A note for others of you who have gotten to or who get to the end of Rome jonesing for more lusty ancient depravity and backstabbing: If you haven't already done so, you absolutely must check out the BBC's '70s adaptation of Robert Graves' I, Claudius. Conveniently, this series begins about a dozen years after Rome's finale. You might find Brian Blessed's older, seemingly more genial Caesar Augustus hard to adjust to compared to Simon Woods' icy, calculating Octavian, but Livia, Agrippa and other characters will seem quite familiar. Plus, you'll get to meet several more generations of power-hungry Julio-Claudians (from Tiberius through Nero), all viewed from the standpoint of Derek Jacobi's frequently-underestimated Claudius--well worth it, trust me on this.
Those of us who've already seen I, Claudius will of course have to be contented with the modern depravity and backstabbing that will be on view in that familiar Sunday-night spot again starting tomorrow, when the final half-season of The Sopranos gets underway.
Speaking of The Sopranos, fans who haven't checked out 7 Years of The Sopranos in 7 Minutes (and who aren't afraid of spoilers) should get clicking, right now; it's a great summary, and excellent preparation for tomorrow night.
On Saturday, I ventured out into the uncharacteristically Arctic night air we're experieicing in Seattle again to see Casino Royale a second time. ( You Know My Name )
Sunday night, ryuusama hosted the premier episode of HBO's Rome, which shall we say paralleled events in Act III, Scene II of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. ( Not To Praise Him )
Echoing HBO's first major hit drama, The Sopranos (yes, yes, I watch a lot of HBO--just on DVD, mind), Big Love portrays a family who are in a whole lot of ways just like the network's demographic--suburban, relatively affluent--except not. The message seems to be something like: look, they're like you, but nothing like you, their family values are not yours. Or even close.
Rather than being mobbed up, however, the family on Big Love, if you haven't heard, are polygamists. ( The Angel Moroni Goes to Suburbia )
Also, kudos to the show's producers for choosing a brilliantly counterintuitive musical theme for the title sequence: the Beach Boys' "God Only Knows" ...
As I'm coming to the end of Season One, I'm also developing an appreciation for the dialogue's idiosyncratic mix of Victorian elocution and frontier twang. The language is generally profane, unfailingly pithy (as when Cochran swears "Well, if this is His [i.e., God's] will, He's a son of a bitch!") and even occasionally veers toward genuine eloquence (as when Sol ventures that "People have made good lives out of borrowed ones, before").
Also, I can't help noticing by how much Deadwood's resource-extraction/prostitution-based economy resembles Bill Speidel's accounts of early Seattle ...
Cole Younger: What does the winner get?
Belle Starr: Nothin' both of you ain't already had.
Cole Younger: Don't hardly seem worth it.
Belle Starr: It ain't. You're both crazy, but you do keep me amused. I am having a real good time.
I know a lot of people on my flist got into Firefly a long time ago, and have been eagerly anticipating the premiere of Serenity for eons. My situation is a little different: I actually saw the entire Firefly series (thanks, verbicide!) and the movie during the past three weeks.
OK, I get it: the "wagon train to the stars" aspect was perhaps a mite overdone (I'm thinking especially of the 19th-century American frontier slang, the retro guns, the ... horses), but I liked the storytelling style, the dialogue, the visuals, the characters (I think--depends on what they do with them, beyond episode 3 ...). Also, I really love the "You can't take the sky from me" theme (yes, wailing fiddles and Waylon Jennings-style vocals and all).
So, it turns out that these discs are really, really hard to come by, at the moment. Anyone have a copy of disc two that I can borrow, before I shell out the money to see Serenity? :)