The Fall of Rome

By Mike MacLean

My heart is heavy. Rome_hbo_visuel 

The last episode of Rome airs tonight.  It was a fantastic show, unparalleled in its depictions of bloodshed, sex, and political intrigue.  It out-Sopranoed the Sopranos and gave us a history lesson in the bargain.  Rome will be missed.

I know, I know; it was only a TV show.  There are plenty more out there, some great ones even.  But Rome was something special, and its passing has me feeling five shades of blue.

Only one thing can lift my spirits.  A list.  God help me, how I love the lists.

TOP TEN CURRENT TV SHOWS

(In no particular order.)

1.  Rome

2.  Heroes

4_23.  30 Rock (Alec Baldwin is insanely funny.  And has anyone noticed that SNL sucks this year?  ("D!%K in a Box" notwithstanding) Could it be the show has gone downhill as a result of Tina Fey’s departure, one of their top writers?  So wait…writing actually makes a difference in quality?  Who knew?)

4.  My Name is Earl

5.  The Office

6.  Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (I pray to the heathen television gods to give this show another chance.)

7.  The Daily Show

8.  Veronica Mars (Mars is proof that TV is as good as it’s ever been.  The fact that it might be on the chopping block, to be replaced by The Pussy Cat Dolls, is proof that TV is also as bad as it has ever been.)Veronica20mars

9.  BattleStar Galactica 

10.  Lost (I’m still hooked, but I have fears that all the plot twists will lead absolutely nowhere.  Ultimately the show may be…"Full of Sound and Fury signifying nothing.")

So let’s hear it Murder fans.  What are your picks? 

18 thoughts on “The Fall of Rome

  1. billie

    We don’t have TV – so any watching here is via Netflix or downloading from iTunes.

    For the past year and a half I’ve been watching West Wing from start to finish – I should be getting the very last disk this week and I’m feeling sad.

    I have to choose a new series to plug into and I’ve gotten a lot of recs but so far nothing is really clicking.

    Husband and son watch Lost, Jericho, Battlestar G., and Veronica Mars.

    Someone got The Wonder Falls this week and I was mildly intrigued but it doesn’t hold my attention.

    Will be reading here today for ideas!

    Reply
  2. Alex Sokoloff

    DEADWOOD – best TV ever. (Well, yes, it’s over, but I’m still in denial about that…)

    THE WIRE – hmm, need to order Season 4 today, come to think of it.

    GREY’S ANATOMY – guilty pleasure.

    MYSTERY! and sometimes MASTERPIECE THEATER.

    And HOUSE, sometimes, but it’s not the addiction that the others are.

    That’s it. But once we work our way through THE WIRE, I’m looking forward to ROME!

    Reply
  3. Naomi

    VERONICA MARS, most definitely!!!

    The PUSSYCAT DOLLS must go.

    I also have a weakness for self-help shows like CLEAN SWEEP, WHAT NOT TO WEAR, etc. I watch them in my messy living room, while wearing torn-up clothes. I need help.

    Reply
  4. Carol Baier

    THE CURRENT, THE ENDANGERED, AND THE LAST RITES

    The Wire

    The Sopranos

    Rome

    Mystery

    Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

    Real Time With Bill Maher

    Meerkat Manor (Flower puts Atia of the Julii to shame )

    AND THE R.I.P.s

    Six Feet Under

    The West Wing

    Oz

    Prime Suspect

    Homicide: Life on the Streets (every episode a gem, but Pemberton and the honor guard will haunt me forever)

    Joan of Arcadia

    Cop Rock (so sue me; I loved it)

    Moonlighting

    Mash

    Reply
  5. Alex Sokoloff

    PRIME SUSPECT, for sure!! I also love a couple other BBC cop series: TOUCHING EVIL and SECOND SIGHT (mmm… Clive Owen and Robson Green…)

    But then if we’re going back – best comedy series EVER: FAWLTY TOWERS

    Reply
  6. Louise Ure

    REAL TIME with Bill Maher

    THE DAILY SHOW (you tell ’em Mr. Stewart!)

    NO RESERVATIONS with Tony Bourdain

    And my current obsession, the new BBC version of ROBIN HOOD. The trailers call it “Star Wars set in Sherwood Forest.” It’s that and more.

    Reply
  7. pari

    Oh, this is fun, Mike. Thank you so much.

    I get cable for cheapskates — and only got to watch ROME a couple of times in hotels . . . but it was magnificent!

    My favs?THE SIMPSONS (yes, still)

    MEDIUM (guilty pleasure)

    S & O: SVU (I still like the writing and lead characters)

    BOSTON LEGAL (Oh, it’s so damn silly. I love watching Spaith and Captain Kirk’s interactions)

    ARTHUR (It’s such a sweet kids show)

    STUDIO 6O (I adored this show — which was a guarantee it would be cancelled. I felt the same way about SPORTS NIGHT. It seems that shows with a modicum of intelligence tend to get axed quickly.)

