Right off the bat, I should point out that HBO’s Rome was the best TV series ever made. That’s right, ever made. I’m a huge fan of Roman history and mythology.
I was extremely impressed by the creators of HBO’s Rome because they took their accuracy seriously. So seriously in fact that even the craftsmen in the bazaar were actual Roman craftsmen. The money spent to create a truly accurate atmosphere just may have had a tiny bit to do with why it was canceled after 2 seasons.
Spartacus: Blood and Sand, however, doesn’t care nearly as much about history. What it does care about is blood and sand. The title does not disappoint. Within the first episode, I swear, a gladiator spewed gallons of blood on a very sandy plane of death.
A human body holds around 8-10 pints of blood, so it’s quite a feat for a gladiator to expunge even a few gallons. These men must have been built very tough and it seems very liquidity.
While the mono-syllable, shoddy dialogue is straight out of 300 or perhaps G.I. Joe, the view is stunningly breathtaking (for TV). Spartacus is wholly gratuitous in a cheesecake, soft-core sort of way, but it’s worth noting that it is equally gratuitous. There are plenty of raunchy shows that panhandle to men in the audience with oh-so-classy shots of women come undone. These same shows forget that perhaps some women might be watching.
Here’s the thing, I wake up every morning from my plush bed, walk up to the mirror, and what do I see? Boobs. I see boobs all the time. So when I see them onscreen, I think, eh, no biggie, I got that. Granted us ladies tend to get reeled in by juicy, romantic plots and witty verbiage to match, but that shouldn’t give shows the ok to write off some fine-looking visuals as well.
This series has a lot of hot gladiators roaming around and occasionally fighting each other. Okay, so they fight each other a lot. They are hot, sweaty, and wear bikinis that do not cover their bare assets.
When I see ALL of the very massive gladiator, Crixus, walking around talking about something masculine (I strangely forgot what he was talking about), I think, finally, here’s a show with some guts. Or should I more aptly say— balls? So, nicely done Spartacus: Blood and Sand, nicely done. Did I mention it was shot in a very classy way? Extremely classy.
Before I go on, I should mention Lucy Lawless has been hiding a bangin’ bod behind that Xena armor. Apparently she is rightly named as the laws of nature do not of apply to her. Her character is fantastically smart, smutty, and definitely saucy.
She works as a team with her barely-making-it-recessionista husband and when he’s not there, well, she just plain works it. What her husband doesn’t know won’t hurt him. She orders the gladiators to get down to some very naughty business just as you or I would order fries with our McNuggets. She doesn’t apologize for it- she simply enjoys it. She has a good life.
Alright, so I guess I should mention Spartacus since this is a series about him. If there were emos in Roman times, Spartacus would be leading the pack. He tears up at every opportune moment and all he thinks about his is precious wife. Granted, I’m being a bit hard on him.
He’s stuck eating small scraps of food, has to work out all day, and is told when and where to fight. Hmmm, sounds a little like Angelina on the set of Tomb Raider. Dude, she could totally take you Spartacus. Actually, Maddox could totally take him.
Is it just me, or do others miss the Spartacus of old who fought for the release of his fellow prisoners, who fought for more than just selfish reasons? There are men and women suffering all around him and all he can think about is his beautiful wife who chooses to wear a torn, shred of a dress while picking fruit during a snowy, winter day. Based on Spartacus’ under-performance in the smarts category, I presume he thought she was positively brilliant.
In reality I suppose a man in that position would probably be dreaming about the same thing. But this isn’t reality, this a 300-esque TV show about a hero’s journey. So, man up Spartacus and quit asking the man in charge to find your wife. Like that’s really at the top of his list.
All in all, Spartacus: Blood and Sand gives the audience exactly what it thinks it wants: blood, sand, bountiful scenes of lust, and tacky dialogue. I will say, though, every episode is better than the last. So stay tuned as life continues to suck for the habitually whining Spartacus and the glorious gladiators all around him.