Friday, January 8, 2010

I Need I Claudius

Over the holidays I finished the third season of the juicy, sometimes distasteful, historically accurate and equally engaging, "Tudors". Admittedly, this is the laziest and most passive way to educate oneself about historical figures but nonetheless it's great escapism with a little less frivolity.

My interests luckily extend beyond an obsession over fitness (thank goodness) and I've recently taken a shining to learning about tyrannical rulers. Why? It's complicated and I'm sure deeply rooted in some childhood dysfunction ;). Claudius wasn't a tyrant but the lead up to his rule was insane! Tiberius and Caligula were serious freaks.

Yesterday I was talking to one of my clients who is an archaeologist, writer and overall just a super smart woman. I told her about the end of Tudors and she recommended the 1979 BBC mini-series "I Claudius". I thought if she liked it I better listen up. On my way home from work yesterday I dropped into Queen Video and felt pretty cool when I asked for "I Claudius, you know the 70's BBC series". I immediately felt my 'cool' factor turn up a level when the counter guy gave me a look of approval for my choice. (probably my imagination and why do I care what a counter culture 20 something thinks about my taste in entertainment anyway).

The first 10 minutes of "I Claudius" almost lost me. The production design wasn't comparable to the Tudors in the very least. But what hooked me was that it's historically accurate and the actors are all clearly theatre trained and giving 'er.

Little did I know that "I Claudius" is for the 70's what the Sopranos was for this last decade. Best part of all, those tyrannical rulers are just so darn interesting. And it sure makes my life look a whole lot simpler.


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