Rome : Season 1

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  • Series Premiere Date: Aug 28, 2005
Season #: 1, 2
Rome Image
Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.3

Universal acclaim- based on 177 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: "Rome" is the saga of two ordinary Roman soldiers and their families. An intimate drama of love and betrayal, masters and slaves, and husbands and wives, it chronicles epic times that saw the fall of a republic and the creation of an empire. The series begins in 52 BC, as Gaius Julius Caesar"Rome" is the saga of two ordinary Roman soldiers and their families. An intimate drama of love and betrayal, masters and slaves, and husbands and wives, it chronicles epic times that saw the fall of a republic and the creation of an empire. The series begins in 52 BC, as Gaius Julius Caesar has completed his masterful conquest of Gaul after eight years of war, and is preparing to return to Rome. He heads home with thousands of loyal battle-hardened men, huge amounts of loot in gold and slaves, and a populist agenda for radical social change. Terrified, the aristocracy threatens to prosecute Caesar for war crimes as soon as he sets foot in Rome. Caesar's old friend and mentor, Pompey Magnus, attempts to foment mutiny in order to maintain the balance of power. Two of Caesar's soldiers, Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo, thwart Pompey's plan and in the process, win the eternal gratitude of Caesar and the Julian clan, affording the two plebian officers an intimate view of the ruling class. The fates of Pullo and Vorenus become entwined with those of Caesar, Mark Antony, Cleopatra and the boy Octavian, a strange and awkward child who, by political guile and bloody force, will become the first emperor of Rome.(Source: HBO Press Release) Expand
  • Genre(s): Drama

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 25
  2. Negative: 2 out of 25
  1. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Jan 28, 2014
    100
    As good as Rome is -- and it's an epic, multilayered thing of beauty -- it's still not on the level of "The Sopranos" or "The Wire" or "Deadwood." That's almost an unfair comparison, but it's also true. On the other hand, "Rome" unfolds like a marvelously shot big-screen movie, each scene (filmed on location in Italy) dripping with money well spent and a meticulous grandeur that rewards you for paying extra for HBO.
  2. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Jan 28, 2014
    90
    Rome wasn't built in a day, the saying goes, and that applies to this show, too. It's a slow build that requires some effort on the part of viewers, but after the first three episodes, I was hooked. [28 Aug 2005, p.TV-3]
  3. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Jan 28, 2014
    88
    As extravagant, enticing and chaotic as Rome itself, HBO's latest series boasts all the opulent pleasures that lavish expenditures of time and money can buy. Every detail in its re-creation of ancient Rome may not be correct, but the spirit and the overall picture ring true -- and the entertainment value resounds.
  4. Reviewed by: Gillian Flynn
    Jun 18, 2013
    75
    Rome is most entertaining when it laces its wild, ancient antics with winks of the pedestrian.
  5. Boston Herald
    Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Jan 28, 2014
    75
    Less perverse than ``I, Claudius,'' more entertaining than ABC's toga twister ``Empire,'' Rome gets off to an uneven start. [25 Aug 2005, p.47]
  6. Reviewed by: David Bianculli
    Jan 28, 2014
    63
    After watching six episodes, I'm still not sold on the overall worth of this ambitious period drama.
  7. Newsday
    Reviewed by: Diane Werts
    Jan 28, 2014
    20
    Calling Rome a crushing disappointment would be accurate but too forgiving of its sordidly cockamamy fixations. Brutality and nudity rise in direct proportion to unpersuasive storytelling. Finding someone, anyone, to care about amid all this shock-value Sturm und Drang swiftly becomes an enervating chore. [26 Aug 2005, p.B33]

