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Review of HBO’s Epic Miniseries Rome

HBO, Pompey, The Sopranos, Western Civilization

HBO brings Rome, the ancient Italian city, to life in a gigantic spectacular production which boasts a 100 million dollar budget. It’s set, located entirely in Italy, is currently the largest standing in the world. The first episode drew 3.8 million total viewers, making it destined to be another HBO hit.

As anticipated, Rome is sexually graphic and violent with highly stylistic scenes that could never make it though regular network censorship. With the charm of an HBO original, it pushes the creative bar for dramatic cinema and keeps up with the tradition of the “Sopranos” and “Six Feet Under”. The first episode opens up with an extremely hot erotic scene of a couple having sex while being fanned by a slave and watched by other servants. What a beginning!! The results of which grabbed the audience and willing or not thrust them into the violent, sexual, and chaotic world: Rome in the time of Pompey and Julius Caesar. (52 B.C.).

One unique and interesting thing about Rome is it’s POV. The story is mainly told through the perspectives of 2 unknown Roman soldiers, Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo. This works superbly well and helps you relate to what an “average” Roman might have thought about in such a time. Most of America is probably not too up on western civilization, but HBO consulted historians and the entire costume collection is said to have been hand made with fabrics from that era. To this discredit of HBO I did find at least one historical error in the first episode. There were a couple historical errors that I caught. In one scene a roman mentioned paying off a debt in talons then proceeded to say and “not a penny more”.

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The bright colors, detailed sets, and vast landscapes make Rome visually impressive. Add to that great acting, historical intrigue and sharp dramatic scenes and you have a hit show. The critics are eating it up. If you miss an episode HBO replays each episode per week and if you don’t subscribe to premium cable, the DVD release is sure to follow. Rome has the potential to equal and even surpass shows like the Sopranos, and reestablishes HBO as a leader in provocative, edgy, and beautiful TV.

Reference:

  • HBO Official Site