Saturday, July 22, 2017

Spartacus (TV Series)

Spartacus is the story of a brave but unfortunate slave who rose to lead a great rebellion that threatened the Roman Empire. The production suffered a terrible loss when its original star, Andy Whitfield, died after the first season. He was replaced by Liam McIntyre, who understood that he had some very big sandals to fill and in my opinion was able to pull off the role and carry the show through to the end.

What can I say, I really love this series. The story is tight with a lot of twists and turns set into motion by an entire cast of devious characters. The sets and costumes are beautiful.

The choreography for the battles and one-on-one fight matches is both interesting and exciting.

Even the dialog is a pleasure to hear, being both completely understandable and yet still with the feel of being written by an ancient Roman poet. (I'm not kidding... any speech delivered here could easily become song lyrics if set to the proper music.)

Spartacus makes no bones about being a historical portrayal that is quite graphic. There is a lot of both male and female nudity in this, as well as blood and violence. The language is harsh, even if beautifully spoken. If the goal was to show Rome's ugliest side, it has done precisely that.

Season One - Blood and Sand

This season covers the capture of the slave whom the world would know as "Spartacus", his training and eventual fame as a gladiator, and the skirmish he led to liberate the household he served.

Gods of The Arena

A "prequel" to the first season that was done while the above-mentioned tragedy unfolded for the entire series, this is a six-episode mini-season that follows one of the former champions of the arena and gives us a little more insight into many of the characters we met in Season One.

Season Two - Vengeance

If there were any fears that the series would lose its edge now that the gladiators are free, they are quelled within the first 2 minutes of the first episode. This season picks up shortly after the gladiators have freed themselves and the overall theme is how much fun Spartacus has while trying to organize and properly lead an ever-growing band of fugitive slaves while still being Hell-bent on avenging his wife's death.

Season Three - War of the Damned

Since most of the old Roman nesmesis characters are now dead, the final season introduces us to a whole slew of new faces... including young Julius Caesar and the famous Marcus Crassus. It's hard to believe this, but they are even more ruthless than the ones that faced Spartacus before them.

The final season focuses on the building of the great slave army and the troubles that go along with the care and feeding of such, then ends with the inevitable defeat of the rebellion. One thing I will say is that it does not end as the movie Spartacus (with Kirk Douglas) does, but they do give a wonderful tip of the hat to that famous "I'm Spartacus!" scene.

Film Information: Spartacus on IMDB 

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