Here's an interesting little article on the HBO series titled "Rome". I was drawn to it since on my recent trip to Seattle I was able to catch a few episodes in the hotel and ironically was thinking pretty much the same thing as this author as I recalled my impressions of the excellent book on Cicero that I read awhile back. The shows were very well done with a little bit of soap opera thrown in and certainly well acted and seemed to take pains to try and be culturally accurrate.
Particularly, I found this passge to ring true to what I read previoulsy.
Finally, there is religion. Rome is saturated with it — there are prayers and oaths, offerings made to deities known and unknown, and religious processions and priestly orders. A pagan world, in other words, is not one in which we control the gods, as trendy leftists suppose, but in which we are ever at risk of offending some god for failure to make the right offering or sacrifice. Moreover, these gods rarely provide a guide to conduct or right behavior — they are inscrutable.