A few years ago, my father introduced me to a television show called Spartacus. The first season had just begun with a couple of episodes and my dad was watching the pilot on his laptop. I asked him what the show was all about and he replied: “It’s a re-telling of a gladiator slave called Spartacus who fought for freedom against the Roman empire. Also, It’s full of sex and violence.” Knowing that my father is fond of B-movie films like Zombie Strippers, I shrugged the series off thinking Spartacus was an apple from the same tree.
Years after, I decided to give it a a go during one weekend browsing through Netflix’s selection. Surprisingly, I was wrong about my initial assumption. Indeed, there was a plethora of scenes filled with sex and violence. However, it was well-placed since the show is set in an age where death spawns entertainment and debauchery was at large. At first, you might get turned off with its glaring similarities with the film 300 and the subpar CGI and special effects. Yet, as the story unravels with each episode, the characters, rich dialogue, and compelling storyline effectively draws you in a well of anticipation for the next episode.
With a stellar line-up of talented actors in their stable like Lucy Lawless, John Hannah, Andy Whitfield, Nick Tarabay and more, you are transported back into the time of the gladiators. The characters speak their lines and intent through rich metaphoric language, as if they jumped out of a novel. In addition to the action, it’s the drama and suspense that pulls the audience in as the storyline keeps you on your toes. There is no such thing as permanent loyalty in a world where characters fight for influence and power among slaves and their elite acquaintances.
Spartacus, is now on its final season. Liam McIntyre now plays the titular role of Spartacus since Andy Whitfield died of cancer recently. McIntyre doesn’t carry the same punch Whitfield does, but if you are a fan of the series in general, it shouldn’t matter too much. You can either watch the first season Blood and Sand or watch the prequel Gods of the Arena first. In my opinion, Gods of the Arena was the best season despite the absence of Spartacus himself.