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You Can't Go Rome Again

I still miss HBO's wonderful series ROME, and my weekly dose of Titus Pullo, Lucius Vorenus, Octavian, Antony, Atia, and the rest of that wacky gang.

So much so that last night I watched the debut of SPARTACUS: BLOOD AND SAND on Starz.

Learn from my mistake, boys and girls. Don't go where I went.

Starz is not HBO, and this SPARTACUS is not ROME. Hell, it is not even SPARTACUS. Charles Laughton, Peter Ustinov, and Laurence Olivier are nowhere in sight. The writing and acting here are pretty much on a par with the historical accuracy. The visual style, especially in the action scenes, attempts to borrow from 300... but the slow-mo slaughter gets old really fast, and the giant gouts of blood being splashed around at every opportunity soon become silly, and began to remind me of nothing so much as the Black Knight sequence in MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL. There's one scene near the end where a gladiator who has had both legs cut off is trying to drag himself away across the sand, and I was half expecting him to pop up, proclaim it just a flesh wound, and try to continue the fight.

I am going to have to watch all of I, CLAUDIUS again to get the taste out of my mouth. Pfui.



( 96 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jan. 23rd, 2010 11:13 pm (UTC)

It is appalling television... truly base.
Jan. 23rd, 2010 11:15 pm (UTC)
Agreed. I tried watching it twice, and each time I got bored halfway through. Starz has yet to make something I like.
Jan. 23rd, 2010 11:16 pm (UTC)
Yeeeeahuppp. I made that mistake too. Yipes.
Jan. 23rd, 2010 11:18 pm (UTC)
I will break my lurker silence just to say that I feel your pain so much. Rome was brilliant and I still haven't found anything to fill that void, it's horrible when great shows get cancelled on us (Deadwood...)!
Jan. 23rd, 2010 11:19 pm (UTC)
On the plus side, on Feb. 2 Robert Harris publishes (in the US) 'Conspirata,' the second of his highly entertaining three-volume trilogy about the career of Cicero. The first one, 'Imperium,' is essentially a legal/political thriller set in ancient Rome.
Jan. 24th, 2010 02:38 am (UTC)
Ooooh, thanks for this bit of good news. :) I loved Imperium.
(no subject) - werthead - Jan. 24th, 2010 10:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 23rd, 2010 11:22 pm (UTC)
make a game of thrones like Rome!
I like your taste! and I hope you have influenced filming enough to make Thrones as real-felt as Rome. I would be greatly disappointed if it turned out like spartacus, or any of the other crap out there.
Jan. 23rd, 2010 11:24 pm (UTC)
I'll bite your knees off!
Jan. 23rd, 2010 11:25 pm (UTC)
What a shame, but I'm glad for the warning. I, too, miss ROME... I might have gotten fooled too!
Jan. 23rd, 2010 11:26 pm (UTC)
Tried watching the first episode but there was too much blood and sex for my taste and not a bit of story so i don't think i'll get near another episode of it
Jan. 23rd, 2010 11:27 pm (UTC)
Yep. It took everything that was stylistically annoying in 300, made it worse, and presented it with all the gravitas of an episode of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. Simply awful television. One really wonders if it would not have been just as easy, with the same budget and resources, to have created something watchable.
Jan. 23rd, 2010 11:31 pm (UTC)
I don't think I have ever seen such ridiculous blood splattering shots. And I have seen ridiculous blood splattering shots.

I am now rewatching my DVDs of Rome to make me feel better. Where is my Rome movie?
Jan. 24th, 2010 10:52 pm (UTC)
On the ROME movie front, there's a script, HBO have indicated they're up for it, the set is still standing in Rome (apart from the bit which burned down) and Kevin McKidd has said he'll do it, and I'd expect Ray Stevenson to be up for it as well. It's just a question of it getting fully greenlit from the sound of it.
(no subject) - xanath - Jan. 24th, 2010 11:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 23rd, 2010 11:32 pm (UTC)
Here's hoping ASOIAF becomes the second Rome in hitting such quality :)
Jan. 23rd, 2010 11:36 pm (UTC)
I, Claudius was such a great series/miniseries.
Jan. 23rd, 2010 11:42 pm (UTC)
There, there. Derek Jacobi will take that terrible taste right out of your mouth. ♥
Jan. 24th, 2010 12:05 am (UTC)
Oh, good! Now I don't feel like I'm missing anything. HBO all the way!
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( 96 comments — Leave a comment )


George R.R. Martin
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