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Everyone likes a good historical drama on TV, but it can be difficult to find one that’s well done. HBO’s “Rome” has a sort of intricacy and glamour that many historical dramas lack. Set in Ancient Rome during the end of the Republic and ending with the beginning of Emperor Augustus’ rule, “Rome” is one of the most expensive and most well-received miniseries HBO has produced. It portrays Rome not as some clean, glorified society with gold on every single wall and statues on all corners, but as a grimy place with dirt and crime everywhere despite a flourishing society.

It’s like “Spartacus,” you say. Wrong. Whereas STARZ’ “Spartacus” tends to go for cheap shots with gore and showing off its actor’s physiques, “Rome” balances the sex and debauchery that the society is famous for while having a political overtone that amuses and educates viewers on the laws and politics that modern society is built on.

The show follows members of the two classes of Roman society: two plebeian soldiers fighting under Julius Caesar and the Julii clan and a famous patrician family boasting the aforementioned renowned general. The writers did a fantastic job characterizing the two soldiers, Titus Pullo and Lucius Vorenus. Instead of having the soldiers talk in the refined way most historical series do, Pullo and Vorenus are human: they swear, they don’t know their own Roman history and they have families and lovers they miss and yearn for while they’re away fighting in Gaul.

True, the show may come off as drab as the language is still a little stilted (especially among the patrician classes). Some viewers won’t appreciate the Senate speeches which, despite their genius, modern viewers aren’t accustomed to. But, if you have a yearning to get to know the society all Western civilization is based on, watch “Rome.”

Ng is a member of the class of 2014.

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