Sunday, November 20, 2005

Accuracy of HBO's Rome

Hrm, David Meadows alerts us to an article on the accuracy of HBO's Rome.

This author picks at all the plot elements that have been changed to hype up the entertainment value. This is true. Obviously, Rome's first point is entertainment, and it is NOT a documentary (whoever got that idea anyway?!). What I think is disappointing, though, is that:

1) this person implies that Suetonius is gospel (does anyone else find this funny??),
2) since Suetonius is gospel in this article, why not mention that Suetonius mentions that there really was gossip about Augustus (as a youth) and Caesar having a sexual relationship? They read their stuff; they didn't just make it up the way The Empire did,
3) what about all the cultural details they actually manage to get correct? Can you really ignore those? I can't remember the last time I've seen an historical piece with so much accuracy as to details other than the plotline. Why are we always so focused on the plotline that we can't appreciate these other things too?

Sure, liberties are taken with Rome, but unlike many other shows, they are done with full knowledge (clearly, they read their Suetonius as well as load of other less gossipy works) and in an artistic manner. There is an amazing amount of research done for this show, and it actually shows. They don't ignore what they learn (the King Arthur movie comes to mind :-P); they incorporate what they find and spice up the rest for entertainment value. If Atia reminds us of a character from the O.C., then that's because it's what entertains modern audiences. It's a TV show, not a documentary. And more importantly, it's a TV show that's actually successfully entertaining with the changes it's made. They're good at what they do, unlike Troy (sorry, buddy, but the Iliad is far more entertaining) and King Arthur (I'll take Malory over that any day).

I mean, it's nice that somebody's trying to correct the misconceptions out there, but I would've liked to have seen a little more credit given where credit is due. And I now see it as my duty to correct the misconception that this should be, in any way, accepted as a documentary. That seems to be a misconception common to both sides.

So, if you've walked away with anything from this rant, it should be this: HBO'S ROME IS NOT A DOCUMENTARY AND WAS NEVER INTENDED AS SUCH!!!!


Blogger amorificus said...

Finally! You know, it's quite ironic that no one bothers to point out the inherent liberties taken in History Channel documentaries because they're too busy finding the flaws in a piece of entertainment quite clearly labeled as such. As you pointed out, this isn't anything in the vein of "Empire" which just adopted a daytime soap storyline and slapped historical names on the characters! Bravo for the defense.

11:35 AM  
Blogger Glaukôpis said...

The Empire made me cry. A lot! And not in a good way!

I think everyone actually believes the History Channel is gospel too... o_O

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Serious Paul said...

Interesting, I have been watching the show since it's debute, and have been relatively impressed with almost all of it-sure I wish they had Russel Crowes budget from Gladiator to actually show me all the great battles, but really it's not the combat or fight sequences that drew me in and made me a fan. A solid story combined with great acting, and what I am happy to find is indeed relatively accurate and well thought out scenery and props.

8:12 PM  
Blogger Glaukôpis said...

Good to know there are others out there who appreciate the effort put into this show!

11:44 AM  
Blogger carlo said...

Nice show.This is an show which is related to the History and due to this I love to watch this show. If you wanna watch this show then go ahead and Download Rome TV Show with all episodes from here. Its an best website for this show.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good show, good cast and wonderful storyline. Its really the best show. I am a big fan of this show. I always Watch TV Shows Online. Thanks for sharing the review.

8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rome is a British-Italian historical drama television series created by Bruno Heller, John Milius, and William J. MacDonald. The show's two seasons premiered in 2005 and 2007, and were released on DVD soon afterward.

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Anonymous Watch TV online free said...

Great article, found out a lot of interesting information, it was really intriguing to read it. Love HBO shows and I hope I'll like this one as well!

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Anonymous 4rx said...

There are some crazy theories and crazy people that release information without looking for any information regarding the released information.

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Anonymous Flv to avi said...

The Empire was vary touching! I cried at the end. Very inspirational post, thank you.

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