Monday, September 05, 2005

HBO's Rome

If you bailed after the draggy, pipe-y, way too much gratuitous nudity first ep -- come back. "How Titus Pullo Brought Down the Republic" was a damn fine piece of entertainment. Some wonderful writing twists, the Legion characters fill out, and all the politics are cunning conspiracy and double-crossing, no more Beeb-style declamations. Marc Antony's secret showdown with the Senators was particularly nice.

Grab the first two on the Tivo, or read the summary of the first ep and jump in here on one of the nine thousand rebroadcasts HBO will puke out (or their inevitable coming thee-fer night). If it stays on this arc, it'll be a hell of a ride.


Anonymous said...

I was looking forward to "Rome" from the moment it was announced (and of course cursing myself for not being great earlier in life and getting on staff) but after watching the first one I was hoping I hadn't got my hopes up too high. Perhaps "Carnivale" and "Deadwood" had spoiled me and the time period I had most interest in wouldn't come out as well as they did? I'm glad to hear you say the second episode is better than the first. I get to watch it in a couple of hours and I know if I'd had no word on it from anyone I'd be sitting trying to pick away at it for any perceivable faults for so long I might forget to sit back and enjoy its good points. Expectation can be a double edged sword, but having seen "Serenity" the other day and realising that ultra-high expectations can still be met, I'll give HBO the benefit of the doubt and put in the effort to get my snacks and seating arrangements perfect before I indulge.

Anonymous said...

Is it wrong to be constantly thinking of Caligula when watching this though?

For Rome!

Lee said...

Totally agree with you, John. This episode marked a massive improvement, and would have worked much better as a pilot than the actual pilot, in my opinion.

Should I Blog This? said...

Anybody who bails on this series after one or two episodes obviously doen't understand that in order to really tell the stories that this series will cover, you're going to have to sit through the "draggy, pipe-y, way too much gratuitous nudity" stuff. That was Rome. Plain and simple. Rome had an incredibly complex social and political structure, much like the US right now, and it will take time to convey that properly.

Unknown said...

Well, of course -- but there are ways to convey complexity, and the first ep was a serious PBS declamation-style snooze-fest. And no amount of pipe excuses the bogglingly unnecessary amount of female full frontal going on. The second episode is just as complex, but a far better piece of work. I probably would've loved to have seen the two as a two-hour or back to back, which may have blunted the thickness of the first.

Warren said...

way too much gratuitous nudity

But... but...


Unknown said...

hey, nothing wrong with in-context nudity. Salt to taste I guess.

nolo said...

Haven't seen the second ep yet (it's waiting on the DVR), but the weird thing about nudity in the first one was the Brazilian wax jobs. What up with that?

Anonymous said...

I caught the second ep first, and was just blown away. So when I watched the first ep last night it was back story. Full frontal back story so to speak. Agreed, the kidnapping of Octavius and his subsequent rescue plus all that bushwa with the eagle were contrived. Still, I'm now addicted and look forward to all the duplicity and intrigue the show can manage.

I'd also have to say that the sets and costumes are incredible--the visual complexity of each shot is staggering. Are we now officially in the plasma age?

The opening animated graffiti was cute the first time, torture afterwards. Yet another reason I love my Tivo.

thekeez said...

I was hooked from episode 1 - enjoyed it quite a lot.

And what's with all the whining about the nudity...thekeez

Warren said...


You know, A LOT.

My GOD, man.

Doctor Memory said...

Um. An episode which had two seperate characters on two different occasions using the phrase "impudent wretch!" without apparent shame or irony is getting points for being less poorly written than the pilot?

I'm giving this thing another few episodes just to see if the scripting and direction catch up with the set design (and really, because I'm bored and new episodes of The Wire won't show up for another few months yet), but I'm not holding out much hope.

Doctor Memory said...

(And yeah, Polly Walker starkers is self-justifying, contextwise. Although I'd like to echo the incredulity at the use of brazillian-style waxing in 49 BCE.)

Unknown said...

Yup. And there really wasn't enough Marc Antony nudity. Full frontal! Full frontal! Full...sorry. My pleb roots showing.

econoclast said...

Hey, quit dissing the beeb! I, Claudius (or I, Clavdivs, according to the graphic) was a great series (a little later than the Mark Antony period) pretty much devoid of, what did you call it? declamations? And a wonderful political parable now much more relevant than it was when it was made. "Let all the poison that lurks in the mud hatch out!" If you haven't seen it, rent it.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the Romans were pretty big on shaving. It's not out of the question for Roman women of standing to be...well groomed. They did shave legs and underarms so there is no reason to belive that they did not groom their pubic hair as well. There is certainly record of depilatories, shaving and tweezing for both men and women.

anonymous2 said...

Why is everyone complaining about the full frontal female nudity? I thought the nudity was too brief, myself. Normal, straight men enjoy looking at naked women. Most normal, straight women I know also enjoy looking at naked women. I don't know what category that puts the rest of you in. It's your business, but I say keep the nudity coming. It will definitely keep me and the silent majority tuned in.

Samantha said...

Of course as MEN, full frontal nudity of women is a pleasure for you.. but as a female i'm simply fed up with it all, and no not all women want to see naked women. Why, oh why no full frontal of men?? the t.v and almost all movies have this need for naked women when the story generally has nothing to do with nudity.

Alex Epstein said...

Um, has anyone seen any Roman statuary? Not a lot of pubic hair on the womenfolk. What does that tell you?

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