Monday, August 29, 2005

HBO fiddles while Rome becomes some tired-ass play on words that expresses how deeply lame it is

Sex and the City. Gone.
Six Feet Under. Gone. Beautifully, beautifully gone.
The Sopranos. Was gone, but apparently will now sit up on the autopsy table and spit out one more mouthful of blood before expiring forever.

So I really wanted HBO's new series, Rome, to be good, or at least engaging. And the opening credits (animated graffitti scrawls), while stupid, at least promised a fresh approach.

But no go. Bor-ing! Honk-shoo television at its most expensive.

First of all, why oh why oh why did they not break the first commandment of the staid "ancient Rome" drama: British accents! All the Romans speak with British accents! It's like they're not credible as villains, or important people otherwise.

My advice? Rent "I, Claudius" the wonderful BBC series from the 70s. Sure, the studio sets are cheesy, but there's never been a better villian than Livia, as played by Sian Phillips. And Derek Jacoby in the title roll and John Hurt as Caligula so own their roles that they sorta make you understand why everyone thinks the ancient Romans were British.

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