Continuing my theme of useless J-Unit information you probably aren’t interested in but will read anyway because it is still more interesting than what’s happening in your office, I would like to take a moment to plug the new HBO Original Series Rome. I was very nearly a Classics minor in college, but the fact that I had no interest in Latin as a language hindered me a bit. I figured why in the hell should I worry about translation when plenty of other people have done the work, and with much more attention to detail than I could have mustered after three games of pong? I would have done Greek and Roman Studies, but the class schedule would not work out with my major, anthropology. Undaunted, I took as many of those classes in Reed Hall as possible. And ask all of those girls who have fallen for my words from Pliny and Livy, I am a better man for it. (Actually, if you can find somebody who can read that last sentence and not laugh at how miserable it sounds, let me know.)
But back to the main point. The series brings viewers to the tumultuous time of ancient Rome, towards the end of the republic when fools like Cato and Pompey were running things. Caesar had just conquered the Gauls, and he was about to put the smack down on Rome as well. After some civil war and lots of fighting around the Mediterranean (including a little stop in Egypt for some Macedonian tail in the form of Cleopatra), he was named dictator for life, and then promptly got a nice little shiv (actually more than 20) from his friends in the Senate. All of that eventually led to the rise of the Roman Empire.
Normally, I would be loathe for any network to take on such an epic story (Armande Asante in The Odyssey, anyone?), but HBO is a network that could pull it off. Will it be historically accurate? To an extent, I am sure it will be, but this is television, so don’t expect any miracles. Will it be entertaining? Let’s be honest, it can’t be worse than Alexander. You should at least check a few episodes before it starts getting spanked by Desperate Housewives.
If you are interested in the series, there is a 30 minute preview at AOL and a 10 minute behind-the-scenes at Yahoo!. Barring any unforeseen change of events or piles of money, there won’t be any TVgasm recaps on Rome since you can already read what happens in, you know, books. Rome premieres this Sunday, August 28th, at 9PM Eastern, 6PM Pacific.