Rome Season One
(Yes, Aerial Telly is aware this is not a "current" TV review. He has a constant backlog of TV to watch and assess. He was probably busy sexing your "girlfriend" at the time this was on so back the fuck up).
Some things remain eternal. If antiquity teaches us anything it’s that smashing a girls’ husbands brains in should not be a bar to macking her shortly afterwards. And as season one of Rome ended, Titus Pullo (Kevin McKidd) took Eirene‘s (Chiara Mastalli) hand, as they walked up a grassy Roman hill. She’s forgiven him for the whole husband murder business. It was he who freed her from slavery after all and women do like those big romantic gestures. Things are not looking so good for Vorenus (Ray Stevenson) however, as he cradled his dead wife. Niobe (Indira Varma) had taken an unscheduled back flip off their balcony, during a tricky conversation with Vorenus as she explained exactly why she had been passing off her son Lucius, fathered by her brother-in-law while Vorenus skewered Gaels in the Gallic War, as their grandson. She was struggling to come up with the words and found suicide a better option. This was a tactical error. Men don’t like those big death gestures.
"If antiquity teaches us anything it’s that smashing a girls’ husbands brains in should not be a bar to macking her shortly afterwards."
Something Julius Caesar (Ciarán Hinds) can appreciate having been horribly murdered by the Senate4Life crew (P3WNED!!!!!! ONE LUV). The final blow being struck by his homie Brutus (Tobias Menzies). There was no Shakespearean "Et tu, Bruté?" from the tyrant, just a look that said "I suppose a blowjob’s out of the question?" before the conflicted brute stuck his weapon deep into the man he had regarded as a father. It was all so terribly Freudian. With the current spate of knife murders in the UK it’s strangely comforting to recall that even the ancients had difficulties with a knife culture. What’s Latin for "increase the peace"?
“Julius Caesar is horribly murdered by the Senate4Life crew (P3WNED!!!!!! ONE LUV)”
Not a phrase you’ll be hearing round at Servilia’s (Lindsay Duncan). The icy redhead was getting pissy with the scheming Atia (Polly Walker). "The tyrant is dead," Servilia tells her "The Republic is restored. And you are alone." Servilia informs her enemy she intends to make her suffer "slowly and deeply, as you made me suffer". The phoney friendship between the two finally acknowledged as raging hatred. Atia did split up Servilia and Caesar and did have her stripped and beaten in the street so you can understand Servilia being vexed.
"Politically astute and wise beyond his years, Gaius also finds time for the fun things in life like fucking the living shit out of his sister."
This doesn’t cut much ice with Atia’s son the young Gaius "Gay Ass" Octavian (Max Pirkis), destined to become the first and greatest Emperor of Rome, Caesar Augustus. Politically astute and wise beyond his years, he also finds time for the fun things in life like fucking the living shit out of his sister. Axe-threatened Brookside seems tame by comparison. It has been pointed out that there’s a lot of fucking in Rome. It is an earthy, lewd Rome it portrays – childish sex drawings mark the city walls. The Romans certainly did like to get it on, whether it was Caesar and Cleopatra or Pullo and one of his whores. This is fine by me as long as they keep it to the sexually attractive people. You can talk about it being in context and developing the plot all you like – we just don’t want to see two munters going at it like a pair of wolves, making noises like two hyenas in a blender.
“We just don’t want to see two munters going at it like a pair of wolves, making noises like two hyenas in a blender.”
It is a powerful convincing recreation of Rome with its mixture of political sophistication, cruelty and bawdy plebeian life. Pullo and Vorenus are involved in all the major historical events of the time. We see these through their eyes giving us a sense of history unfolding in the personal lives of the ordinary man. Humanising the titanic figures of Rome, making them recognisable flawed figures is the biggest achievement of this production. That and making Polly Walker sexually attractive – amazing what a wig and some make-up can do.
The best thing about it: Lovely slave pie, Eirene
The worst thing about it: Occasional lapses into scenery chewing from the leads
The verdict on Rome Season One: A whole lot better than that bag of shit Gladiaturd from that hack Ridley Scott.
Marks out of 10: 7.5