three. These week, Karen, Matt, Nick and Noel discuss a range of topics across the television landscape including The Walking Dead, the Mad Men finale (yeah, we know it’s old news — but it’s our show), how cable has disappointed us by having the nerve to cancel shows (Rubicon, Caprica), the USA brand (popcorn/beach-reading), how Life Unexpected is gross probably because they need to keep up with the rest of the CW, and Conan’s pedestrian return, among other things. It’s an interesting hour of witness. Listen to the podcast at the bottom of this post or subscribe to the podcast feed.

Running time: 75 minutes

Topics: Place in the Podcast

  • The Walking Dead: 0:00:58
  • Rubicon: 0:10:23
  • Mad Men: 0:16:21
  • Cable as a Haven: 0:21:42
  • The USA Brand: 0:25:53
  • House: 0:29:52
  • TV Actors: 0:35:59
  • Chuck: 0:37:41
  • Nikita (and other spy dramas): 0:44:51
  • The CW/Life Unexpected: 0:51:41
  • Parenthood defense: 1:04:25
  • Conan: 1:06:21

Brief note from Nick: I know that Chuck didn’t air this week because of the Lauer/Bush thing. I meant last week.

Rubicon – “You Can Never Win”

We were unable to stay ahead of the narrative.”

Not exactly a great title for what could potentially be your last episode, Rubicon (and I didn’t think being meta was something you were interested in). But, boy, what a great finale in either case.

As we move into a discussion of the finale, and the season as a whole, let’s remember that Rubicon let its characters fail. And now that they failed on a personal level, we expect them to fail and struggle on a personal level, but that they failed to do their jobs because they couldn’t find that one pattern, that one detail that would make the necessary links is all to ballsy of a show on the edge of cancellation. But as this episode demonstrates, despite the big explosion happening last week, the fallout is even more exciting and surprising. Read more »

Rubicon – “In Whom We Trust”

Could it be I’m paranoid?”

I don’t have a whole lot to say about “In Whom We Trust.” It’s not the episode isn’t good, because it’s up the level of quality that Rubicon has been consistently meeting all season. It’s just that, like what I hit with Community last season, I’m running out of ways to say positive things.

However, as things begin to merge and the endgame somehow comes into focus, the big block in my notes, and what spurred on a conversation on Twitter, was how to classify Rubicon‘s narrative structure, especially given the dual-focus nature of the show. So, really, that’s what I’ll tackle below. If you follow me, Jeremy Mongeau and/or Dan Winclechter on Twitter, then you’ve seen some of this already. Read more »

Rubicon – “No Honesty in Men”

You can always count on a well-read man, hmm?

It’s getting delicious, isn’t it?

Because of how deftly the storytelling is executed (if you’re still complaining about the pace of the show, I think you’re watching it at half speed) and how the threads are starting to connect together (Katherine gets Spangler’s name and API, Will gets Tom’s name) it feels like we’re about to run up against the last two hours of the show, not the last four.

Yes, there’s only four episodes left of the first season of Rubicon. I am really excited. Read more »

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Rubicon – “The Truth Will Out” & “Caught in the Suck”

In your mind, you already have.”

It’s an octopus.”

I’ve been a bad Rubicon cheerleader. I didn’t get to “The Truth Will Out” until today, and I skipped “Caught in the Suck” last night so I could watch the two episodes together. As a result, even though I’m caught up, I actually feel a little behind on the show now. Part of this is simply that I’m normally very good about watching shows I’m engaged with when they air, especially a serialized piece of work like Rubicon. Another part, however, is that these two episodes kind of left me out of breath, albeit in a good way. Read more »

Rubicon – “Look to the Ant”

How I know is inconsequential. That I know is significant.”

Dear Zack Whedon,

Allow me to thank you for “Look to the Ant,” the most recent episode of Rubicon. While I’ve been enjoying the show from episode 1, I’ve felt a little like Will in conversations about it. I’m convinced that Rubicon is a very good show, but I’ve had trouble of really convincing people of that, in much in the same way that I’m sure Will feels he can’t convince anyone of the conspiracy he’s currently trying to solve.

While I’ve pointed to the past couple of episodes, particularly “Keep the Ends Out” and “Connect the Dots,” as signs of life in the series, as hints of why people who are in the fence should keep watching, I think I’ll start using “Look to the Ant” as the episode that tells people why Rubicon works. Read more »

Rubicon – “Connect the Dots”

You missed a button.”

If you’ve been struggling with Rubicon then last week’s episode was probably a breath of fresh of air for you. The pacing picked up a little bit, and some of the characters surrounding Will were developed more. With “Connect the Dots,” it seems like the change in showrunners has taken a firm root within the show now, as the past two episodes are only vaguely like the first three in terms of aesthetics and pacing.

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the changes that are in play with the show. Most, I suspect, will say they are for the better, but I feel a bit sad that it’s been two episodes now and I’ve barely had any of Will staring at a wall for 3 minutes straight. I miss it already. Read more »

There is a Problem with the Pears – This Week in Monster

These are pears.

We’ll discuss it later.

It’s been a busy week at Monsters of Television. This whole “summer-is-just-another-season/no-rest-for-the-weary” thing the networks are doing is wearing me out. But we can’t really complain about some of the great television we’re getting. Well, mostly great television. Hopefully Melissa & Joey doesn’t create a great abyss that sucks the life out of everything we hold dear. Forget the atomic collider in Switzerland: that show might obliterate the universe on its own, unraveling the fabric of time and space with ill-timed canned laughter and overacting that would make the cast of SNL blush.

Sorry. I digress.

We have some really great reviews for you to take a look at this week, from Mad Men to True Blood to Sherlock to, gods help us, that aforementioned pit of despair. If you missed any, it’s new to you!

Read more »

Rubicon – “Keep the Ends Out” & “The Outsider”

I hate us.”

“Keep the Ends Out” is probably the dullest episode of TV I’ve seen in a while. It’s a struggle to get through and it was a struggle to write anything about. “The Outsider” is perhaps aptly name since it pushes back whatever conspiracy Will is investigating to the backburner as he and Spangler visit D.C. to shore up API’s standing with powerbrokers there. If “Keep the Ends Out” made me wonder why I was watching, “The Outsider,” at the very least, reassured me that the show can be engaging and interesting.

That said, both episodes still work through notions of grief and guilt, ideas that I feel are central to the show far more than any 4-leaf clover based conspiracy. Read more »