Saturday, April 10, 2010

TV Series Review: Spartacus: Blood and Sand

My husband and I have been watching the new series "Spartacus: Blood and Sand." It is on the Starz network. It started on January 22 and will end next week. It is one of the best shows on television.

The series focuses on the story of Spartacus, the Thracian gladiator who fought in Rome. The story begins when he and his people were forced to fight for Rome. When he did not comply with their demands, they took him to Rome where he was to be killed in the arena by four gladiators. However, he did not die and went on to become the champion gladiator. Ultimately, as history tells us, Spartacus went on to lead the gladiators and slaves to a major slave uprising against the Roman Republic.

I think we have all seen Roman epics before. "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" outdoes them all. However, it is not for the faint of heart or delicate personalities. The carnage in the arena is explosive and surprising. The passion, the sweat, the blood, the violence is graphic. The camera stays with the carnage and doesn't cut away when the battle erupts to conclusion. The same can be said for the sex scenes. The camera does not cut away.

While my husband particularly enjoys the events in the arena, I like the Machiavellian political maneuvering, fierce rivalries, the examination of slavery vs. free will, ludus-yard hazing and the lovely romance (versus lust) displayed by our hero towards his wife and by Crixus (another gladiator) towards his love.

And, as if the acting, special effects, action and love/lust weren't enough, the actors and actresses ooze beauty of mind, face and body.

My husband and I can hardly wait for Friday nights when their new shows premiere each week. At the end of each show, our over stimulated eyes and our thumping hearts can finally relax so we can talk about what we just saw. If you have not seen the show, I'm sure the first season will come out on DVD in the months ahead. More good news: Spartacus has been renewed for a second season.

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