Before Bruno Heller did The Mentalist and before Kevin McKidd did Grey’s Anatomy, there was ROME. It is sometimes hard to overlook the historical inaccuracies and the horrendous telescoping of events but what other TV show has the largest standing outdoor set ever made and 4000+ costumes for a total of 22 episodes.
I also think it’s fair to say that this it probably the only time I will ever watch an 18+ rated TV show. Gratuitous nudity doesn’t even begin to cover it. Obviously studying classics, I’ve read and translated (and given presentations on … eep!) far worse things than what appears on screen but somehow reading it and watching it – two very different things! Pornographic! And the incest (although in itself not graphic), pretty much ruined !historicalAugustus for me forever, even if it isn’t historically accurate.
There has always been talk of a film being in the works and if they can find a studio to do it, Bruno and Kevin have promised they’d film it around their American TV schedules. Not sure how the plot will work given how things were left in the final episode …… perhaps a flashback? Hmm.
1.01 – I really really don’t like the credit sequence! [“What a dreadful noise plebs make when they’re happy.”] LOL. Gratuitous nakedness. I think it’s fair to say that this is the most explicit sex scene I have ever watched on TV. Okay, complete nakedness was that really necessary?! Seriously the only 18 rated TV series I have ever and will ever watch. I cannot stand Atia. She is my least favourite character in the whole thing or at least at the beginning. She wins me over in the last episode. Octavian watching his mother in the bath is so perverse … of course, not as perverted as what comes later on but still. I will never not be able to see the guy who plays Cicero as Mr Collins from Pride & Prejudice. Unfortunate really since there are similarities between the characters. Why IS there a lewd woman on stage? Women weren’t allowed on stage. [“Bring him back safe or I’ll use the eyes of your children for beads.”] The Blue Men group. Hehe. Brutus! That actor was in James Bond as M’s assistant. Antony is an ass. Serves you right Octavian for being rude to the slaves. [“Fortune pisses on me”] !DrunkBrutus!! Oh God not the bull sacrifice and the blood! Atia is evil … but also quite funny. Oh more full frontal nudity …
1.02 – Mark Antony is an ass. I’m not going to lie, watching this may well have coloured my judgement regarding the actual historical figure too. [“If I weren’t a genteel woman I would have you flailed and hung by the bracket by the door.”] <3 Vorenus and Pullo. [“Dormouse, perhaps?”] Nice homecoming there with Vorenus calling Niobe a whore! [“She’s not simple is she?”] Ah, these Romans have such a delicate way with words. Niobe’s reaction when Vorenus empties the bag on the table, including the phallus. “Nice …” More sex! [“MY FATHER’S COCK! How’s that for tone?!”] Cicero you just sealed your fate. Love Pullo/baby and Pullo/Niobe talking. Yeah, alright Octavia …. There is NO need for that at the dinner table. Caesar’s horse is beautiful. Great show of speechmaking there Caesar! THE CROSSING OF THE RUBICON!!! Can you see the huge holes in the side of that cot? Clearly the baby would roll out and fall onto the floor at least ten times a day!
1.03 – Poor Niobe. Vorenus/Pilo talking about women is hilarious as is Atia talking about who should kill whom [“Mother, I would rather it were not you who killed me if you have no objections”]. Love that Atia and Octavia are still bitching at each other. The graffiti that the plebs wrote on Atia’s door is really rude, I won’t translate it but I think you get the idea…. Love Cornelia telling her children the story of Odysseus. [“The Republic is more important than any friendship.”] More nakedness briefly. Vorenus/Pullo talking about the stars – really funny from a modern perspective. <3 Pullo. Lol at him trying to move the oxen. [“Gracchus! Something more cheerful!”]
1.04 – LOL at the dirty graffiti! Naked Mark Antony! Oh God, NO ONE needs to see that. Wash that from my brain now please. I like that Vorenus is a man of principle. I like the slaves and servants in this series. Those headdresses/hairstyles are awful!!! [“Octavian, don’t sit there like a prop. Say something witty!”] Love the “augur’s wife” bribe.
1.05 – [“I am not clear it is decent him being your great-uncle but who’s to say what’s decent in times like these ..”] I think I have a love/hate relationship with Atia. She’s wicked but has some hilarious lines! [“What extraordinary names these plebs have!”] Octavian’s advice to Pullo is actually very sound. LOL! More dirty graffiti! Servillia scares me. [“I’ve never actually tortured anyone. I don’t know how.” “You don’t know how?!” “They have specialists.”] Cute dog.
1.06 – !drunk Vorenus! I would probably rather die than have Atia for a mother. No wonder Octavian turned out the way he did …. Oh Lord cover my eyes!!! [“You will penetrate someone today or I will burn your wretched books in the yard.”] Atia’s gifts to Servillia. LMAO.
1.07 – I love the Atia/Octavia conversations. Lol. Vorenus/Pullo: LOST the 1st Century BC version. The Servillia/Octavia CREEPS ME OUT. [“We are the Senate of Rome!” “We are a bunch of old men with mud on our shoes.”] I feel bad for Pompey. Ugh, using the dead bodies to build a raft. Innovative but unhygienic! Pompey’s wife/kids are sweet. Servillia/Octavia – NO NO NO! Love Pompey telling that story to his children and talking to Vorenus. No poor Pompey! With his wife and children watching as well!!!
