Let’s just say they were not kidding about the blood part…
As a passionate student of history I have always been interested in the story and life of the rebel slave, Spartacus. A man who shook Rome to the core yet a man we know fairly little about. Yet a legend has grown around his motives and actions and history has remembered him while forgetting countless others. Last night Starz debuted (to mixed reviews) an original series Spartacus: Blood and Sand which I made time to watch. It is produced by Robert Tapert and Sam Raimi who, a decade ago, gave to us Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess.
You can definitely see elements and the influence of both 300 and Rome in this tale of Spartacus. The producers are obviously going for the ‘over the top’ feel when it comes to this production. There is nearly constant blood splattering everywhere in slow motion and a constant parade of bared breasts and naked women in about every other scene. Graphic is a word that fails to properly convey the decapitations and blood-gushing ripped out throats. It has that graphic novel, not quite real, feel about it. The dialogue was poor, the acting wooden, and the storyline struggling at times. We will see if that improves as the show goes along. Sometimes it seems to take a while for a show to become comfortable with itself and find its footing. The story itself is good and I am interested in their interpretation of it and where it goes from here. Overall, the jury is out on whether this is a series worth watching all the way through. But it was good enough to keep me tuned for episode two. Lucy Lawless is scheduled to make her first appearance in episode two so that should keep many a man ‘staying tuned’ at least for a bit.
Definitely not one for the kiddies, the squeamish, or the prudish among us. That’s for sure. I am interested if anyone else watched it and what they thought about it. If you wish to view episode one online you can do so here.