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29 November 2005 @ 09:04 am
My thoughts, such as they are...  
*********************"I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble." -- Caesar Augustus

I have been a member of this community since the first episode, and have watched every episode at least twice.

But now Caesar is dead, Rome has fallen, and the series...

I has thrilled when I heard that HBO was doing Rome. Finally, I though, a good, thorough telling of the stories of the rise, triumphs, and fall of Caesar; then the myriad of other stories (the exile and return of Octavius, the fate of the men who killed Caesar) could begin!

Not to mention (given HBO’s track record) the telling of the stories of everyday soldiers and citizens!

And instead they gave us what we’ve seen thus far.

Seriously? It was a good story and series. But that’s all. And that’s not worth $100 million.

After the first couple of episode, I felt like I was watching Carnivale again; instead of being thrilled, I kept thinking how much better each episode could have been.

HBO is supposed to be famous for its characters. This was a series of caricatures, not characters. There was no need to care about anyone we met. Instead of seeing the real life of anyone, we saw tiny glimpses into the lives of a handful.

If there were to be no mention of the common people, then at least give us great details of the lives of great men. The dissolution of the Triumvirate and the beginning of the civil war between Pompey and Caesar was better explained in the fourth season of Xena: Warrior Princess.

HBO is supposed to be willing to take time to tell a story. This was the most rushed telling since ABC’s Empire. Five years passed between the crossing of the Rubicon and the assassination. Ten episodes to tell five years of stories?

Even HBO seemed to admit how much they were leaving out with their little “Um. Go to our website for more info” announcements.

And, dammit, what of the common soldier and citizen? What were Roman citizens doing while Caesar crossed the Rubicon? This is more than going from Blue State to Red State; this was war in Rome; and the reactions of the citizens we were shown were “Eh.”

A year passed from Caesar’s return to Rome from Egypt (after spending a year there) to his death. The oligarchy fell and Caesar became emperor. And the citizens didn’t seem to notice anything except a parade going by.

Cassius found 59 co-conspirators in the Senate. The sixty of them killed Caesar, each for his own reasons. Brutus’ decision to turn on Caesar (the second time) was reduced to “Hey, Mom, I decided to kill him after all.”

This show could have been so much better and so much more.

At the end of the day... at the fall of Rome... it just wasn’t that good of a show.
peahigirl on November 30th, 2005 01:38 am (UTC)
you have to think of some of these things in historical context. For a city where more than half of the citizens cant read, never went to school and only know that "rome rules, everyone else drools" their reactions were pretty acurate. Suddenly some guy was marching through rome, one of their leaders apparantly, and then suddenly this guy caesars called a dictator, but things actually got better. Like they showed, caesar freed a bunch of slaves to create jobs for roman citizens and added 100 places to the senate so more people would be represented. The march across the Rubicon is significant in representation only. It marks an actual march on Rome but roman citizens couldnt care less. Americans only pay very close attention to elections when their contested [like in 2000] or hot button issues are at hand. Same with Rome.

and I liked how they explained Brutus' decision. No one knows why Brutus would eventually commit murder against someone he considered his father in practice if not in biology. But it seems plausable that if something bad happened in the relationsip between servillia and caesar [which is historically acurate as best they could do it] then servillia would not be considered devious in nature if she warped her sons mind to seek revenge on her former lover.
I really liked the show. Im sorry you didnt