Monday, March 05, 2007

HBO's Rome S2 Ep 7 (and Showtime's The Tudors)

So I was asked to advertise the new Showtime show, The Tudors. They tell me they wanted me to advertise it because of my post on Alexander, but let's be honest--it seems to target the HBO's Rome audience (except for the part where it's about Henry VIII, not Romans). Thus, I'm pimping it before my weekly Rome review.

Anyway, The Tudors stars Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, who was apparently Cassander in Alexander (and just for some other weird facts, he's going to be Branwell Brontë in Brontë and was apparently Elvis in a 2005 TV movie--I don't pretend to understand).

Videos, images and such, can be found here.

And if you are so lucky as to be residing in the U.S. at the moment, you can catch a preview here with the password "Sneak Peak"--and after March 12, it will have the entire first episode.

Just so you ALL know, I have indeed sold out, because they're offering me a "prize pack" from Showtime, and I want to see what this "prize pack" is.

But also, I'm pretty curious about this show. It looks like it could be fun. They also certainly seem pretty keen on using sex to sell this one.

And now for Rome!!! What can I say?? This is possibly the most brilliant episode ALL SEASON, and it was DEFINITELY worth the wait!

SPOILERS, as uaual.

Where to even start? Well, we open with Servilia grieving and putting on the death mask of Brutus. I have to admit that as soon as I saw this, I said to myself, Servilia is going to off herself this episode. Keep reading to see if I was right!

We then see Posca marrying Jocasta!! I had read some spoilers a bit ago but had forgotten everything but the fact that Posca gets married. I think I laughed out loud when I saw this! Atia's arrangement, of course. Jocasta was miserable. I'd feel more sorry for the girl, but I never really liked her bad influence on Octavia anyway.

Antony and Atia have an adorable moment at the weddding (even though Antony is winking at other girls), where you can see that deep down the two do love each other in the best way possible for two such as themselves. We also, thankfully, finally have a shaved Antony. I guess the beard is only for when he's off fighting.

In the middle of the wedding we're interrupted by Servilia at the door kneeling with her slave pouring dust on her as she (Servilia) chants, "Atia of the Julii, I call for justice!" Atia decides to ignore her.

Memmio's man is seducing Vorena.

Lepidus tells Antony and Octavian of displeasure from high ranking senators. They decide to divide Rome up. Antony actually takes a sword to the map! (After Lepidus says, "one can't simply ch-chop it up like c-cabbage!"

Atia's still being driven crazy by Servilia.

Gaia (ok, lemme just rant now--I've always despised this character, and she only make my blood boil in this episode in ways that I can't even begin to describe) threatens Eireni. She goes to tell Pullo. Pullo needs to beat Gaia.

Gaia seduces Pullo, and they end up having sex instead. See why my blood's boiling???

Atia finally goes out to confront Servilia, who curses her. To seal this curse, she kills herself. So does her serving lady. Beautifully done, as all Servilia's curses are. Even better, though, it's successful.

Impressively, Atia looks actually like she's going to cry as Servilia curses her--like she actually believes. When Servilia kills herself, Atia, the poor woman, actually looks completely DISTRAUGHT that she loses her favourite foe! Antony, of course, says what we're all thinking: "Now that . . . is an exit."

Herod goes to bribe Antony, who decides not to tell the rest of the triumverate. Posca is given nothing of this bribe and runs off to tell Maecenas (for a reward, of course, and anonymity).

Timon and his bro are plotting to kill Herod.

Octavian confronts Antony about the bribe, and we discover that Antony can do math. Octavian: "I had hoped you might have learned some humility and discipline. I see now that you are still the same crude, arrogant lech that you always were." Antony: "That's right, just the same--AND STILL FUCKING YOUR MOTHER!"

Gaia is pretending to behave in front of Eireni--for some devious purpose, of course.

Vorena is sleeping with Memmio's man, when Memmio comes in. Memmio pretends to be horrified and then says he must tell Vorenus. Vorena begs him not to tell and says she'll do anything. He gets her to spy on her dad.

Atia suggests a marriage between their two houses (Antony and Octavian). Antony: "I don't care if all Italy burns, I'll not marry him." (Yes, Antony is so funny!) Octavian thinks this is a good idea, but he has a TWINKLE in his eye. If you know your history, you may know what this TWINKLE means. I started laughing, b/c I suspected the horrible trick he was about to play.

Octavian sends his mom away before discussing things with Antony. Atia looks very happy.

We also see Octavia and Agrippa are still together.

Vorena is snooping around Vorenus' papers. Vorenus comes in, and she lies and says her sister needs a new dress.

Octavian watches as Antony and Atia have a "moment" together (yes, you know what I mean). He walks away, and Antony says they need to talk. Atia says they should take a break from sex until their wedding night. Antony says they need to talk.