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Nov 14, 2011
    10
    Rome was completely thrilling to watch, their representation of the historic events was compelling and the story surrounding their charactersRome was completely thrilling to watch, their representation of the historic events was compelling and the story surrounding their characters Vorenus and Pullo were pretty capturing. Some of the sexual scenes felt like they were inserted for no real purpose but they were excusable. The finale was amazingly well done and it was really easy to get captured by the show and watch numerous episodes on end. Expand
  2. Feb 18, 2011
    10
    watching the back seasons now. one DVD at a time through netflix. can't wait for next 2 episodes. I love this show, and they did awatching the back seasons now. one DVD at a time through netflix. can't wait for next 2 episodes. I love this show, and they did a fantastic job with it. Pulo is my favorite character. Was a bit disappointed with the change of actor for role of Octavian, I thought the first actor was developing tremendously, but when he goes off to fight Mark Anthony the new actor just seems a bit shallow. That's my only negative, and the rest of the story continues to fascinate. Big fan of gladiator arena stuff, and I love the fight scene with Titus Pulo and Lucius Vorenus defending the honor of XIII in the arena. If you like gladiator arena genre, try playing Gladiatus online game. It's free to play. Click link to try game. http://s4.gladiatus.us/game/c.php?uid=82727 Expand
  3. Nov 28, 2011
    10
    This is my favorite TV show of all time. The acting is terrific and all of the characters have different strengths and flaws which make themThis is my favorite TV show of all time. The acting is terrific and all of the characters have different strengths and flaws which make them as believable as the person sitting next to you. I have never been this attached to characters and am swept away by their ups, downs, and fateful ends in some cases. Even the death of some characters which were primarily cruel, deceitful, or cowards leaves you with a sense of remorse. It is rare that a period piece can completely immerse you in the time and hold your attention with such realistic costumes and sets. Simple minded folk that are looking for just sex and violence, while their is plenty of both, might get bored during the excellent dialogue and character development which gives meaning to those many instances. The only gripe I have is that in the second and final season they replace Attia's son with a slightly grown up actor that looks like a deer in the headlights and it completely contradicts the young actor that portrayed a clever and engaged character in the first season. I still have to give this show a 10 because of how moved I was by it and how I still am moved when I reflect upon it. Expand
  4. Jan 12, 2015
    10
    Don't know what the critics were thinking on this one, although the original score for Breaking Bad was 71, they don't know what they areDon't know what the critics were thinking on this one, although the original score for Breaking Bad was 71, they don't know what they are doing. Personally this is one of the best series I have ever seen, the characters and scenes are incredibly well made and organised Enjoy! Expand
  5. Jan 11, 2014
    9
    There's extreme, relentless, at times mind numbing violence, graphic sexual scenes which includes orgies, lesbian scenes, homo scenes,There's extreme, relentless, at times mind numbing violence, graphic sexual scenes which includes orgies, lesbian scenes, homo scenes, pedophile scenes, all the works. There is barely a single sympathetic character in sight; there is not the slightest hint of anything humoristic and as always actual historical fact is twisted and turned into something that may be suitable for entertainment purposes but rather (over)stretches credulity at times – one wonders why, because it's not as if these people actually were a dull bunch leading uneventful lives. Yet "Rome" is strangely haunting and compelling. Often it does a good job of transporting the viewer to a world unencumbered by Christian sensitivities, particularly in its love of blood sports, its dealings with slaves, and its relaxed attitude to sex and public nudity. Most importantly, "Rome" conveys the constant sense of tension, intrigue and threat dominating the lives of those in power. Finally, a fairly good job was done of giving a realistic impression of the city itself; the amount of money spent on production was to put it lightly, "excessive", add in the fact the series was shot in Italy. It is, however, weird and rather silly that the characters speak English but throw in occasional Latin. Despite this, all British actors are simply superb. By far the most engaging plot is Polly Walker and Lindsey Duncan’s feud, subtly and vigorous with believable passion. This story line, along with many others, are braided together seamlessly. Season one of Rome is truly addictive entertainment which allows your brain to be engaged and hooked. Expand
  6. Dec 16, 2012
    9
    I was leaning very close to giving this an 8, but dammit, this show is just too amazing to downgrade. The sets, costumes, and all other periodI was leaning very close to giving this an 8, but dammit, this show is just too amazing to downgrade. The sets, costumes, and all other period pieces are just utterly fantastical. Plot is very interesting, acting is great, writing is very well done, and for being a show about history, there were several solid plot twists. My only issue with this season is that to a point, it does get slow, and I cant put my finger on it, but there is some missing element somewhere. Overall, amazing show, completely worth watching. Expand
  7. Sep 10, 2013
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The series got off to such a great start, Caesar has a great actor and is a pleasure to watch and Octavian was interesting. All of the political intrigue was done quite well. The soldiers were carried along quite well, no problems. Then Caesar died and the whole series came crashing down
    The two soldiers became a soap opera story and the series began to devote more and more time to their tiny tales of tiny people. The actually interesting part of the story, the intrigue, began to falter when Augustus Caesar was introduced. The actor just couldn't carry the man and he was no where near a replacement for Julius. Then they show the Egyptians as freeky deeky. I know they are a 3000 year old civilization by this stage but come on. Cleopatra is neither likable nor manipulative, at least in how the show portrays it. They simply say she is manipulative and cut to her getting what she wants, but as they say; the thrill is in the chase, never in the capture.
    The faltering second season just soured the whole thing for me. It became so slow and monotonous, it was just unbearable, I had to skip most of the soldiers sections for being so irrelevant. I'm watching Rome here, I want to see the Senate and the great family's. I don't need the producers creating some plebeians to try and relate to me. I can relate to other human beings just fine thanks, I don't care what their social status is.
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See all 16 User Reviews