Sunday was the first episode of HBO’s Rome series. Stick, being the Greatest Boyfriend Ever actually ordered HBO just so we could watch it. The story begins at a point everyone recognizes, with Caesar in Gaul and Pompey home waiting for him.
So far, Caesar is an unstoppable military genius and Marc Antony is his heir apparrent. Their slightly dull attempt at comradely banter can be explained away as plot exposition. Brutus comes home to extol the virtues of the Gauls, like a college kid who’s just discovered communism, and he announces a bit too readily, that he has no head for politics. Rome differs from six thousand historical novels because it shows the young Octavius as an entitled brat.
One of the scriptwriters did some serious research, and mentions Octavia’s first husband. Stick says that the armor and weapons were quite accurate, personally I was hiding behind a pillow during the battle scenes. The Roman fashions were great, everyone’s wearing yellows, greens, dark reds and browns.The women dye their hair and paint their faces, and get this, only the senators wear purple-bordered togas!
On the negative side, this is really bloody. Really bloody. Just because you’re HBO and you CAN be violent doesn’t mean you have to be. There were two scenes which just turned my stomach.
Also, there was some slight Forrest Gump-ing of the fictional protagonists, but I’ll go with it fort he first episode. As long as they’re not passing by the forum for the assassination of Caesar next week…
Finally, does anyone know why Cato was wearing a black toga on the senate floor? Does it mean something? Or was white just too expensive to maintain?