Today's news may make you want to drown your sorrows.
If there was ever an era that was perfect to be made into a pay-cable TV series, it's ancient Rome. Courtly intrigue, coupled with the excesses that the Romans indulged in -- glorious conquest, opulent wealth, killing for entertainment, sex as a distraction from boredom -- form the perfect recipe for mass entertainment. Why else do you think Gladiator won an Academy Award? The HBO series Rome tried to capture that glory, and succeeded; unfortunately, it was too expensive to last more than two seasons. Starz is following a different route, however -- they're emulating the film 300, which re-created ancient Greece on a budget by using computers and green screens. There are sets in Spartacus, of course, but they're far from the massive exteriors of Rome, and most of their characters (like the Spartans in 300), require very little costuming. I don't know what budgetary category "washboard abs" falls under (catering?), but it ain't costumes.
Two of Lost Season 5's four new bad asses have been cast, and while I don't know anything about one of them, the other made movie magic in one of the greatest comedic torture scenes in cinematic history, so I'm pretty thrilled. The actor I know nothing about, Zuleikha Robinson, will play Llana, the dangerous European woman of mystery we heard about in August. Although Robinson seems to be one helluva showkiller, with a resumé that includes New Amsterdam, Rome and The Lone Gunmen, I'm pretty sure Lost will be safe from her showkilling ways.
This week, you have a choice between hilarious comedies and gripping dramas, family fare and adult material, and original Star Trek and Next Generation. One might say that this week's offerings run the gamut.