Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Rome (if you want to)

I got an email from my good friend HBO the other day letting me know that Sunday the second and final season of Rome will commence.

The new season picks up on the same day that last season ended, the Ides of March. Ceasar has been stabbed to death by the Senate (I can hear you Democrats squealing with glee), and Niobe, the exotic and beautiful wife of centurion Lucius Vorenus has just committed suicide after her husband learned the truth about her son.

Despite the raft of great shows on network TV this season (Scrubs, The Office, Heroes, Battlestar Galactica) HBO has almost single-networkly been responsible for the best programming on the idiot box.

Shows like The Sopranos, Deadwood and Rome (all of which are ending this year) show a true artistic vision, with snappy writing, realistic scenarios and amazingly beautiful cinematography (especially in HD). They pull no punches and challenge the viewer to pay attention to the complex plot lines. For some views, the complex story lines and inconsistent time lines were a turnoff for Rome in particular. But the payoff is worth it.

Unfortunately, historical dramas like Deadwood and Rome can be pretty expensive, what with building the period sets, procuring costumes, going on location and whatnot.

So it's been a great ride with some amazing programming. It will be sad when it's over, but I look forward to the next big thing they come out with.

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