The Button Man

The Roman plot thickens! I thought I'd finally got the first episodes of Rome unabridged but there's a scene in a B.B.C. recap that I didn't see (Titus hiding in the drinking water after the dice game). I can live with missing a scene - assuming it is just one - but they're not making it easy to be dedicated to this show. Is it some nefarious plot to make me buy a D.V.D. with "deleted" scenes? Oh, alright.

I, Claudius is a very theatrical telling of the history of Rome post-dating the events of the latest adaptation by a generation or two. It's worth a look if only to see Patrick Stewart with hair!

The characters in Rome have far more in common with those in The Sopranos than in any British "classic series" from the 1970s: they both show live in a society where the only loyalty is to one's own beliefs and one's family and you risk death if you cross somebody. Rome's are more sympathetic, however, because they don't have a larger perspective on the evil that they do whereas New Jersey's mafiosos do, yet they do it anyway. You forgive Niobe for having a child while her husband was at war because the army told her he was dead; you see the conflict between Pompey and Ceasar from both sides, how both men have the greatest respect for the Empire and are goaded into their actions; and you root for anyone opposite Atia of the Julii in a scene because she's such a manipulative bitch.

Two fictional characters will weave a path through all the social and political changes of the series, making it similar in concept to James Ellroy's trilogy of novels about the Kennedys. Titus Pullo is a centurion and Lucius Vorenus (pictured) is his X.O. I'll leave you with my favourite piece of dialogue so far, where the inexperienced Lucius has asked Titus for advice having been reunited with his wife after eight years. Titus has covered the romantic stuff already:

Pullo: And, when you couple with her, there's a spot just above her cunny. It's like a little button. Now, attend to that button and she will open up like a flower.

Vorenus: [suspiciously] How do you know this of her?

Titus Pullo: ALL women have them. Ask anyone!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Marcus! Just stopping by. I can't really comment on your last few posts cuz I'm not really down with that stuff. This post just looked so lonely with no comments.

Blogger thisismarcus said...

You're a sweetie, K. I guess nobody wanted to talk about clitorises!

Anonymous Shig said...

Just want to say that I don't have any strong objection in principle...

No reply from the BBC to my email about their sacking of ROME eps 1,2,3 yet; I suspect they won't bother.


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