Back when I was living in Auckland, New Zealand, the show Spartacus was being made, and having worked in the film industry as long as I had, I knew a whole bunch of people working on it. One of those also happened to be my flat mate for a couple of years, and he was an on and off again stunt guy on it and also picked up a small speaking role on episode 2 or 3. As you can imagine, when the episode finally came out, he was pretty keen for everyone to see it.
So I watched the first episode, and though I liked it, I was put off by a few things, but kept at it as I knew his episode was either up next or on the one after that. Suffice to say I did finally get to see him in his role, but that’s when my interest to watch the show disappeared. Not because I didn’t enjoy it, but I guess I just wasn’t motivated to see it, though I knew I should.
Then over a year later, with my job as a reviewer, I had the chance of getting a copy of the prequel to the show that was filmed due to the sickness of the lead star. Because it was free, and I thought it would be purely a prequel and not spoil anything of the first season that I was still yet to finish, I said yes to review it.
Now, it did spoil almost everything that happened in that first season, as though it’s a prequel, it really should be watched after seeing the first season. But despite that, I loved it! But it’s taken another 2 years since then that I’ve finally got around to seeing season one in its blu-ray glory.
‘Spartacus: Blood and Sand’ ended up being so damn good, though not like other great shows I’ve loved, mainly because of its inconsistency in certain aspects. What do I mean by that? Well, technically, there’s actually a few decent things wrong with the show, but the writing is so good, that those flaws almost become part of its charm.
Its main flaw is the acting of the smaller characters, and even some of the main ones for that matter, which often borders on average, or outright bad. But the ones that do a good job do it so well that it brings the whole cast up with them. The other main issue does come from the writing, which is awesome when it comes to the ‘actual’ story it’s trying to tell, but can be a little on the nose with trying to show how ‘naughty’ the show is with the language and sex.
On that note, I have no issue with the extreme violence, as it’s stylized and we are talking about gladiators after all. The sex and nudity also are fine, but I often felt there were a few times it felt forced and the makers somehow had to fill a quota. But hey, I’m not really going to complain too hard about nudity and sex scenes now am I.
Overall it actually took me aback at how much I enjoyed the show, and with the way it ended, it just made me want to pick up the next series and get stuck in straight away! Which in a way I did, as I went back to the prequel, Spartacus: Gods Of The Arena, to rewatch it, with that reviewing coming soon. It was also fun playing spot my brother and all the other stunties I’ve known over the years who turned up all the time throughout the series.
8.5 out of 10 from me!!!