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EMPIRE! (Mini Series)


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Guest ranster627

FROM TV GUIDE: ROUSH RIFF

Like TNT's Into the West, ABC's lavish Roman melodrama Empire (June 28, 9 pm/ET) is an old-fashioned miniseries disguised as a short-run summer event, airing weekly through July. Playing fast and loose with history, it gives lots of bang for its swords-and-sandals bucks. Hokey and hammy, this is the story of bratty Octavius Caesar (Santiago Cabrera), who flees Rome after Uncle Julius' murder and learns to be emperor, thanks to the guidance of a soulful gladiator-bodyguard (Jonathan Cake).

Think of this as a curtain-raiser for HBO's highly anticipated Rome this fall.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest ranster627

FROM TV GUIDE: The Water Cooler

Empire

Hail, Caesar? Eh, why the hail not? It's new, it's lavish, it's like a soap opera in sandals. And it's not reality! Plus I'm sure there's some sort of educational lesson among all the cheesy dialogue and chariots, right? Granted, my grip on Roman history is about as weak as some of the cast's accents, but I got sucked into the tale of Julius Caesar naming his wimpy nephew Octavius as heir to the throne seconds after the Brutus crew's whole "Et tu" ambush. Who knew senators were so sleazy?

Kidding. Anyway, ABC has obviously sunk serious bucks into this short-run series, so it makes sense to play fast and loose with the facts. And while I totally get the idea of sending young Octavius on the run with a hunky Obi-Wan-ish gladiator ordered to keep him safe

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Guest ranster627

FROM TV GUIDE: The Water Cooler

Empire

Did I miss something? Because all of a sudden, wimpy Octavius is all "I'm a Caesar, hear me... whine less." I mean, I get butching up after being hauled off to the dungeons with Tyrannus, but should he really be messing with mercenary gladiators? Especially since you know Li'l O is gonna need his strength to save the very Vestal Camane. Then again, her biggest threat is from newly minted religious guru Brutus and really, I'm betting that the hottie virgin can totally take a dude in a dress and an olive-leaf scrunchie. Sadly, guest-star Dennis Haysbert didn't fare so well as the general who wound up in chains

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest ranster627

FROM TV GUIDE: Ask Matt

Question: I am watching the show Empire and am absolutely appalled by the historical inaccuracies. It should have been labeled "fantasy" and shown on Sci Fi. So I know that it it's all wrong, but what about all those people who watch it and think that it is based on historical fact because of the names Caesar, Brutus and Octavius? You could have alerted viewers to the fact that, despite great production values, the thing is a complete work of fiction and has virtually no basis in history. Whatever happened to Cleopatra? The fact that Antony abandoned his wife and had at least two children with the queen of Egypt? I know that it is not your job to check the facts on history-based dramas, but this is akin to saying that Lincoln was never assassinated, the towers never fell, and there is no such thing as AIDS. Shame!

Matt Roush: I think I did note in my brief review when Empire first premiered that the show plays fast and loose with history. But given that it doesn't really work even as escapist costume drama, I kind of wish they'd just stuck to the fictional character of the gladiator and left the likes of Octavius and Brutus out of it altogether.

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