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September 19, 2014

Rome: Kalends of February

by Ryan j Budke, posted Nov 29th 2005 5:27PM
romeFirst off, I'm extremely sorry for the tardiness of this post, I'm sure there's a joke somewhere out there about kidney stones, but I'm at a loss for it. Rome was one of the biggest and grandest shows I've ever seen on TV. It wasn't an "epic-miniseries" or "multi-night event", this was a complete television series, and on the largest scale. The finale certainly upheld the high standard that the foregoing shows set, even if the Egypt episodes slowed the pace a little for me. I'm sorry to speak of it in past tense, but there are many rumors that production on the second season has been halted and if it comes back at all, they will show the few filmed episodes as a mini-series. You know me, I hope it's not true, but it doesn't sound good. So while we still can-- On with the show!

There's been too much tension, and with everything way too peachy-keen at the beginning of this episode, you just knew the bottom was going to drop out, and hard. Lucius and Niobe picked out a expanse of land to build their new estate on, and then consumated the soil. Caesar was actually working towards Rome's future. Unfortunately, his ideas of giving every man an equal vote and say were a couple thousand years too early. Caesar's actions frightened those already with power, and they plotted the demise of this "tyrant" and his ways. Both the group and Brutus realized that Brutus himself must be the centerpiece of this coup. Without a Brutus holding the knife, the general public would never approve of the overthrow and turn back on itself, plunging Rome into another civil war.

Servilia, with motives all her own, pressures her son into turning on his friend. The would be overthrowers' biggest concern was Lucius Vorenus, the newly crowned Senator and Caesar's unofficial bodyguard. With his newfound fame for being a badass, Lucius is nigh-untouchable. Servilia, however, knows the chink in his armor; his grandson Vorena, is not his grandson -- he's Niobe's son from an affair. After he is "leaked" this information, Lucius immediately leaves Caesar's side to go confront his wife. Devastated with the fact that her husband knows her horrible secret, Niobe takes her own life. With Lucius gone, the scheming Senators hold Mark Antony outside, leaving Caesar truly alone. Inside, with all of the new representatives watching, the old power kills Caesar.

As I said above, the middle part of this show seemed to slow down for me. The Egyptian episodes just seemed misplaced, and especially now that the show may not be coming back, they seem much more bittersweet. Bittersweet because, although they were great, I'd rather have more of what happened in Rome than those. Everyone in this show did a fantastic job, but I think a few of the standout roles were those who played Titus, Atia and Servilia. The lovable brute, the outright bitch, and the hurt, yet quietly scheming, matriarch. It's funny that looking back, the downfall of this early republic was all because of two femme fatales. Rome, please come back. Let me know what you think.

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Brian

First, I'm glad you came back with a final writeup of the season, and I hope you're recovering well. Second, it would really be a shame if we didn't get a 2nd season of Rome. They did a great job of creating an historical fictional series that was beautifully filmed, had interesting storylines and also covered the history of that period relatively accurately. The Egypt episodes did a great job of setting the stage for Antony's future alliance with Cleopatra and his eventual defeat at Actium. Also, Octavian's character would become much more interesting as his actions after the death of Caesar were bold and set the stage for his becoming Emperor. I can see where Titus Pullo would have a main role in raising the armies' loyalty to Octavian and his serving Octavian in some other role, as well. Overall, just a really well-acted, well-written, interesting series. Here's hoping it continues.

December 02 2005 at 8:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob

If HBO cancels this show I may have to give up on them. Rome was the most gorgeous TV production maybe ever, besides being smart and surprising and beautifully performed and directed. Im serious, if HBO doesnt have the brains (or balls) to keep this brilliant show Ill just have to drop them. Especially since they'd already lost my loyalty when they cancelled "The Comeback". Come on HBO - grow a pair!

November 30 2005 at 4:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
L'Emmerdeur

Rome is the only reason I kept HBO, when I recently chopped the other premium channels from my cable service. Only two other shows inspire symptoms of addiction: The Shield and Battlestar Galactica.

November 30 2005 at 1:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ben

I hear ya Ryan. If Rome doesn't come back I'll be very upset. I wished it had of been a 22 episode season instead. That would have prevented the need to rush through so much history and storylines, and would have allowed for richer characters. Lets hope we get out second season, and even our third season. (I've tried a divine appeal on my blog, so far no luck: http://bend.wordpress.com/2005/11/29/dear-god/)

November 30 2005 at 2:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Walt

Would the ending of ROME automatically kill all propects of any other Roman era TV series? I was really looking forward to ROME opening the way to a possible future series starring Lindsey Davis' character, Marcus Didius Falco (cynical detective, circa 74AD). I'm afraid ROME's high cost, mediocre raves and weak British response will automatically kill any other possible Roman Era series.

November 29 2005 at 10:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
thalidar

Octavian was adopted and named heir posthumously in Caesar's will, so the natural time to cover this would be in the first episode of next season.

November 29 2005 at 8:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike

HBO seems determined to piss me off. Deadwood delayed, Rome possibly not returning (UK ratings not good may be partly to blame). I'm strongly considering cancelling HBO till March or even June when Deadwood comes back. By now, EVERYONE knows that virtually ALL HBO original programming becomes available on DVD eventually. If I can learn to wait well over a year for Deadwood (I stopped caring about Sopranos 9 months ago)what's a few more months to wait for the DVD. Please bring back Rome!

November 29 2005 at 7:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Akbar Fazil

Keep in mind that the egyptian episodes will help set up future storylines for next season. Marc Anthony and Cleo getting it on (and in history actually had a few kids) Agustus (Octavian) killing Ceasarian so he does not have to worry about any ursurper to his throne. My main concern was that we saw NONE of Julius adopting Octavian as his son which will then give him the right to be the next Ceaser. It will be interesting to see how they handle that.

November 29 2005 at 5:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike

HBO seems determined to piss me off. Deadwood delayed, Rome possibly not returning (UK ratings not good may be partly to blame). I'm strongly considering cancelling HBO till March or even June when Deadwood comes back. By now, EVERYONE knows that virtually ALL HBO original programming becomes available on DVD eventually. If I can learn to wait well over a year for Deadwood (I stopped caring about Sopranos 9 months ago)what's a few more months to wait for the DVD. Please bring back Rome!

November 29 2005 at 5:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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