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Rome (HBO series) 
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Post Rome (HBO series)
Is anyone else here a fan of the TV series "Rome" aired by HBO? I was watching "Munich" 2 days ago, and seeing Cieran Hinds in the film made me go back and watch season 1 of that series again. He was totally superb as Caesar, IMHO- season 2 wasn't as good simply because of his absence for me.


Tue Feb 17, 2009 4:17 pm
Post Re: Rome (HBO series)
In was excited about Rome when it first came out but quickly lost interest. I'll agree with your assessment of Hinds, and I also enjoyed the kid who played Octavian, but the show meandered a bit too much for me. I also didn't like the emphasis placed on the two soldiers. Every time they were in focus my interest level went down quite a bit. Not a terrible show but certainly one of the more disappointing shows HBO has had on.


Tue Feb 17, 2009 4:38 pm
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Post Re: Rome (HBO series)
ROME - a.k.a. The Big Budget Prequel to "I, Claudius."


Tue Feb 17, 2009 5:17 pm
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Post Re: Rome (HBO series)
I had no interest in it at first, or while the series was running on television for that matter, but I have heard some people rave about it, which has given me second thoughts.


Tue Feb 17, 2009 5:33 pm
Post Re: Rome (HBO series)
I really liked it even though it was more soap opera than history. The Vorenus/Pullo relationship really worked and that's what kept me coming back. It also didn't hurt that it only lasted two seasons...no time to become creatively spent.


Wed Feb 18, 2009 1:51 pm
Post Re: Rome (HBO series)
I really enjoyed it, at first I thought they'd over-sexed it and then i went to Pompeii and I wasn't so sure.

I was however very impressed with it's historical accuracy in the minor details (e.g. Graffiti,) they really put a lot of hard work into it.


Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:29 pm
Post Re: Rome (HBO series)
Too much soap opera drama for me. Had so much potential but gave up after the first season.


Thu Feb 19, 2009 9:22 am
Post Re: Rome (HBO series)
The finale for the first season is one of my favourite TV episodes ever-- Caesar's assassination is excellently staged, and I loved the ironic contrast between the fates of Vorenus and Pullo. The second season was nowhere as good, though that may have been because there was no more Ciaran Hinds. =(

However one part I hated about the series were the battle scenes. I didn't know Pharsalus consisted of about a hundred people shuffling around..... :roll: I understand that they have budget limitations, I'm just saying they didn't have to showcase the fact so obviously-- why couldn't the battle scenes have been left out altogether and just have the characters allude to the battles?


Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:00 am
Post Re: Rome (HBO series)
cornflakes wrote:
The finale for the first season is one of my favourite TV episodes ever-- Caesar's assassination is excellently staged, and I loved the ironic contrast between the fates of Vorenus and Pullo. The second season was nowhere as good, though that may have been because there was no more Ciaran Hinds. =(

However one part I hated about the series were the battle scenes. I didn't know Pharsalus consisted of about a hundred people shuffling around..... :roll: I understand that they have budget limitations, I'm just saying they didn't have to showcase the fact so obviously-- why couldn't the battle scenes have been left out altogether and just have the characters allude to the battles?


I totally agree that the series lost something once Caesar was assassinated. Cieran Hinds truly gave his character the charisma that Caesar was said to have in history. Another casting change that I felt detracted from the series in its second season was going from Max Pirkis to Simon Woods. Obviously, Octavian had to be older, but I felt the transition was too abrupt, particularly in light of the fact that Max played him for more than an entire season.

As for the battle scenes: I do agree that they showcased the limits to the budgets that the producers had to work with, but they didn't detract much from my enjoyment of the show. I saw the series as a historical drama and not a war show, so the lack of action in those scenes really didn't bother me much at all.


Thu Feb 19, 2009 6:03 pm
Post Re: Rome (HBO series)
What are you two talking about? The battle scenes left something to be desired, but I seriously doubt that can be attributed to budget limitations. Rome was an extravagant production with an enormous budget. I'm talking a few million per episode on average. They hired experts on classical warfare to train up dozens of extras, if I remember the Making of Rome as well as I think I do. This isn't a 35 dollar PBS recreation, fellas.


Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:57 pm
Post Re: Rome (HBO series)
Is Rome worth watching? Is it something you can watch a few episodes of, or do you need to watch the entire series and both seasons?

Sorry about the complete ignoring of the posts above :)


Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:52 pm
Post Re: Rome (HBO series)
nickfurze wrote:
I really enjoyed it, at first I thought they'd over-sexed it and then i went to Pompeii and I wasn't so sure.

I was however very impressed with it's historical accuracy in the minor details (e.g. Graffiti,) they really put a lot of hard work into it.


Really?!

They broadly followed history, and I don’t know anything about ancient graffiti, but I found significant variations from the historical record in nearly every single episode. And I’m no classicist.

