‘Colosseum’ Episode 1 Is Essentially One Giant, Unintentionally Gay, Gladiator-Themed Circuit Party
You may have recently learned that The History Channel’s YouTube page is full of homoerotic content. My colleague Cameron Sheetz recently compiled a list of the most gay shows on the channel, including some featuring ridiculously hot guys wearing next to nothing because clothes weren’t invented until the Victorian era or something. something like that. Like, a lot of it basically feels like a big gay gladiator-themed circuit party. (Which, in fact, I’d bet these shows probably have about the same budget as a lot of the circuits, but maybe that’s off the mark.)
Related: We Need To Talk About All The Super Homoerotic Stuff Happening On The History Channel’s YouTube Page
Be that as it may, the thirst apparently also creeps into the linear channel of History. Which brings me to the recent creation Coliseum. According to the network’s description, “The eight-part series brings to life the rise and fall of the Roman Empire through the lens of one of the most exhilarating and brutal arenas in the history of humanity – the Colosseum. From the savage truth of a gladiator’s life as a slave-warrior to the fascinating ways the emperors of Rome used the vast amphitheater to demonstrate…” blah blah blah. There’s a lot of guys basically wearing leather jockstraps and slamming their bodies against each other.
Episode 1 – which I watched on History.com because I am a young person which has no real TV, only streaming stuff – is all about the Gladiators, aka dumb, hot dudes with all the muscles who are also slaves who constantly have to fight to the death.
Like, look at these two above: they’re basically about kissing.
Unfortunately, in addition to all the mostly naked He-Mans, there are also plenty of nerds today who talk about the Roman Empire. (Just kidding! Academics are awesome and super important!) So in episode 1, there’s an emperor, and we learn how Rome conquered the world. But also Romans like to watch people kill each other, especially if they are hot guys. So Emperor Titus is like, “100 murder games now!”
These himbos are Verus and Priscus, who is a barbarian. So they’re about to go to town on each other and it’s so hot that someone wrote a poem about it, that’s how we know it happened.
Priscus may be from Germany (although everyone here is Australian I think to the Russell Crowe in Gladiator) where they captured him for slavery. So the Romans send him to gladiatorial school to learn how to fight with other naked men. But hahahahaha, all the historians say, “Gladiators only ate carbs because fat protects you from being stabbed!” Who…really makes me doubt the accuracy of these reconstructions! I mean, look at this pretty boy! He has never eaten a carbohydrate in his entire life. life!
Then there’s this whole thing about how gladiators can earn their freedom if they don’t get murdered by each other, and something about their armor and everything, and amphitheaters. Oh, that’s funny: gladiators were sex symbols and celebrities, but also basically trash like prostitutes. (Academia’s word, not mine. Sex work is work!)
Then Priscus makes it to the semi-finals or whatever and manages to slaughter this sex bomb:
*sigh* what a waste. Anyway, now Priscus can go to Rome to wrestle in the mud at the Colosseum. This is where he meets Verus who is the best man meat champion in the land, and also has great bearded murderous daddy energy. Verus is like, “I’ll give you a beat“, and looks at Priscus like this:
But in fact, Verus becomes Priscus’ new prison daddy and they hang around forever shirtless and sweaty the whole time. (Notably, there was no mention of whether these guys are still getting conjugal visits. So they have to get sexual release somehow, right? Can’t they? -be with each other? Why don’t academics talk about THAT? ! Oh god, I hope the gladiator handkerchief was consensual…but, ugh, I bet it probably wasn’t.)
Ok, so now it’s fall and all the peasants are gathering for a big day of killing at the Coliseum. Oh, and for some reason the Emperor supports Priscus, and for some reason he’s doomed if Priscus doesn’t win?
Oh my god, I want these two to run away and be in love together! Unfortunately, instead, they have to try and kill each other to death while mostly naked. According to this poet, they spent hours and hours there. Just grunting and sweating and stabbing all day.
So, they are both so lost that they both give up and ask the Emperor to decide who wins. But surprised! Titus breaks his stick and gives a half to each. So…so Priscus and Verus…get married and live happily ever after? Let’s go with that!