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[personal profile] fable
HBO has a great webpage describing the background of the series here. I love these quotes from Bruno Heller, the executive producer and writer for the series:

"[Rome] has more in common with places like Mexico City and Calcutta than quiet white marble. Rome was brightly colored, a place of vibrant cruelty, full of energy, dynamism and chaotic filth. It was a merciless existence, dog-eat-dog, with a very small elite, and masses of poverty."

I think that's what I like about this series the most. As [livejournal.com profile] thecaelum said here, the city is just as vibrant and dynamic, cruel and remarkable, as any of the characters. I usually hate don't care for movies/series based on classical times. But Rome I'm completely spellbound by.

"Human nature never changes," continues Heller, "and the great thing about the Romans, from a dramatic perspective, is that they're a people with the fetters taken completely off. They had no prosaic God telling them right from wrong and how to behave. It was a strictly personal morality, and whether or not an action is wrong would depend on whether people more powerful than you would approve. You were allowed to murder your neighbor or covet his wife if it didn't piss off the wrong person. Mercy was a weakness, cruelty a virtue, and all that mattered was personal honor, loyalty to yourself and your family."

This take also fascinates me, and I agree with Heller, human nature never changes. And the ideology we have now, in theory if not in practice (and a rather theoretical theory at times), that each life is precious, was inverted, for life was known, acknowledged, assumed to be very cheap. And the sheer viciousness of it all, the gladiator games, slavery, poverty, the violence and careless cruelty prevalent in what some call the most civilized empire of ancient times, the dichotomy of that is something I find endlessly intriguing. And I love that the show doesn't pull any punches showing that, that it isn't Rome filtered through 20th century ideals, as most shows/movies of this nature are, that even in the most conservative, idealistic characters in this series such as Lucius, the expounder of duty and stoicism, slavery was not just never questioned, but thought to be a good thing, a thing that could bring him profit.

Summary: I think this show rocks. When's the next episode coming out? XD
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