I watched HBO's "Rome" yesterday. Here are my thoughts, based on my extensive knowledge of Roman history gained by reading Colleen McCullough books:

- Julius Caesar doesn't look right. This guy looks more like the real Caesar.
- They should have started earlier, with Sulla and Caesar's youth, so that we would understand why people loved him.
- The marketplace scenes of grimy peasants haggling with merchants over leeks looked much like a scene from Stargate SG1. I expected Teal'c to come through the Chappa Eye at any moment.
- Do you think ancient Roman women really shaved their chochas? I have doubts.
- Why do some people say "Pompei" and some say "Pompee"? Is Pompee a British thing?
- It was good to see the little Doogie Houser kid from Mander and Comaster as Octavian. He rocks.

My overall rating? Meh.


Anonymous said...

"Meh" is right. Rome could have been written by a drunk and horny E.L. Doctorow. Take a lot of uninteresting fictional characters and have them interact with static, two dimensional historical figures...then sit back and wait for the fun! Or not.

If you really want a good likeness of Julius Caesar, check out Peter Cushing in Star Wars as Grand Moff (another shaved chochas reference?) Tarkin. They also shared similar behaviors, I am told.

You bring up a good point about Caesar's youth. He was born in a modest apartment, lower class, man of the people, etc. But that's not why we love him. It's about the Pizza Pizza and that wonderful salad. I have to assume that Caesar's culinary contributions to society far outweighed his political legacy. Unfortunately, everything I know about Rome I learned from HBO and Caligula. When is Titus going to have some impudent slave cleaned up and brought to his room?

Oh yes, and did I see an anachronistic nod to the Blue Man Group in there? Who woulda' thunk they hailed from ancient Spain? Not I. Perhaps I need to spend more time perusing McCullough's work.

Jennifer said...

Well, color me embarassed. According to Beavershaver.com, Roman women did shave their chochas. Who knew?

Anonymous said...

It's me again. Roman women practiced a variety of depilatory techniques. Unfortunately, they used pumice stone a lot. So HBO is still wrong; the chochas may have been shaved, but for the sake of historical accuracy, I think we should have seen a little more chafing. The Roman Rash, I think they called it.

I was also thinking about the scenes in the city. I don't think the city's changed all that much. The last time I was in Rome, the streets looked just as squalid. The only difference was that the Centurions in front of the Coliseum were smoking Dunhills. The legionnaires under their command were posing for pictures with American tourists. They were smoking Camels. I suppose rank does have its privileges.