Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Having studied a lot of Roman History in high school, when I took Latin, I was excited to see the previews for Rome, the new show on HBO in the fall. Then I also saw a commercial recently for Empire, the new show on ABC that started last night. I watched the whole thing. Wow! Did it suck! First of all, I think the main thing you need to do in any work about Rome is to convey the majesty and greatness of it. This show failed miserably to do that. It looked like the entire city was located in someone's backyard. Also, I don't remember enough of the specifics of the history I studied to know if it was as accurate as it should have been, and while all the main points seemed to fit with what I remember, it still seemed off somehow. Maybe it was the focus on the slave that Caesar enlisted to protect Octavius, that didn't feel right. Also, the acting, dialog, all that, just wasn't very good. I doubt I'll watch next week, but maybe if nothing else is on. ABC has had a lot of new shows I have really liked lately, so this one sucking so bad was disappointing.

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Francesca said...

Oh, hell. I missed it. I usually watch all that crap, just to see how Hollywood is screwing with history. But when I watch things like Gladiator I try to let go of my knowledge of history and just see it as pure entertainment. I can't do that with Discovery Channel-type stuff, because that is supposed to be actually somewhat accurate. But it's usually so sensationalized that I start yelling at the YV about halfway through.

John Howard said...

Yeah, I liked Gladiator, even thought it wasn't very accurate. It was definitely entertaining.

What's a YV?

Francesca said...

Oops, TV.

Christiana said...

I recorded last night's ep, but haven't watched it yet. I expect it to be yet another example of the difference between HBO and network shows.

Now, I don't think it's just as simple as HBO's ability to use more blood, nudity and swearwords, though that's part of it.

Another part, I think, is that they can show it without commercials.

But the biggest by far, I think, is that they really take their time with their shows. Sure, it means shorter seasons and the seasons are farther apart, but boy, the extra time and effort that goes into writing and producing these shows makes a hell of a difference.

Did you watch Six Feet Under on Monday? What a great example. How on earth do they manage to make characters sympathetic at the same time that they are hugely screwed up? Good writing and acting, that's how.

John Howard said...

I agree completely about HBO, the quality is usually far superior. I'll watch any new show they put on at least once just to give it a chance, and I'll likely keep watching. That said, the latest one I saw, The Comeback, really sucked.

But anyway, I don't think the faults in this show are in anyway due to limitations that they have by being on a network. I think they just did a lousy job. Let me know what you think when you do watch it, but to me, it just felt really cheap. And I know ABC can produce good shows. Lately, they've had three new shows that I really like.

I watched Six Feet Under, as I always do. That is a really great show. Those people are all seriously fucked up. But very interesting, and you're right, sympathetic.