Saturday, January 23, 2010

Review - Spartacus: Blood and Sand Season 1 Episode 1 The Red Serpent

For all the scathing reviews of Spartacus, it actually isn't half bad considering the intent and audience it blatantly panders to. If you liked HBO's defunct Rome, I'm guessing you won't like Spartacus, but if you liked 300, it will be perfect.

There's hardly any story, the fighting is ultra-violent, and there's lots of sex. The sex part isn't too bad and is about the same as Rome. Obviously the show is on premium cable and not for kids, so it could have been much worse. The fighting is ridiculous and unrealistic like in 300. There are slowmos when someone is killed, blood flies out in heavy amounts and distances, and limbs are literally chopped off. The number of people that indulge in that kind of stuff will watch the show and that's all Starz is looking for.

My biggest problem was heavily stylized scenes which was about half the first episode. From the sex scenes to the fight scenes, there was a canned feel. The background had to be the setting sun, the music was either really heavy or an ethereal theme, and the characters have absolutely nothing original about them. Rome did a great job not sensationalizing everything, leaving fight scenes relatively normal, sex scenes not over-dramatized, and had decent dialogue and story. Spartacus does none of that and tells the audience what they should pay attention to--sex scenes and fight scenes. Everything else is auxiliary.

Once Dollhouse ends next week, I'll have nothing to watch on Fridays until Stargate Universe comes back except for Caprica. Since that's the case, I may watch to see if there is a real story and if the whole show in general is toned down.

Score: 8.0/10


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