Sunday, August 21, 2005

I, Auntie Suzanne, Recommend This Series

I recently watched I, Claudius. It's thirteen episodes (about 12 hours total) of political intrigue, treachery, corruption, and vice. I once found myself wondering if this is the period that historians with a secret penchant for soap operas study. It's very entertaining. Among its features is the delightful Brian Blessed in an unexpected role as Augustus. Watch and enjoy and try not to draw parallels between Rome and contemporary Western society--the comparisons have been made before and you'll only worry yourself.

According to the Netflix reviews (Uncle Pookie and I may not have TV, but we keep our Netflix queue humming), this BBC series has been called the best thing ever made for TV--or something like that, and I'm not sure who is supposed to have said that; but whether it's the best or not, it is certainly well worth watching. Although not for the little kiddies; I don't automatically object to little kiddies seeing naked breasts, but there's some serious decadence in this that I, for one, would not want to have to explain to a child. For teens or adults who don't want to see that kind of thing depicted, there's an abridged audiobook version, read by Derek Jacobi (who plays Claudius in the TV series), that is both considerably cleaned up and entertaining to listen to.

FWIW, I found the most striking character in both the audiobook and the TV series to be Livia. Florence King once said that there's nothing wrong with "women's studies" that studying the right women won't set straight. If even half of what I, Claudius says about Livia is true, then Livia is one of those women Miss King was talking about.

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