THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
Culture Desk

‘Rubicon’ puzzles were just a little too tough

Jessica Collins and James Badge Dale in “Rubicon,’’ which was canceled after one season. Jessica Collins and James Badge Dale in “Rubicon,’’ which was canceled after one season. (Amc via AP)
By Matthew Gilbert
Globe Staff / November 13, 2010

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Too bad, but I understand. AMC announced that “Rubicon’’ will not be renewed for a second season. The gently worded statement reads: “ ‘Rubicon’ gave us an opportunity to tell a rich and compelling story, and we’re proud of the series. This was not an easy decision, but we are grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such a phenomenally talented and dedicated team.’’

I was a big fan of “Rubicon’’ at the beginning, and I admired its ambition to be like a 1970s conspiracy thriller. But I got increasingly frustrated with the scripts as the season progressed. It wasn’t the slow pace that got to me, so much as the stubborn withholding of information and revelation. Unlike movies, TV requires some weekly reward.

This cancellation doesn’t take away from AMC’s record of success, which includes “Mad Men,’’ “Breaking Bad,’’ and “The Walking Dead.’’ “Rubicon’’ failed, but it tried something extraordinary, and it contained a lot of impressive work, particularly from lead James Badge Dale. That effort only reflects well on the network.