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Desc:Look, who are you going to trust, these two or Carl Sagan?
Category:Educational, Classic TV Clips
Tags:rome, stars, astronomy, titus pullo, Lucius Vorenus
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Comment count is 22
Bort - 2016-02-05
So much of this show ruled not because of the plot but because it painted a picture of what it might have been like to live in Rome. I'm sure they get a lot of the details wrong -- not that there's much way to know about the little stuff -- but it is at least persuasive as a look at how things possibly were.
Bort - 2016-02-05
Really, we're not so very different from Vorenus and Pullo.


EvilHomer - 2016-02-05
From what I understand, there were historical inaccuracies, but the consensus amongst academics was that it's close enough - which is frankly pretty remarkable praise, coming as it did from the notoriously nitpicky history-nerd community. For example:

http://www.theancientscribe.com/2010/06/hbos-rome-historical-i naccuracies/
http://www.anselm.edu/internet/classics/Rome/ANALYSES/08.html< br />
They got the spirit of the times right, even if some of the details were fudged.

rural - 2016-02-05
Most representations of past societies in modern media are so thoughtless and gratuitous that really scholars are delighted when even the slightest bit of attention is paid to anything (beyond costumes speech patterns, and the prevalence of mud) that makes past worlds distinct from our own. It is so wonderful and stimulating to portray characters thinking and behaving using systems that are truly alien to ours, but given the rarity of these representations, it apparently makes for bad ratings. Modern ideas about power, belief, desire, perhaps dressed up in ye-olde costumes are what most modern people want to see.

Hazelnut - 2016-02-06
***** for rural's perfect summation. Compare to recent BBC series like the new War and Peace, which is just Eastenders (or at best Downton Abbey) in Russian costumes.

Hazelnut - 2016-02-05
Five stars for the unofficial prequels to I, Claudius -- one of the few cases where it's as good as the original.
Born in the RSR - 2016-02-05
Yes! Was there was even a slight resemblance between young Octavius in Rome and Brian Blessid in I, Claudius, or was I just imagining things?

chumbucket - 2016-02-05
Another show sadly cut far before it was really done.
Bort - 2016-02-05
How many years of shenanigans between Octavian and Marc Antony did they really want to do, though? Two seasons felt about right: one season to kill Caesar, one season to make an emperor. And once you've done that, where do you go with the imperial intrigue?

Rodents of Unusual Size - 2016-02-05
I suppose they could have gone ahead to Augustus' time, which would require aging a great deal of the cast and replacing them, so all in all it really is perfect just the way it is.

Deadwood on the other hand could have gone several more seasons but they cut it for that stupid Jesus surfing show. They are making a movie to finish off the series! That was just announced and I was really happy to hear it.

I would love to see them tackle maybe other points of ancient history, though. There is a great deal they could cover. Ancient Greece only gets on screen for the Trojan War, imaginary monsters, or 300, which was nothing more than a video game. There are so many time periods you could cover there.

Speaking of historical shows (which I usually love) has anyone seen Vikings? I have some friends who are obsessed with that and Black Sails but I haven't had a chance to watch either.

EvilHomer - 2016-02-05
Vikings is great fun! The historical accuracy is, of course, up in the air (for starters, it's based on the "life" of of the mostly-mythical Ragnar Lothbrok) and Matt Easton has bitched at length about the costumes, but everyone who watches Vikings (including Matt) seems to enjoy it immensely.

If you like fight scenes, paganism, and mewling Christians being put to the sword, then I'd recommend watching it.

NancyDrewFan123 - 2016-02-05
I remember the Egyptian stuff from the end of the series was supposed to be it's own season. They were going to have stuff taking place in Jerusalem for the fourth season. I don't remember where the fifth and presumably last plotted season was going to go.

Monkey Napoleon - 2016-02-05
The second season quickened the pace so much to wrap things up, and a lot of stuff got omitted. For example, Lepidus isn't mentioned again, even in passing, once Antony leaves for Egypt... even though he sort of becomes a pain in the ass for Octavian/Augustus for awhile.

There's huge gaps of time between some episodes in season two as well, and it's not exactly like nothing happened in those gaps. The show isn't really about the power struggle arc anyway. It's about the relationships of the background characters, and how seemingly unimportant people and events might have had a huge impact on history.

If they'd wanted to make a show about the actual history, they would have started it a generation earlier, and there would have been more references to things that happened in the recent past because that's where it's really at intrigue-wise.

Bort - 2016-02-05
While I will agree that the show was more about the background characters, the high level politics were important too; beyond the interpersonal drama, there was how the big events shaped the lives of the common people.

A seismically big political change at the end of each season feels about right to me. I wouldn't want Octavian and Marc Antony to be sparring for season after season like Megatron and Starscream.

Mind you, I wouldn't mind seeing more Vorenus and Pullo, but the show needs the politics to drive the action, and I'm not sure it would have worked to start before Alesia or go past Octavian's coronation.

Monkey Napoleon - 2016-02-05
I dunno, even though it's still better than most TV shows... I think season two suffered from too much compression. Had they been given an extra season, they could have made season 2 about civil war, forming the triumvirate to defeat Brutus, and culminating in Antony's ousting from Rome. Then 3 could have been set against the backdrop of Antony's shenanigans in Egypt, culminating in his defeat and Augustus' consolidation of power.

I'm fairly sure that was what they had intended, and I think the show would have been better that way.

infinite zest - 2016-02-05
ARRRGH I hate it when it's always a British accent! I know every show about ancient Greece or Rome does it, happens all the time, and fuck if anyone knows how the Romans spoke, but it definitely wasn't a British accent. Like, why not an Italian accent?????????

Hazelnut - 2016-02-06
Because to Anglophone ears, the range of British accents is so good at conveying imperial hauteur and a whole range of social classes. Even if you never set foot in England, you can hear how Caesar's accent is upper-class and Vorenus's is not.

If they did it Italian accent it would all sound to us like "Ey! You eat-a da pasta." Would you be able to tell a Florentine accent from a Neapolitan?

Bort - 2016-02-06
Also, what country did most of our "good" historical dramas come from?

If it had so happened that a studio emerged in bayou country that cranked out high-quality historical dramas, this is the guy you would expect to play Falstaff:


infinite zest - 2016-02-06
Yeah, it's not going to stop me from watching this show (I have my parents' HBO Go account now so yay) but I wouldn't mind an accent that I didn't really understand. That's actually one of the things I liked most about the film Blood Diamond. Leo went full Afrikaans and therefore a lot of the movie was subtitled. But by the end of it (and when I watched it again) I felt like I had a grasp of what everybody was saying. Throughout a series I'd probably be immersed enough that I could speak and understand the accent fluently.

But I watched the first episode and yeah I'll keep watching :)

Rodents of Unusual Size - 2016-02-05
Titus Pollo was my favorite character from this, and Rome is my favorite show of all time. It's nothing less than incredible and if it weren't so unbelievably expensive, I wish they could have continued it. The fact that they showed Octavian's rise in the second season was nothing less than brilliant.
Monkey Napoleon - 2016-02-05
Same here, followed closely by Atia and Deadwood.

Juice Eggs McKenna - 2016-02-06
It's good but it's not PLEBS good
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