Thursday, March 25, 2010

Rome

A while back Livia and I watched the first season of the HBO series ROME on DVD. We just finished watching the second and final season, and overall I liked it quite a bit. I can just imagine the pitch meeting for the series: "It's like DEADWOOD, only in ancient Rome!" There's certainly plenty of sex, violence, and cussin' in ROME. And most of the characters have British accents, so you know they're real ancient Romans.

We've been a fan of this sort of stuff since we watched I, CLAUDIUS on PBS back in the Seventies. (That's a series we ought to revisit on DVD, if we could find the time.) We even wrote a mystery story with Claudius as the detective. ("The Singer at Dawn", in the October 1980 issue of MIKE SHAYNE MYSTERY MAGAZINE.) ROME isn't all that accurate historically, but it tells compelling stories nonetheless and is very well-acted, especially by Kevin McKidd and Ray Stevenson as a couple of Roman soldiers who wind up being on hand for most of the historical events and even playing pivotal parts in some of them. Also like DEADWOOD, there's plenty of purely fictional soap opera to go with the pseudo-history.


I enjoyed ROME and was sorry to see it end after only two seasons. I've heard that the new series SPARTACUS is a lot like it, only with more sex and violence (hard to imagine). I'm sure we'll give it a try, too, when it comes out on DVD.

6 comments:

Bill Crider said...

I watched the first episode of SPARTACUS. That was more than enough, though I understand that Lucy Lawless reveals her assets in later episodes. That might make them worth watching.

MP said...

Take Bill's advice on "Spartacus". There's way more sex and violence than in "Rome" without any of "Rome" classiness. Lucy Lawless does reveal her assets, but not enough to make this worth sitting through. I got through about 1 1/2 episodes before giving up.

Richard R. said...

That's how I felt about ROME. I got it on DVD from Netflix, watched the first episode and about half the second one, sent it back and canceled the rest of the series. Give me Steven Saylor's Gordianus the Finder books instead, please. Problem there is, I've read all but the one I'm "saving".

James Reasoner said...

Steven Saylor is one of the authors I've been meaning to read for years now. I've got to start getting around to some of this stuff.

Richard R. said...

James, they are really, really good.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

I loved Rome. Hated to see it end. The creator of it has written a film script following the 2 soldiers that takes place several years later.He just needs to find financing.