    THE SHIELD (I get to watch it in reruns on a cheapo-deepo station here.)

    AND

    For those who haven’t seen it, you’re in for an incredible treat with LIFE ON MARS.

    Reply
  8. billie

    I love D.W. in Arthur. 🙂

    Thinking of old shows and shows I loved as a child:

    Dark Shadows

    Night Gallery

    Lost in Space

    Re: picking the next Netflix series – I may have to go movies for a few weeks until I make up my mind!

    Oh, this just came to mind – Brideshead Revisited. I might plug that in while I decide. I’ve been wanting to watch it again for a couple of years now and just haven’t gotten around to it.

    Reply
  9. Rob Gregory Browne

    1. Have to agree with Alex about DEADWOOD. Best ever.

    2. RESCUE ME

    3. HEROES

    4. 24 (at least the first season, which is all I’ve seen)

    5. DA VINCI’S INQUEST (Canadian crime show)

    6. UGLY BETTY (although I’ve fallen behind)

    7. LOST (again I’ve only seen the first season)

    8. DAYBREAK (show was canceled before they solved the mystery)

    All I can think of for now. I really don’t have much time to watch. I catch a lot of stuff on DVD in large chunks.

    Reply
  10. Jim Born

    Rome is my favorite by far. Then the Simpsons. After that it falls off dramatically.

    Studio 60 feels a little preach. 30 Rock is outstanding. Characters and writing are right on. I like Earl because characters too. Jamie Pressly has captured the redneck wife. Trust me. I know.

    Jim

    Reply
  11. Mike MacLean

    I think Jim might be sleeping on the sofa tonight. He’s right about Studio 60—its weakness lies in it’s preachiness (That’s not a word, is it?). But I like most of the characters and the behind the scene aspect, although I don’t know how realistic it is.

    Rob was a braver man than I, admitting to watching Ugly Betty. My wife adores that show and….okay fine, I watch it sometimes too. It’s funny as hell and pretty damn original.

    24, The Shield, and The Wire are all programs I know I’d like, so I purposefully avoided them afraid that I would be sucked in (anyone else do that?).

    Reply
  12. Robin Burcell

    Oh goody:

    1. Robinhood (BBC America Sat. Must see TV)2. Heroes (tho’ tiring of split personality chick.)3. Veronica Mars4. House (for sardonic humor)5. Dresden Files (Sam Spade meets Buffy Vampire Slayer)6. Ugly Betty (This show is great.)7. Monk and Psych. (Just plain fun)8. 24 (I resisted for years. sigh…)9. Grey’s Anatomy. (Yes, guilty pleasure.)10. 30 Rock (and yes, SNL is sucking.)

    My regret about many of the shows is their weird schedule. They disappear for weeks at a time. And BBC America really needs to start sending over or repeating their shows–and making their runs longer. Life On Mars is a great series, but very short. Season one needs to repeat, and Season Two needs to get on the air!!!

    Reply
  13. Mike MacLean

    Thanks for dropping in Robin

    So much praise for Robin Hood. Is it out on DVD? If not, I guess I’ll need to get BBC.

    Dresden Files is a fun guilty pleasure that might be a GREAT show once it gets its legs (much like Angel). I’m looking forward to seeing it evolve. Hopefully it’ll get a chance.

    Reply
  14. simon

    I seem to like shows 1 episode from cancelation, but those still alive are:

    24BonesThe ShieldNip TuckThe RichesFamily GuyColbert ReportDaily ShowWaking the DeadBattlestar Galatica

    Reply
  15. Robin Burcell

    I’m not sure Robin Hood is out on DVD yet, since it just started. It’s about 4 episodes in on the brand new series on cable’s BBC America (which runs a different schedule than BBC, I believe, because they don’t show the same shows.)

    But what is very cool about it is that it is a show with a wry sense of humor (by the writers) along with some great acting, and scenery. (This latest episode was probably the weakest, but even that was a great show.)

    I love shows that don’t take themselves too seriously. (which is not to say I don’t love the serious shows at times.)

    Reply
  16. Bill Cameron

    The Wire is the definite obsession around the house of late, though House has its adherents as well. Lost lost me with the start of season three, though it was showing signs even in season two. I’m going to accept the flames and say that I simply can’t get into Battlestar Galactica. I want to like it, but whenever I tune in I find myself drifting off. I like the idea of Monk, but the individual shows usually don’t do much for me. As mysteries, they’re tepid, and while he’s a great character, you want the story to work too, I think. Finally, Mythbusters. I love those guys.

    Reply

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