Sunday, January 14, 2007

eyeCandy: Rome - HBO (2005, 2007) 5/5

I just finished watching the second season premiere of HBO's Rome and I simply cannot imagine a series more cater-made for my particular interests. There is political intrigue of a level rarely found on television (or movies, for that matter), there is a setting so beautifully foreign yet strangely familiar, there is an intricately woven story that follows a web of relationships amongst a fantastic ensemble case, and, to top it all off, this is the stuff that history is made of, literally.

Without giving anything away, Rome follows (as quoted from Wikipedia) "the violent transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire; a change driven by the class struggle between Patrician and Plebeian, the decay of political institutions, and the actions of ambitious men. While showing the lives of the rich, powerful, and historically significant, the show's perspective is centered around the lives, fortunes, families, and acquaintances of two Roman soldiers: Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo, two soldiers mentioned in Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico."

Rome is an incredibly sophisticated production, and the complex storyline requires (and more than amply rewards) the attentive viewer. Having absolutely fallen in love with the series over its first season, I was pleased to find (after some casual research) that, although the story itself takes some liberties with the historical specifics (all the while following the broad strokes of what actually happened), the sets, costumes, and depiction of life in the "capital of the world" circa 50 BC is, as far as I have read, remarkably accurate. On top of the fascinating story, Rome is an onslaught of visual splendor supplemented by a wonderful soundtrack and all the trappings that have made HBO the source of so many great productions over the years.

I really don't want to provide much in the way of storyline details, as I think anyone who is interested would be best served by simply renting the first season and then scrambling to watch the second season as soon as possible (I couldn't imagine leaping into season two without at least having read about what has happened in the first season). So if history intrigues you and you love movies then you could simply ask for nothing better than HBO's Rome.

PS: This still doesn't mean I can forgive HBO for cutting off Carnivale immediately after its second season cliffhanger. Please, somebody wrap up that story for me. I'll read it in book form if necessary, but stringing me along and then pulling the rug out from under me at such an integral plot point is just not right (and I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling this).
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1/14/2007 10:04:00 p.m.  


Anonymous John said...

I refuse to watch Rome for that very reason… I don't want to get into a show only to see it disappear.

January 15, 2007 7:25 a.m.  
Blogger Jeff MacArthur said...

I hear ya, John - it's a shame that this happens with so many great shows - Showtime's Huff is another that got cancelled with a second season cliff-hanger up in the air. You'd think they'd have more responsibility to the fans, but that's obviously not their primary concern (I have to wonder why they couldn't do pre-orders on a third season of DVDs or something that could show them what kind of revenues they could look forward to - Family Guy is the only series I've ever heard about being brought back after cancellation and that was totally due to DVD sales).

FYI, the first season of Rome can pretty much stand on its own, so watching it might not lead to the level of disappointment that Carnivale did. Who knows where the second season will go (actually, I guess a quick look through the history books might give some clues :-) ).


January 15, 2007 7:33 a.m.  
Anonymous RichC said...

I'm looking forward to watching the first season. Since we don't receive HBO, I'll probably have to wait for season two anyway. (unless I sneak torrent download ... shame on me)

This brings me to another issue ... that of sharing a program with a few friends. I've recorded a couple episodes of an HGTV program and struggle if I can/should share it with friends on a forum. Wish it were available on their site for legal download. Advice?

January 15, 2007 9:31 a.m.  
Blogger JoeM said...

I can't agree with you more, this is an incredible show. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to watch the season premire live (partly because I had to go and watch last season's finale to remember what happened almost two years ago!). Fortuntately, I will be able to watch it in glorious HD this season.

I thought I read on or perhaps that this is indeed the final season; HBO has decided not to make more because of the high production costs. That is a shame, so I hope the writers knew this ahead of time so that they can wrap up everything by the end of the season. Poor Vorenus!

I also love the quirky soundtrack, which I believe was also done by the same guy who did the music for Carnivale.

January 15, 2007 1:50 p.m.  
Anonymous Casey McKinnon said...

The first paragraph of your blog post is exactly how I feel about Battlestar Galactica...

I'm interested in seeing Rome, but haven't had time to check it out yet... YET being the operative term.

January 15, 2007 6:25 p.m.  
Blogger Jeff MacArthur said...

RICH: I'm always pretty careful about sharing any copywritten content in a public space. It's just not worth the risk in my mind. If you can get it under 100MB you could it to them.

JOEM: Wow, I didn't know the second season would be the last, but like you say, at least the writers can prepare for that and actually wrap the story. Oh, and it looks great in HD too.

CASEY: Have to confess to only seeing the first few eps of Battlestar - it had a really weird release schedule or something, from what I remember. Definitely check out Rome (no Cylons, though :-) ).

PS: I'll definitely check out your Galacticast vidcast, Casey - looks pretty funny (downloading Queen Kong now)!

Thanks for posting!


January 15, 2007 10:43 p.m.  
Anonymous Sianne said...

I have fell in love with ROME!!! im not usually into series like this but it is definatly worth watching... once you start you cant stop!!! Lucky we have them on DVD as we can put the next episode on straight after!!! PLEASE film series 3 HBO!!!

October 22, 2008 7:38 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i was searching for a site for the information about free download rome and came across u.thanks for sharing this informative post.

November 04, 2008 7:46 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love to Watch TV Shows Online. And this is one of the best show. The cast and the plot of the show is really great. Thanks for sharing the review.

October 04, 2010 8:32 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rome was a ratings success for HBO and the BBC. The series received much media attention from the start, and was honored with numerous awards and nominations in its two-season run. I have seen full series online. You can also watch this series along with another tv shows from here only....TV Episodes Online.

December 07, 2010 9:04 a.m.  

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