Next scene is a wedding. We see Atia. Then we see Octavia, and we see she is the one marrying Antony. I must say, this is the most brilliant way they could have gotten back on track with some of the history here. I died laughing. Then I felt horrible for . . . well, everyone involved. Atia and Agrippa looked so distraught! And poor Octavia looked like she was going to vomit!

Maecenas wouldn't leave Agrippa alone and kept talking to him about "poor Atia." hah!

Octavian explans to Atia that he needed the match to be a clear political statement, not one of lust. Haha, whatever. You had to see that coming after Antony rubbed it in to Octavian earlier about "fucking" his mother. Atia yells at Antony, who says he still loves her. She says he cares more about power than her. Antony still wants her. Atia response, "Oh I see, first you betray me--and now you propose to betray my daughter!" Love her.

At the marriage procession, we see fauns. Yes, fauns! Also, Timon and his bro are going to kill Herod, but Timon, after killing so many others, backs down. He and his bro fight, and Timon kills his bro instead. I miss when Timon was horseshit man, personally.

Awkward moment when Octavia and Antony are in bed. Octavia says "do as you like," and they consumate the marriage. I feel so horrified for Octavia! She sure gets thrown around there . . . (especially if we remember last season)

Servilia's voice is heard as Atia realizes that Servilia succeeded in cursing her by Octavian's decision to have Octavia marry Antony instead. Poor Atia! (Well, poor Servilia too. I'm actually a Servilia girl, myself, but this is the first time I've felt bad for Atia in ages).

Gaia goes to get herbs for an abortion. She's clearly planning on getting Eireni to miscarry. Shock! Horror! And the episode ends.

Overall?? I love how everything is connected in this show. I love how beautifully Servilia died (even if I saw it coming, but still beautifully done), true to her nature, and I love how this curse instigated the "correction" of the Octavia/Antony marriage. I've been wondering how/if they were going to do that for ages! I'm SO glad they did, because even though Antony/Atia is exciting to watch, it bugged me that Antony was supposed to marry Octavia. Of course, now it's just really gross to think about.

Granted, there is still a lot they leave out, but considering how complicated the relationships were in "real history," I'm not surprised they chose to simplify. I don't think an audience without much knowledge of the period could keep track of all the characters that would have to come in and out if they followed "straight" history anyway.

The biggest sore thumb, though, was the Antony/Atia relationship seeming to be in the way of the Antony/Octavia marriage, and that's been rectified, so I am once again happy.


Blogger Randy said...

Praise Jupiter I came across someone else who digs "Rome," apart from Television Without Pity, that is.

I got the impression from the look on Antony's face when Octavian agreed to the marriage that he knew exactly where things were headed, and that he agreed with Octavian on the issue.

Also, I love Simon Woods's poker-faced Octavian. We always know that the sneaky young political chess-player is able to manipulate situations so as to get what he really wants (the consul's chair; the splitting of the empire), but it's astonishing to me that Antony hasn't figured it out yet.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Glaukôpis said...

Haha. It really is just a great show.

And I got the impression from Antony's face that he had an idea of where it was going, but I couldn't tell what he thought of that. I guess, ultimately, he was OK with it.

Simon Woods really is quite brilliant at Octavian, I think following quite well in Max Pirkis' footsteps.

7:38 AM  
Blogger Randy said...

The major differences I see between the two Octavii is that it seemed as if you could see the wheels spinning in Pirkis's head, while Woods's poker face hides his thought process from view. Both of the actors capture the historical charcter pretty well, from what little I've read about Octavian. I suspect that Purefoy captures Antony's essence almost perfectly--the man was the Roman equivalent of a rock star, and was so cocky that he couldn't see how a pale, sickly kid with no military experience was undermining him from the get-go. Of course, it helped that Octavian had equally prodigious allies in Agrippa and Maecenas.

10:43 AM  
Blogger Dave Csonka said...

That little twitch that Simon does whenever Octavian is extremely bothered always freaks me out a little bit.

11:02 AM  
Blogger Choppa said...

I think the thing about Antony is that he was a great lieutenant/henchman, but not a great leader, as in maker of policy and giver of strategic direction. He lacked Julius Caesar's and Octavian's strategic overview and focused ambition on power. He loved power and the way it fed his physical appetites, but couldn't raise his game to the level of Octavian, whose physical appetites (like Julius's) didn't distract him from his appetite for power.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Jenn said...

You are a SELL OUT!

And I still love Max.

6:28 PM  
Blogger Glaukôpis said...

Yes, alas, I am a SELL OUT.

But do you honestly think I would've kept quiet about a TV show about Henry VIII? Might as well do it where I get credit. ::grin::

Thanks all for the thoughts on the "Octavii"!

6:36 PM  
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