Saturday, 24 November 2012

Spartacus Vs Rome Series

Alright I know that I said my next review will be on Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows but this is more urgent and I have to write this before that!

I watched two seasons of Spartacus and I couldn’t bear to sit through a third. One question comes to mind…Why do Americans almost always ruin ancient Greek or Roman mythologies? Off the top of my head some of the big productions that sucked big time were: Troy(They did not even bother to find a Helen that looked like Helen, they found a German looking one instead!), Three Hundred (word to the wise…when you shout every important thing people tend to tune you out!), Clash of the Titans and the list goes on and on. Seriously don’t touch Greek mythology, you don’t get it so leave it alone!
Going back to the matter at hand: Spartacus series versus Rome Series. Well really there is no comparison whatsoever but I would like to hold a God-awful example against a good one.
The first time I tried to watch Spartacus I left it after the 2nd episode. One of our friends insisted that it gets better so I tried again. did get better only to the point of being watchable if you make an effort. The second season, which is like a backround to the original story, was God-awful and from what I could see in the third season (that is as far as I watched over my shoulder as I played my online game while husband watched it on the couch) simply sullied the good name of God-awful!
What bugged me?
Well to begin with, modern hair-cuts bugged me! The women who wear the fashionable hair of 21st century in the first season bugged me! Really? Seriously?
The yank looking Spartacus who replaced the actor after he died of cancer bugged me! Yea all Thracians look like Private Ryan for sure!
Thats the yank
The pornography bugged me! I am not against nudity or pornography in series or movies for as long as it is not there because the production seriously lacks insights and so they have to make money through horny teenager audience. Oh they have to throw in homosexuality too! Of course since they are going for the commerce there has to be something in it for everyone right? Oh and lets not rule out girl on girl...thats big money too!! Get some perspective geniuses!
The slow motion- marinara-sauced- screaming-as-if-your-nuts-are-being-squeezed-fight-scenes bugged me!!! Alright it became a hit with Three Hundred (actually I call it Baywatch in ancient times!) but do you have to use it in EVERY frigging fight scene? All I can hear is:


Ouuuffff just DIE already!
The Amazons coming out of nowhere bugged me! The slave women all of a sudden becoming elven archers after like training twice...yea that sounds real. If women are so much better than men in fighting and are so easily trainable then why the hell have we been sending men off to war???? Train a couple of housewives and you will get the best platoon or so it is conveyed in the series. And this comes from a woman!

Now that I am done, rightly trashing the Spartacus series, lets take a look at a Good example. HBO’s Rome. I am not going to get into the costumes and sets because although they do create the atmosphere you need it is not necessarily essential in a good production for as long as there is merit in the work. Example? BBC’s “I Claudius”. Costumes and decorations are old fashioned but the role acting, staying true to the scenario, Herculic work on part of the director make up for it and after like 30 years the production is still good as a theatrical work on television for those who know a little bit of history.
So what is it about Rome? Did it not have pornography? Did it not have elements that should not have been there? Did it not have commercial fear? Did it not have amazons? Did it not portary Livia with only one son, ruling out Drusus hence ruling out the fourth Ceasar Claudius? Did it not change history according to its wishes? At some points yes. It did but it still was one hell of a production because damn it the actors knew how to act, the director knew how not to base his work on cheap tricks but rather use them to increase his audience and the story was as true to the reality as it gets when talking about the directors’ and scenarists’ obsession to tweak the story lines (and even history) because it aint good enough and they know better (please note my sarcastic tone here!!)
But I watched Rome and I liked it. And then I watched it again and I liked it again. Because it was good work! It was a good story (history actually) with some important-to-the-story- pornography here and there. It lacked fight and battle scenes; I admit that. But hey that did not bother me one bit. The ones that were there satisfied me well enough.
What did Spartacus have? Some story thrown here and there between really tasteless and stupid pornography (FYI if I want to watch pornography I can find tons on the internet!) and fight scenes.
Rome is how it is done. Commercialism and a good work perfectly intertwined.
Spartacus is how it should not be done!
And Now I am done!