Saturday, January 20, 2007

Rome revisited

I've watched the first season of HBO's "Rome" on DVD over the past couple of weeks, and the first epsiode of the second season. I'm appreciating it much more the second time around, and I enjoyed it to begin with. The production has reimagined ancient Rome as something like modern Mexico City or Calcutta--a colorful cacophany of confusion where everybody lives on top of each other. Also, the show never forgets that Rome was a society built on violent conquest and that the economy was based largely on slavery. Even Caesar's most trusted advisor was a slave. There are storylines involving the familiar military and political struggles involving Caesar, Antony, Pompey, etc.; storylines involving the women who were sort of shadow rulers while their husbands were off at war (the characters played by Lindsay Duncan and Polly Walker have a wickedly fabulous rivalry); and storylines involving common soliders and their families' day-to-day lives. "Rome" is decadent, violent, and grand. Check it out.


Anonymous said...

Plus, there's all the slashy goodness of the hot centurion "best friends" who are not only the erotic center of the series, but the best story lines as well. Most of the plot revolves around historical figures and is surprisingly close to what we know about them today; but the stories of the two centurions (whose names I'm spacing) are about every-day Romans and how they experienced the political machinations (read: assassinations and power-mongering) of the ruling class.

Added bonus: I've been saying "Et tu, Brutus?" pretty much non-stop since the season 1 finale.

Randy said...

Well, there certainly was a hint of homoeroticism between Antony and Vorenus in this week's episode, though neither character has shown any inclination thus far of putting on the rainbow toga. I loved the Antony/Octavian fight--it's astonishing that Caesar was the only person who didn't underestimate that kid.

Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo were actual people and apparently were the only common soldiers mentioned in Caesar's Commentaries on Gaul. I like the new, dark Vorenus, and I'm waiting to see whether he and Pullo are split apart by their loyalties to Antony and Octavian respectively.

Anonymous said...

Very tempting.

I wish I could handle violent shows, sometimes. The "not on my list because I can't handle blood" includes:

Six Feet Under
and now Rome.