1.08 – Little Ptolemy is horrible. Pompey’s head is disturbingly lifelike. [“It’s only hubris if I fail.”] [“Roman law.” “Is there any other sort of law you wretched woman.”] Argh I hate Cleopatra! She is even worse than Atia. Don’t do it Pullo! “Give me your hands” – he will have your hands soon enough Cicero! Love how they fast-forwarded through the whole Egyptian siege.
1.09 – OMG that poor elephant! Wow they skipped over that battle too. Oh Cato … That play is not funny. !AwkwardDinnerParty! Servillia’s playing you Octavia! Octavian is reading Catullus! ….. why is he reading sexual poetry to his sister? Octavian saying that there are no gods! Lol. No no no god it’s the start of Octavian/Octavia incest. No, no, no!!! Love that it was actually Caesar who came to see Vorenus. No no no! It’s wrong! I am scarred for life! [“You look like laundry.”] Awwh Pullo is feeling left out.
1.10 – Atia is such a hypocritical cow. [“I don’t want my chariot slowed by giant turds.”]. Yes, that sounds EXACTLY like something Caesar would have said. Oh dear Brutus, we’re gradually getting closer to IT.
1.11 – Oh Pullo. 🙁 The land redistribution problem! Ah this takes me back to my final year at uni! Atia eavesdropping! <3 <3 <3 Pullo! Ugh, too much violence and blood spurting!
1.12 – Oooh Caesar’s wife’s dream – that’s taken from historical texts. Suetonius is one, I believe. Oh no, we’re getting to the climax. Poor Vorenus/Niobe. The Town-Crier guy is hilarious. Can’t help but feel equally sorry for Caesar and Brutus. Sad that they didn’t include the “Et tu, Brute”. Noooo Niobe!!! Funny how Pullo is the only one to get a touch of happiness at the end.
2.01 – Poor Vorenus’ family!! Meh. Oh God I did not need to see THAT. [“I know you’re only trying to be manly and that’s fine but now is NOT the time!”] [“We are senators not hired thugs.”] [“If we cannot be friends, we shall be enemies.”] Brutus and his principles! Love the juxtaposition of the two funerals.
2.02 – [“You shave.” “I kiss.”] Poor Timon the look on his face when Atia tells him she doesn’t need him. Lol. [“Mark Antony buggers boys like you for a morning snack.”] Octavia and her fruit salad! Brawl in the bedroom! Love the music at the end there.
2.03 – Oh Jocasta – Octavia’s druggie friend. Some things don’t change even through thousands of years. Dunking into the public toilets? I’d rather someone kill me! Agrippa is hot! !drunkBrutus! I don’t like seeing Vorenus like this. Brutus doing an impression of Jesus? Cicero’s speech!!!!!!!! Laede!
2.04 – Silly slave girl don’t eat the poisoned food!!! [“Because it isn’t a legal confession unless there’s torture.”] I like the other Octavian better. Maecenas! [“If this is the afterlife it is extremely disappointing.”] Vorenus and Pullo back to being awesome together. Agrippa and his crush on Octavia is adorable.
2.05 – Antony looks really different! [“Thank you daughter. I really appreciate these little chats we have in between your drug binges”]. I don’t like this new Octavian. Again, was it really necessary for us to see that?! <3 <3 <3 <3 Agrippa.
2.06 – Agrippa/Octavia <3 <3 <3. Pullo and Cicero having a normal chat! Tyro trying to save his master!! Pullo and the peaches! Brutus/Cassius talking about his birthday cake!! Brutus!!!
2.07 – OMG Jocasta/Pullo!! Hahaha! I forgot all about that!! Servillia interrupting the wedding with her calls for Atia! Atia should have invested in some double glazing, eh?! Oh don’t do that Pullo! I like Pullo/Irene – why did they have to go muck that up?! LOL how can Servillia’s voice sounds so weak and quiet outside and yet echo all over the house?! [“Now that is an exit”] [“What would I do with a giraffe?”] [“I don’t care if all Italy burns – I will not marry him”] [“I’d rather eat shit”] Obviously I knew that the Antony/Octavia would happen but when you see it play out like this, it kind of makes you lose all respect for Octavian/Augustus.
2.08 – Oh Pullo/Irene. 🙁 [“I wanted her to be here so she would know what it means to be part of this family.” “A species of benign slavery.”] I can’t believe I am actually preferring Antony to Octavian in this showdown. Deary me. [“It was nice to meet you, take care, you are marrying a monster.”] <3 <3 <3 Agrippa. What Antony did is disgusting! Oh no not Cleopatra again.
2.09 – OMG that is the ugliest prostitute I have ever seen!!!! She’s bald!!! I cannot stand Cleopatra! Memmio in the cage!! Haha! [“You are joking!!” “I can’t remember the last time I made a joke.”] Yeah, I did NOT need to see that. [“You have become girlish and sentimental. Frankly it’s disgusting.”] Oh at least that awful she-wolf got what she deserved.
2.10 – Wait, they fast-forwarded through the entire Battle of Actium?? [“I’m a soldier not a freaking magician.”] Awwh Antony/Vorenus. Cleopatra – what a bitch. Though if I were Antony, I would definitely have gone and checked first! Oh God not the snake!! Awwh Vorenus and his children! Atia’s not happy unless she’s threatening or cursing someone! Great ending.