Starring: Andy Whitfield, Lucy Lawless, John Hannah and a lot of other people you’ve never heard of before.
Summary Judgment: Terrible, just terrible. Yet, I can’t look away.
I’m not going to waste too many words on this piss poor excuse for television drama. At first I thought, “If it is anything like HBO’s Rome, oh boy I am going to be for a treat.” Sadly, stylized violence and Lucy Lawless’ full frontal nudity doesn’t make up for everything else being positively terrible. I’m quite convinced that the show is written by a sexually frustrated fifteen year old who, after coming across his daddy’s vintage porno collection, fixated on the orgy scene in “Caligula”. In all likelihood, the directing is courtesy of Frank Miller’s non-union Mexican counterpart, most probably working for scale. As for the special effects, I wonder what sort of cut Steve Jobs gets for everything being done in iMovie?
The only excuse I can offer for giving this show a very generous three episodes prior to putting pen to paper is that I like spectacles and train wrecks. A three-to-one ratio of scenes with nudity to scenes without nudity can not make up for piss poor writing, weak fight choreography and special effects that make high school film projects look like Avatar.
I’ll forgive Sam Raimi – big surprise he’s one of the show’s executive producers – a lot of things. After all, this is the man who brought countless hours of joy to my life with the masterpiece that is Army of Darkness. All I can think about now is Raimi sitting on the set of Spartacus, fingers tented as he remembers all those frustrating years where he was unable to find an excuse to get Lucy Lawless naked on the set of Xena: Warrior Princess.
If you’ve never seen Kirk Douglas’ Spartacus or HBO’s Rome, nor read a page of Roman history or if you thought that Spider-Man 3 was a great movie, then you’ll probably like Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Otherwise you would be well inclined to stay far away from this program. Unless you have a sexual fantasy involving Lucy Lawless as an impoverished Roman matrona wherein you play the role of the Gallic slave she slums with behind her husband’s back. Did I mention that my mother recently told me she and my father watch the show regularly?
Overall Score: 55%