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If a history lesson is to be taught this way, there is a chance one may never forget it. HBO joins hands with BBC to bring to the front an epic tale set during the days of Roman Republic with high production values, excellent cast and featuring raw violence and nudity a supposed norm of the time.
The story is mostly seen in the perspective of two legionnaries Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo and starts from 52 BC when Pompey Magnus the power house of Roman politics and once a mentor of Julius Caeser openly declare him as a traitor through the persuasion of Cato after the death of his wife (married as a political alliance who is also the daughter of Juius Caeser). Caeser is summoned to relieve his legioins and to face the trial in Rome. Instead of fleeing or working on a truce, Caeser decides to march his entire army to Rome. With this unexpected maneuvre and Pompey along with his followers Cato, Cascus, Brutus etc decide to flee Rome and bring back the fight once they power up. Caeser along with Mark Antony devise their precise strategy and an army of veterals well trained and practiced crush every attempt of Pompey and his followers. With a shrewd mind Caeser also acquires the right publicity to gain the loyalty of his people. The show does not only deal with the historically important facts of the kings, kingdoms and aristocrats, but also the common man's life in Rome during the time through various characters. The season starts from Caeser being an army general of the legions to announcing himself dictator of Rome and concludes in the historic assasination on the Ides of March.
The set designs, costumes, general production values are top notch. A special mention will go to Polly Walker who plays the character Atia of Julii a beauiful woman and also the mother of Octavian (Augustus Caeser in the future) who is wickedly manipulative and resorts to seduction, torture and even murder to get what she wants. There is ample amount of graphic voilence in crucifying people, beheadings and general war gore. The other important factor that works for TV is the sexual content. There is ample nudity, seduction, orgies etc, to hook an average viewer who is not even remotely interested in History. The writing and screenplay leaves very few dull moments since the time chosen is interesting and the fictional characters too are well etched to ooze life into every frame. It also works as a good history lesson since it matches to Wikipedia's facts 100% but also carves deep into your memory with its perfect drama. Some aspects that could have been better is to show Caeser's war tactics to defeat Pompey and his followers. There were historic wars in Caeser is heralded for his maneuvres but nothing is shown here with war and his tactics are completed in the background and is only mentioned by other characters as a side note.
Sex, violence and history brought together by HBO to deliver one of the most entertaining TV series.
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