To just give a few examples:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
the series portrayed Cicero as a pusillanimous prick and political opportunist. In reality, despite his wit, he was idealistic—and arguably naive. His death bore little resemblance to how it is described in the historical sources. Rome’s version of Cleopatra is the stuff of Hollywood romance; that gorgeous actress portraying her bears little resemblance to the beak-nosed woman found on the surviving numismatic artifacts. And Brutus committed suicide after the Second Battle of Philippi; he didn’t go out like Spartacus. There are many, many departures from history in that show. So they couldn’t have been too careful.

In fact, there are several moments throughout the series where the departure from the historical record is so obvious that the show’s creators had to be attempting to be deliberately anachronistic. At one point, during a party with her teenage brother present, Octavia reads an English translation of Virgil’s Aenid—a poem that would be written and dedicated to her brother decades latter. I’m sure this was poetic license, but it doesn’t speak well for Rome’s accuracy.

But of course, none of this says anything about the quality of the show, only the fact that I’m pretty anal about historical details :D .


Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:52 pm
Post Re: Rome (HBO series)
a_drunk_mole wrote:
What are you two talking about? The battle scenes left something to be desired, but I seriously doubt that can be attributed to budget limitations. Rome was an extravagant production with an enormous budget. I'm talking a few million per episode on average. They hired experts on classical warfare to train up dozens of extras, if I remember the Making of Rome as well as I think I do. This isn't a 35 dollar PBS recreation, fellas.

Still. What I was saying is that it looked like one, which led me to guess that it was due to the budget. Guess I was wrong. :oops: Whatever the case, it was a poor decision on the part of the people behind Rome.

jbucksnb wrote:
Is Rome worth watching? Is it something you can watch a few episodes of, or do you need to watch the entire series and both seasons?

I would say, yes, definitely. I think it's possible to watch the episodes in isolation, but you'll probably get a lot more out of it if you watch it as a whole. My personal recommendation is to watch up till Season One and forgo the second, but then opinions may differ-- I know a few people who prefer the second season to the first.


Wed Feb 25, 2009 11:54 am
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Post Re: Rome (HBO series)
i agree with what many have already said Season 1 >>> Season 2. Cirian Hinds and Max pirkis being there is a large part of this. In addition they take some of the characters into unwelcome areas in season 2.

I disagree with those that dont like the two soldiers subplot. I think having the two plebs helps extend the show past what the famous people were doing to what rome in general was like. While there are historical inaccuracies there are a lot of minute details such as the calendar in the opening sequence that took some thought to recreate.


Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:37 pm
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Post Re: Rome (HBO series)
Its a good series. And a good "prequel to 'I, Claudius' " as mentioned, but doesn't stay long afterward and repeat view is not much, IMHO ...


Fri Mar 27, 2009 5:43 pm
Post Re: Rome (HBO series)
Two thirds of the comments here seem to be from people who didn't watch the series through, nitpicked about battles, or got hung up on the semi-invented characters.

Firstly, Titus Pullo and Lucius Vorenus were actual people, though very little is known about them. What is known about the real Titus and Lucius are incorporated, loosely, into the HBO characters. Pullo did find himself allied with Pompey at the time of his death, just like in HBO, and the two men saved each other in battle to their mutual fame in history just like in the series (though it happened about three times in the series). I'm totally OK with the semi-fictionalized duo. There are many things in history we don't understand, such as the specifics about why some odd political allegiances came about and crumbled. The only way to actually accomplish a historical drama (fiction) is to extrapolate on the events to present an explanation, and to do that you either have to invent plausible characters, or bend what is known about real figures.

The most fictionalized character was actually Atia of the Julii (Octavian's mom). History records her as upright, religious, proper, chaste, pious. Well, of course it does, she was the Emperor's mommy. Her historical record is possibly greater fiction than HBO. Her involvement with Mark Antony, her dalliances with her chief of security, her behind-the-scenes assassinations, her partaking in the Cult of Magnamata ... all major liberties by HBO writers, but DELICIOUS ones. Other invented characters include Posca. The rift between Servilla (Brutus' mom) and Atia was certainly real (though not detailed in history), as Servilla was the hostess for the anti-Caesar conspiritors, whom Octavian saw destroyed. Missing from the Servilla story was her rift with her son Brutus until his death. The invented romance between Atia and Antony would actually explain several logic gaps in the historical record.

Other detractors choked on the change of Octavian actors. Yes, the actor who first portrayed Octavian won us over, and it's hard to accept his replacement. The 20-year-old Octavian was a hard adjustment for me, too, but rather than quit the series half way through, I kept watching, and he DID do justice to the personality and even mirror the mannerisms. But keep in mind, like Anakin Skywalker, we were supposed to like the young guy, and consider the older, evil guy a dick. He rose to power through cold-hearted assassinations and alliances with total bastards. Such is life. Most of the baby boomers started off as peace-loving antiwar hippies with some Hindu inclinations, and today they're the bloated, SUV-driving, fag-bashing NeoCons that bring us war and environmental degradation on a microwave-safe plate. It's only fitting Octavian (correctly spelled Octavianus) became, well, himself.

