Monday, March 12, 2007

HBO's Rome S2 Ep 8

I forgot to mention last week that I finally saw Pan's Labyrinth, and while there is no good reason why it should be called such (the original title makes a little more sense, in my opinion), it is quite a good--if extremely dark--movie.

This week, I saw the new Bond movie, Casino Royale, and I only mention it because Tobias Menzies (Brutus in HBO's Rome) is in it.

I am rather tired tonight, so methinks I'll make this review short. It will also be from the POV of a "fangirl" rather than a "Classicist"--but let's be honest, my reviews have been leaning that way anyway. SPOILERS, as usual.

-Antony and Atia--their love is twue--or is it? But, to be honest, it was a very "cool" way of getting Antony off to Egypt.
-Agrippa was quite adorable in this episode! So honorable and torn!
-Speaking of which, it was a nice touch to see Atia so concerned about her daughter in a non-destructive way. I really think that was the first time I've seen the woman act for something that wasn't all about her. But after what we've seen of her earlier this season, I think she really needed this.
-Gaia seriously needs to die. I can't remember the last time I hated a character so much.
-Octavian/Livia--WOW, those two are going to make a scary and disturbing couple. How far Octavian has come since his Max Pirkis days. And much as I hate Octavian-the-character for it, I think this episode was a good (and Rome-appropriate) way of demonstrating Octavian's marriage "reforms."
-Pullo, I really did not need to see you ripping people's tongues out with your teeth. Ew.
-This is dumb, but I really hope they resolve the feud between Vorenus and his daughter.

And this is really random, but I want to see a proper married couple on this show, because I want to hear them yelling "coniunx!" at each other. It sounds like such an angry word, y'know, one that you'd yell.

Anyway, I'm very much looking forward to seeing how they deal with Atia/Antony/Cleopatra and Octavian/Livia in the last two episodes. Hopefully, it will be movie-worthy, because that's about how much air-time they have left this season, and the rest of the plot is just about right for a movie!


Blogger Dave Csonka said...

I was trying to explain to somebody the other day why I love this show so much. When it comes down to it, the fact that I am a nut for roman history has nothing to do with it. This show is probably the best thing on TV I've ever seen.

Every episode covers the entire spectrum of emotions: love, betrayal, lust, despair, bravery, wickedness, comedy, and tragedy. If I smoked, I'd probably have to go outside and light up a few after each episode.

Be that as it may, when they ended that scene with Pullo screaming into the audience, blood dripping out of his mouth and holding an axe over his head, I probably had my first ever televorgasm. I've seen many movies and shows with gratuitous violence, but this scene, with everything in the story that lead up to it, was (as Octavia would put it) masterly.

10:31 AM  
Blogger Glaukôpis said...

The show is pretty brilliantly made as entertainment. I think this is why I forgive it its inaccuracies. Plus, when they change things, they do it so well as to make it good entertainment (which is its primary purpose, of course).

And as well-done as that scene was, I think I could have lived my life quite happily never seeing Pullo rip out a person's tongue with his teeth. Ick.

12:21 PM  
Blogger Choppa said...

Fascinating the way the Yanks are catching up on and overtaking the Brits at TV character/location drama (including history). It sounds as if all the right lessons have been learnt from I Claudius (so long ago now!. And it's nice that they don't even try to outdo the Claudius show (how could they?!)

Now what I long for (apart from actually seeing Rome :-) ) is for someone to do something about that blind spot in Roman history (for us) - the 5 Gracchus/Marius/Sulla decades. That would be something. The denouement of all that repetitive to and fro-ing in Livy about land and corn. The social and civil wars preparing the ground for the final flowering of the Republic and its detumescence with the decapitation of Cicero, to be replaced by the bloodswollen priapism of the Empire...

1:00 PM  
Blogger Glaukôpis said...

Have you not seen Rome?? The first season's available on DVD, at least. There are also, um, other ways of getting ahold of it.

And the BBC's Ancient Rome did have one Gracchus, at any rate. However, they had concerns that nobody would tune in to such an episode if they started with it. eheu!

9:02 PM  
Blogger Choppa said...

I'll have to ask my daughter's guru friends about that hm access :-)

Till then I'll do my usual trick of airily waving and saying - Well, once you've read about this sort of thing in Tacitus in the original... these latter-day imitations of imitations are all a bit anaemic ;-)

Mind you, I loved I Claudius etc on the Beeb. Hardly seem to have seen anything since then - except for the uncut film of Caligula on DVD.

I wonder when someone will have a go at doing the whole of Livy as a TV show? Maybe the Chinese in two or three decades from now?

1:54 PM  
Blogger Glaukôpis said...

::cough:: Shoot me an e-mail, and I'll tell you. ::cough::

3:33 PM  
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8:26 AM  

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