The Empire, part 3 -- aka My Soul HURTS.
Do you all remember two weeks ago when I said it's hard to "spoil" a miniseries about Augustus? Well, I stand corrected.
If you have plans to see part 3 of The Empire and don't care to be spoiled, you shouldn't read on.
First, I just want to say that the episode was utterly BORING until it caught me by shocktastic surprise, surpassing all my expectations of wankeriffic inaccuracy.
The lines were horribly cheesy, with a particular speech by Octavius in which he attempted to win over Caesar loyalists. My reaction was precisely what one of the senators scoffed--"The optimism of youth." In fact, Octavius managed to be both an annoying idealistic optimist and a spoiled BRAT in the same episode. Apparently, the writers don't understand character development and took us from Octavius-who-relies-on-Tyrannus to Octavius-who-whines-like-a-spoiled-brat-baby without warning.
Then later, Tyrannus has a line that I swear he stole directly from Gladiator--"I'm a fighter, not a politician." He also told Antony that he does not "fight for amusement" when Antony wanted to test his moves. Right. Because gladiators are clearly not meant for entertainment.
But here's the real spoileriffic kicker: Apparently, the part they left out of the history books is that Antony invited Octavius and the Caesar loyalists to his villa so they could all get drunk and fall asleep there--and then he could have his pet bestiarius (although, it really sounded like they were saying "bestiaria") leave asps in everyone's rooms, so that they'd all be killed. As of the end of this episode, it seems that Octavius is dead. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if he actually IS dead. In fact, with the annoyingness of their Octavius, I'd almost be relieved.
Seriously, though, I spent the entire episode thinking that it was boring as all hell, and the only thing I'd be able to write was that it was too boring for words and that it's not worth picking at the historical inaccuracies anymore. And then they hit me on the head with a five ton brick with... that ending. I saw Antony's betrayal coming, and it was obvious that the bestiarius' assassination attempt (and Antony "rescuing" Octavius) was a set-up, but I've got to hand it to them--if their intent was to COMPLETELY throw everyone off, then they did well. That, however, is not a compliment, because it speaks to how craptastic their writing was that they had to "salvage" it with an "out of the blue" ending. Seriously, their idea of plotting and politics was bland and boring and obvious as all hell.
My SOUL really hurts right now. I sat here speechless for quite a while before I could actually start writing. I mean, just when I think it can't POSSIBLY get any worse...
Edit: I was so stunned by that, that I forgot my oh-so-witty line back to David Meadows at rogueclassicism! Anyway, I'm sure he is now THRILLED that he escaped punishment and is happily on his way to Alberta, where The Empire cannot touch him. Demm. My evil machinations are foiled again! ;-)