A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Life in Rome is full of secrets, gossip, intrigue, murder, betrayal, love, passion, duty, and plenty of plotting and scheming.
Violence & Scariness
Extreme -- throat slashing, beheading, violent battles, tons of blood.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Full frontal nudity -- men and women. Explicit sex scenes between men and women, men and men, and men and teen boys. Lots of discussion about sex, whores, prostitution, trading sexual favors, etc.
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Everything you can think of: "f--k," "c--t," "c--k," etc.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Plenty of alcohol consumption and occasional drug use.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this masterful historical drama enjoys the freedoms of its pay-cable home: It's full of extreme violence, graphic sexual scenes, and crude language. In one scene, a main character walks up to a soldier and draws his sword blade across the man's throat, watching as blood begins to pour out of the soldier's mouth. In another scene, a death blow is dealt off screen, but the killer parades through the city with the victim's bloody, decapitated head in his hand. Sex scenes are explicit (and sometimes acrobatic), but not drawn out. All kinds of pairings are featured -- men and women, men and men, men and boys, etc. In other words? Not for kids.
Is It Any Good?
Like most of HBO's serial dramas (The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Deadwood), Rome is riveting, gorgeous, well written and acted, and for adults only. Set against the vivid backdrop of the city of Rome -- with its teeming masses, sewage-strewn streets, and ragamuffin children -- the politics of a great nation unfold. Decisions affecting thousands hinge on the caprices of a few rich men and women, who play at politics largely for personal gain and rarely concern themselves with the common man. In this respect, Rome links history to modern day life: While today's leaders may not wear togas, it's easy to imagine them brokering deals, gossiping, and forming powerful allegiances just like the Roman senators.
Produced and written by Bruno Heller, the show is fast-paced and sometimes difficult to follow. Much happens off screen, and viewers must stay alert to catch the nuanced plot developments. Most characters speak with British accents, which are usually easy to understand, but some viewers may have difficulty catching every word. In addition to the show's graphic sexual content, violence is common and often extreme. Some parents might feel that the benefits of showing teens that history is a living, breathing, raw, exciting thing will outweigh concerns about exposure to sex, violence, and vulgar language. But most will want to save this gruesome history lesson for adulthood.
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Our Editors Recommend
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