Kudos are indeed required by the truckload for the portrayal of Gaius Julius Caesar. One of the best TV roles I have ever witnessed. When he was killed off, OF COURSE the show lost a powerhouse of an attraction. But such it goes. Julius was a cunning, charismatic, masterful player in reality, turning a centuries-long republic into a dictatorship. He did so with such balls that it left the door ajar for Octavianus to march through and drive spike through the Republic's heart for good. The rendering of this whole two-season story shows how life-and-death political events seem in the here and now, but how fluid and ultimately meaningless men's strivings are from generation to generation. Rome seemed doomed to crumble, were it by the hands of the Julii, or had Pompey been the victor. What if Antony had triumphed over Octavian? If the Senate had bested the power seekers, would the heroic line of Brutus or Cassius toppled the bureaucracy? Answer: certainly.

Rome is a fantastic drama, great television, and a good history lesson. If the twists and turns leave some people cold, it's not the writing as much as the convulsions in the historical facts. Rome underwent 2 major and multiple minor revolutions in a 20 year period, bringing down Egypt and other dynasties in the process. HBO's Rome helps make it all palpable, especially to the first-time viewer. It goes way beyond most TV dramas in that it graphically depicts the cultures, classes, religion(s), customs, traditions, biases, mores, and worldviews of first century BC Mediterranean life, from which modern Western civilization evolved. Of course everyone speaks English, but I can overlook that. I consider Rome I & II to be among the best 3 TV series ever.


Tue Sep 22, 2009 4:46 pm
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Post Re: Rome (HBO series)
I loved it! It's one of my favorite shows! Great acting, excellent story, and completely absorbing.

Yes, Ciaran Hinds and Max Pirkis were wonderful, as was James Purefoy as Marc Antony (who hasn't been mentioned in this discussion yet :?: ). But the one who really sticks out in my mind is Polly Walker. She's as gorgeous as she is dangerous. She delights in her scheming, but Walker gives her a huge dose of humanity. Walker made the series for me, and I really wish that she would get more roles (apparently she's really versatile...JB said she was one of the only good things about Sliver when she played Vida Warren).

However, there were two performances that i didn't like: Simon Woods was flat as Augustus, and Lyndsey Marshall was bad as Cleopatra. Still, they weren't bad enough to ruin it for me.

While there were a number of factual inaccuracies (most of them I didn't know, but it was entertaining, which is all that matters), I did have a problem with the last episode:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
they said that Caesarion was Titus Pullo's son. Given how unafraid of bloodshed that the show was (they showed the dead body of Cleopatra's brother, who couldn't of been much older than Caesarion, why didn't they portray this as it really was in history? It will would have brought a great end to the show.

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Wed Sep 23, 2009 5:19 pm
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Post Re: Rome (HBO series)
James Berardinelli wrote:
ROME - a.k.a. The Big Budget Prequel to "I, Claudius."


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Wed Sep 23, 2009 5:19 pm
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Post Re: Rome (HBO series)
BUMPed for Breaking News:

http://hollywoodinsider.ew.com/2010/03/04/hbo-rome-movie/

Fans of HBO’s critically-beloved (but short-lived) series Rome may not have seen the last of Vorenus and Pullo. Multiple sources have confirmed to EW that a big-screen sequel to the sword-and-sandals series is well underway. Rome creator/executive Bruno Heller — who went on to create CBS’s hit The Mentalist — has finished a script for Morning Light Productions, which financed the development and will produce the film. Series stars Kevin McKidd (Lucius Vorenus) and Ray Stevenson (Titus Pullo) will likely sign onto the movie, which picks up in Germany four years after the series ended. The next step for Morning Light is to find a director and a studio, since HBO Films won’t be involved.

I'm happy that one of my favourites is coming back, but then again I thought they went out on a high and don't want them to ruin it. Also, I guess this means that Vorenus is
[Reveal] Spoiler:
not dead
after all. I know the series finale left things sort of open, but I always assumed that he
[Reveal] Spoiler:
died.


Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:00 pm
Post Re: Rome (HBO series)
ed_metal_head wrote:
BUMPed for Breaking News:

http://hollywoodinsider.ew.com/2010/03/04/hbo-rome-movie/

Fans of HBO’s critically-beloved (but short-lived) series Rome may not have seen the last of Vorenus and Pullo. Multiple sources have confirmed to EW that a big-screen sequel to the sword-and-sandals series is well underway. Rome creator/executive Bruno Heller — who went on to create CBS’s hit The Mentalist — has finished a script for Morning Light Productions, which financed the development and will produce the film. Series stars Kevin McKidd (Lucius Vorenus) and Ray Stevenson (Titus Pullo) will likely sign onto the movie, which picks up in Germany four years after the series ended. The next step for Morning Light is to find a director and a studio, since HBO Films won’t be involved.

I'm happy that one of my favourites is coming back, but then again I thought they went out on a high and don't want them to ruin it. Also, I guess this means that Vorenus is
[Reveal] Spoiler:
not dead
after all. I know the series finale left things sort of open, but I always assumed that he
[Reveal] Spoiler:
died.

This screams "Money grab." to me. :evil:


Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:02 pm
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