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Rome: The Complete Second Season [DVD] 
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All ten episodes from the second season of the popular historical drama series. With Caesar dead, Rome is in a state of flux as its citizens to see who will assume power. Political manoeuvring is the name of the game as Mark Antony (James Purefoy) and Brutus (Tobias Menzies) vie for control, each eager to assume ultimate power. Episodes are: 'Passover', 'Son of Hades', 'These Being the Words of Marcus Tullius Cicero', 'The Tortoise and the Hare', 'Heroes of the Republic', 'Philippi', 'Death Mask', 'A Necessary Fiction', 'No God Can Stop a Hungry Man' and 'About Your Father'.
Unlike another certain celebrated HBO series, Rome's end will satisfy those swept up in its lavishly mounted spectacle and invested in the human dramas of the historical figures and fictional characters. Series 2 begins in the wake of Julius Caesar's assassination, and charts the power struggle to fill his sandals between "vulgar beast" Mark Antony (James Purefoy) and "clever boy" Octavian (Simon Woods), who is surprisingly named Caesar's sole heir. The series' most compelling relationship is between fellow soldiers and unlikely friends, the honorable Lucius Vorenus (Kevin McKidd) and Titus "Violence is the only trade I know" Pullo (Ray Stevenson), who somewhat reverse roles when Vorenus is overcome with grief in the wake of his wife's suicide. Series 2 considerably ups the ante in the rivalry between Atia (an Emmy-worthy Polly Walker), who is Antony's mistress, and Servilia (Lindsay Duncan) with attempted poisonings and sickening torture. Another gripping sub plot is Vorenus's estrangement from his children, who, at the climax of the season opener are presumed slaughtered, but whose true fate may be even more devastating to the father who cursed them.
Rome's second season does not scrimp on the series' sex and violence, in both cases exceedingly brutal. But in this cauldron of treachery and betrayal, words, too, are vicious, as when a defiant Atia ominously tells Octavian's new wife, Livia, "Far better women that you have sworn to [destroy me]. Go look for them now." In writing Rome's epitaph, we come to praise this series, not to bury it. Although two seasons was not enough to establish a Rome empire, it stands as one of HBO's crowning achievements. --Donald Liebenson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The only thing this series suffers from is almost too much action. Originally the show was meant to run for multiple seasons, but a dwindling budget put paid to that and thus years' worth of stories had to be squeezed into just 10 episodes. As a result, the programme moves at breakneck speed, often spanning years per episode; skip just one installment and you could be left very confused indeed. The love affair between Mark Antony and Cleopatra for example, would have benefited from a lot more screentime than the handful of episodes that were devoted to it.
The beginning of the season also suffers a mild post-Caesar (Ciaran Hinds) hangover in parts. He was the man (it seems strange to label Caesar a 'character') who so much of the action revolved last series and so the show feels a little fragmented this time around. In his place, the programme-makers have divided our attention, focusing on the power struggle between Mark Antony (a show-stealing James Purefoy) and Octavian Caesar (first played by Max Pirkis and later Simon Woods). Unlike last series' tussle between Caesar and Pompey, where I believe the audience was naturally bound to take the former's side, the battle between Antony and Octavian is not so clear cut.Read more ›
Meanwhile, former centurion-turned-politician Lucius Vorenus has seen his family torn apart by betrayal and treachery. Whilst Titus Pullo tries to save his friend's soul, Vorenus is placed in command of the Aventine Collegia and told to keep the peace between the warring criminal gangs. At the same time, the arrival in Rome of Timon's brother coincides with a rise in Jewish nationalism.
Rome's second season picks up at the moment Season 1 ends, with Caesar dead, Vorenus devastated by his loss and the Republic in danger of falling apart into anarchy. Given that the entire storylines for the second and planned third seasons had to be compressed into one season, and only ten episodes at that, the second season moves forward decisively and rapidly. The second season covers a period of fourteen years, and several times multiple years elapse between episodes which makes the season flow slightly less well than the first.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What more do you want - sex, violence, politics and men in skirts. Great series.Published 12 days ago by Bignose
My boxset was missing episodes 1&2, but I have watched them before,
and it was cheap, so no complaints from me... Read more
Wouldn't have bought this if I hadn't enjoyed the 1st season and was not disappointedPublished 4 months ago by Chris Viner
A hideously graphic reincarnation of ancient Rome. The storyline is of course based on historical texts but the superstructure is superbly created introducing us particularly to... Read morePublished 6 months ago by pingfloy