Thursday, August 25, 2005

Every City Has It’s Secrets…And so do I

Grab your toga, my friends and countrymen. It’s time to trade in your desperation for debauchery Sunday night at 9 p.m. when HBO unleashes Rome.

I haven’t been this excited about watching a pilot since, well honestly, since Lost premiered. So, it wasn’t that long ago. Speaking of Lost, we’ll get to that. But first, the hot, wild city…

I will admit, if this was a series about, say, the Incas called Machu Picchu, I probably wouldn’t be nearly as interested. Yes, I’m fanatical about the ancient (western) world. I find it mind boggling the things that the Greeks, Roman, Egyptians, Persians, Babylonians, and Jews were able to accomplish culturally, philosophically, and militaristically. This was an era where men’s lives became legend; when men became Gods. Suddenly, with the birth of Christianity, it all fell apart. There are lessons to be learned here, but I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions about that.

Politically speaking, I’ve always found America to be a modern age Rome. Now more than ever, I think many could draw parallels between the age of Julius Caeser and our current senators. So, it would make sense to set Rome, the series, in 52 B.C. when the country was still a Republic – not yet an empire. Let the drama unfold.

Here’s what the website has to say about the world we’re stepping into:

"You rarely see onscreen the complexity and color that was ancient Rome," says co-creator, executive producer and writer Bruno Heller. "It 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. We see the same problems today - crime, unemployment, disease, and pressure to preserve your place in a precarious society. There's the potential for social mobility, if you're smart. "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."

Rome is a joint venture between HBO and BBC, the same creative team behind the wildly successful mini, Band of Brothers. HBO has assembled the best of the best to bring Rome into our homes. The creative force behind this project is phenomenal. The first season features directors from The Sopranos, Entourage, Carnivale, Six Feet Under, Band of Brothers, The Wire, Deadwood and Sex and the City. The first three episodes were helmed by Michael Apted, director of the Academy Award winning Coal Miner's Daughter and producer of Dracula (FFC’s 1992).

Episode teasers are available as well as downloads (including Firefox Skins) and other behind the scenes video at Rome’s official site, here.

Elsewhere in the land of television…

For those of you other castaways dying to know what the PTB have in store for our island buddies this upcoming season including what happen in the tail of the plane, gobble down this tidbit from Damon Lindelof:

"We know she [Michelle Rodriguez’s character] was sitting in the tail section of the plane, so we know that there was at least one other survivor of the crash who's been out there leading this sort of Tom Hanks-ian castaway existence by herself.”

“…I think people are really compelled to see what's been going on with her for the last 45 days. She's had her whole own second show going on, we just weren't watching it. So, when she joins the cast, she has two backstories: (1) everything that happened pre-crash, and (2) everything that happened between the crash and when we meet her. We're gonna tell that story in one awesome concept episode.”

Thank you to my hero, Kristin Veitch for the info. Kristin promises a Lost-apaloozaa update pre season two. I can’t wait!

Now, how shocked was I to log onto Kristin’s column this week where I learned about James Marsters! I felt like Brody upon learning Stan Lee was in the mall! (That’s right, I’m a Mallrats fan too.) I mean really, James Marsters! How does something like this get past me?

So, here’s the deal. Marsters has been tapped at the Big Bad or “nemisis” to one Clark Kent on the upcoming season of Smallville playing Brainiac/Dr. Fine in six to ten episodes including the premier. Mmmm… James….

Lest any of you be confusing James for his alter ego Spike (a.k.a. William the Bloody), he will be sporting his natural brown locks and also natural American accent on Smallville.

Here’s a tidbit from the Kristin’s interview.

KV: Smallville's now on Thursdays at 8 p.m., up against Joey, Survivor and Alias. They need you.
JM: Wow. It is? That's gonna be interesting. Oh, we will smash them, Survivor with their weak story plot points. We will smash them with fiction. We will cream them with metaphor. Verisimilitude, my junky bottom. We're creating an immaculate reality that beats reality any day.

To which I say, wow – that’s hot. I might actually watch an episode.

Now for my final thought of the day, maybe some of you could answer. Why is it that I often fall in love with fictional characters? I mean, I fell in love with Holden Caulfield long before a “real boy.” The ironic thing is that when the real boy came along, he was definitively Holdenesque. And so the pattern continues my whole life thus far:

overly intelligent, depressed, sarcastic and creative boys
(five o’clock shadow is a bonus)
Minus the real life flesh and bone boys I’ve known, there was Holden, Gary Oldman as Beethoven in Immortal Beloved, Josh Jackson as Pacey on Dawson's Creek, Joquin Phoenix in Quills, Marster’s as Spike, and my newest fictional crush… Dr. Greg House. I find Hugh Laurie absolutely mesmerizing as House, so much so that I really don’t care that the rest of the show is somewhat lame. I just sit and stare at him, like a drunken schoolgirl at a college party who's not drunk enough yet to blurt out her feelings in an embarrassing soliloquy - but will by the end of the night. Which is why I don’t understand Laurie’s nick name… he was once nicknamed Boris because his features are vaguely reminiscent of “Frankenstein” star Boris Karloff.

I guess when it comes to wanting what you can’t have; I take it to the next level. Well, actually I do have what I want. If you’ve ever met Ben, you know what I mean. :0) Is this a usual psychological Nurse Betty condition I have, or does everyone crush on fiction?
Now, I’m getting all giddy.
If you’re overloaded on my TV posts, sit tight as I have some indie movie reviews to get posted.
Until next time my friends.


At 6:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're definitely not the only one that crushes on fictional characters.

Kaylee Frye
Elliot Reed
Natalie Hurley
Daisy Adair
Summer Roberts
Veronica Mars


At 10:48 AM, Blogger Mitchell - Crumrine said...

Thanks, it's nice to know when you're not alone in your neuroses. I did realize something last night though while eating dinner, that Dr. House is pretty much an old(er) version of my fiance - looks wise anyway. Their personalities aren't that far off either come to think of it. Ben is to music as House is to medicine. I guess boys are like fashion designers - when you find what you like and what fits you're loyal forever.


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