Rome, Season 2 (USA/UK/Italy, 2007)

Rome-Season-1-PosterCreated by: John Milius, William J. MacDonald, and Bruno Heller. Caesar? I barely knew her! Apparently, I sort of kind of liked the last season, but not a ton. In my memory, it was a really enjoyable show and I greatly looked forward to seeing the second season and seeing how it all wrapped up, but apparently I didn’t anticipate it that eagerly because over a year passed before I bothered to go down to the library and pick it up. Everything I said about the first season applies here. The acting is fantastic: Kevin McKidd and Ray Stevenson are a great team, but I’d be lying if I said that this show could survive on the weight of those two characters alone. This is truly an ensemble piece, bolstered by the many discrete conflicts and character arcs—the death feud between Atia and Servilia (played amazingly by Polly Walker and Lindsay Duncan), Atia’s conflicts with her own kids, Octavia and Marcus Agrippa, the servant Posca, the Jewish bodyguard Timon, the whole thing with young Octavian and Mark Antony, old Octavian and Mark Anthony, and the whole thing with Cleopatra and Mark Antony. Throughout the whole series, James Purefoy’s portrayal of Mark Antony was one of the high marks, the portrayal of Antony as a slimy heel, a playboy who obviously doesn’t stand a chance next to the single-mindedness of the boy Octavian. The whole series, really, was quite well done, and complimented quite well from all of the great performances (look at the damn IMDB), really left a good taste in my mouth when it was done. Perhaps the only subplot that was kind of…off…were the parts set in the collegia with Vorenus and Pullo, the whole thing with the gang lords, the tongue cutting, the slave girl with dreadlocks…all that stuff was a bit, I dunno…lame. But other than that, this show was awesome. Probably my favourite thing about the whole series was the newsreader, played by Ian McNeice, whose shaky jowels and exaggerated theatrical movements were the single greatest source of delight in the whole series, enough that I’d eagerly watch a third season just to keep watching that newsreader. For that matter, even though in principle I like short TV shows, and even though this show didn’t really do big battles that well, and even though the longer you watch it, the more aware you become that this is, in fact, not history, but a TV show with a set budget and a set decorator, etc, it would still be really satisfying in a reptile-nerd way, to see a TV show that just keeps on following the Roman Empire through its ups and downs. Really, check out Seutonius and tell me that it’s not really interesting! Anyway, check this show off the list, and chalk up some Ian McNeice movies.

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2 responses to “Rome, Season 2 (USA/UK/Italy, 2007)

  1. Pingback: List of Judgements, Anno Domini 2015 | Offhand Reviews·

  2. Pingback: High Rise (UK, 2016) | Offhand Reviews·

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