Saturday, January 13, 2007

All Hail The Second And Final Season Of Rome!

Absolutely loved the first season of Rome, which I watched on dvd and no, I don't have HBO, but I just read a great article by Tim Goodman of the SF Chronicle about the second season which starts this Sunday.

"Few television series have benefited from a handy Web site, timely reruns and even Google searches more than "Rome," HBO's ambitious, sometimes untidy but superbly nuanced epic.

Given that Season 1 aired in 2005, that should hardly come as a surprise -- it's hard enough mentally recapping an episode of your favorite series from last week. But there's also the issue of whether Americans know their history (or more accurately, Roman history beyond the whole Brutus-Caesar thing). Given our notorious attention spans (and possible lack of education), the HBO time lag between seasons and the mixture of fiction with history (and the historical inaccuracies and dramatic liberties that go with it), who can blame a viewer for needing guidance?

HBO will kick off the second -- and final -- season of "Rome" on Sunday, but the pay cable channel has been leading up to its return with reruns from the acclaimed first season (which featured 12 episodes as opposed to this season's 10). Those reruns should be jumped into immediately if you want to fully enjoy the bloody fabric of this tale. And don't forget to visit www.hbo.com for what may be a mandatory brush-up on key players (there are many) as well as the occasional Web search about how much of "Rome" is historically accurate. (To save you the hassle, the consensus is that when in Rome, all is well; when in Egypt with Cleopatra, not so much. And it helps to remember, if you're feeling scholarly and uptight, that "Rome" may be a sprawling, impressive costume drama, but it's also not a documentary and, in the interest of drama and getting on with it, some liberties were indeed taken.)

By the way, if you're curious as to why this is the final season -- diehard fans will certainly want more than they'll be given -- "Rome" was originally intended as a miniseries, but HBO liked the quality of the first episodes it saw and immediately gave the green light to a second season; however, even as a co-production with the BBC and others, "Rome" cost more than $100 million. "

Rest of the article here.

Why do I get the sinking feeling that the British get to watch this series on the BBC and here it has to be shown on a cable channel so as not to hurt the delicate sensibilities of the population?

Probably because it has too much sex and not because it has too much violence.
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