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Author Topic: BBC/HBO's Rome
Jimmy Brogan
Babbler # 3290

posted 20 September 2005 08:28 PM      Profile for Jimmy Brogan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Melodramatic 'Rome' drips with lust, greed, and murder

Set in 52 BC, ''Rome" is structured around the political chess match between Julius Caesar (the broody Ciaran Hinds) and Pompey Magnus (Kenneth Cranham). The strain between Caesar's populist agenda and Pompey's protection of the aristocracy is coming to a head, leaving all Romans reassessing their loyalties. The storytelling in ''Rome" is not unlike that of ''Deadwood," in that the first episode drops us into all this historic action without the obvious explanations that make network shows so easy. If you aren't loosely versed in the history of Caesar and Mark Antony, you may feel at sea for the first half-hour or so. But you will indeed soon find your bearings, and from then on it's clear sailing.

And so much of ''Rome" -- the best of ''Rome" -- revolves around the unknown, working-class characters whose stories have been developed specifically for the series. As on ''Deadwood," there are the legendary names, the Calamity Janes and the Wild Bill Hickoks, and then there are the locals. ''Rome" brings the drama down to the street, not just in its gloriously authentic set design and its buzzing flies, but in its exploration of what it meant to be a lowly ''plebe" at the time. The more predictable, oft-told story of Caesar is interwoven with characters whose fates are mysterious.

I've watched the first four episodes and I have to say the writing, acting and production values are first rate. Shockingly the writers actually seem to have done some research.

This is the first cable drama I've watched in many years and the copious nudity and sex were both unexpected and refreshing.

Pass the roasted doormouse.

From: The right choice - Iggy Thumbscrews for Liberal leader | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged

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