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!!!!