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Spartacus: Blood and Sand

Action & Adventure, Drama, and Television TV show

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Spartacus: Blood and Flesh would be more like it

  • Oct 10, 2010
  • by
O.k. - this is a TV show so we can't expect Gladiator-like settings. I can accept that. But painted skies, continuous spurts of red (meant to be blood), a stretched storyline to make it to another season, a lot of bad lighting, too much cheap CGI, cheap props, bad acting, hmm.

If this is supposed to be a series about the life of Spartacus they will need to keep going for at least 7 more seasons before they get to the end. Bear in mind that the actual uprising in 73BC took only about two years. Sex sells - and they sure try their best here. But can't we expect more than red paint and skin form a TV show?

TV can be good - as we've seen on The Wire, NYPD Blue, The Sopranos, The X-Files, Twin Peaks etc. This is mediocre at best.
Which doesn't mean there is no quality here. Andy Whitfield does a good job portraying the Thracian warrior turned gladiator Spartacus. Also Peter Mensah as Doctore - the trainer is very convincing. Most of the arena fights are extremely well staged. The costumes and uniforms are very good as are a lot of the people in the background.

The problem to me is that this is just not enough to carry a show. Many of the so called Romans are just not convincing. If they'd at least look "Roman"... To name a few: John Hannah is a Scottish actor. Here he is supposed to be a Roman nobleman. Well, maybe in another life but not in this one. He tries his best but he never gets there. Also Craig Parker as the ever returning evil Roman officer messing with Spartacus' wife. Wow. Sounds a lot like Dallas set in 73BC don't you think?

So - if you like good looking men (and women), good fights mixed with intrigue, sex and a lot of red, you're in for a treat. If you expect more go look for something else.

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December 07, 2010
Hey Andre! I just wanted to let you know that I've featured the review in my Pass the Remote! Community ;p
January 02, 2011
Thank you very much! And Best Wishes for your - and everybody else's New Year!
January 04, 2011
Anytime! Thanks for the review, I can't wait to read more of them :)
October 26, 2010
Great review here, although I do like this series.
October 26, 2010
Thanks for your nice comment. Hope for you they'll soon start working on the next season.
October 23, 2010
Wow...I actually really liked this series partly because my fiance loves it and therefore it was a permanent fixture on our DVR. I think of ancient Rome as a time of sex and violence, so the focus on those two in this story doesn't seem so "cheap tricks Hollywood tactic" to me. I do agree with you on the actors that were supposed to be portraying Roman elite, I never bought a single one as an upper class Roman, save for Viva Blanca (who plays a perfectly conniving "b").
October 25, 2010
A TV show does not want to show an honest and complete picture of a society, I can understand that of course. But the little haven of intrigue they created here is too simplistic for my taste. Some people must have worked in those days, or gone to war. Women had nothing or close to nothing to say. Also if this were a Gladiator school/ training facility, with just the few guards/soldiers around, the group of gladiators would be stupid not to have used the occasion to escape and/or kill the entire family. I think they just want to show us skin, intrigue and fights. It has nothing to do with the real Spartacus. His revolution and the units (later armies) Rome sent after them would be much too expensive to film for this company - since they already seem to have a problem filming the setting they created (the CGI of the house on the hill and the "natural" sunlight is hard to are the continuous slow-motions of people dropping from the sky and endless spurts of red paint/blood)
The good thing is that finally someone dares to show that wars and fights in those days were scary as hell and not just some adventure as depicted in so many other older movies.
But taste differs of course. ANd if people love the show and/or are pushed by it to find out more about Roman society/history that's good.
October 25, 2010
True! Unfortunately, TV can only focus on a section at a time. I do think that Spartacus tries a little TOO hard to be the TV version of 300 and that's actually part of its appeal. I would love to see them depict Greek women as the strong women they were and Lucy Lawless attempts that but, it's a weak attempt. I also agree that a show about the everyday Grecian would be far more interesting than the elite. They did rise up against the elite Romans at the end, so maybe the second season (if they ever do it) will be more interesting?
October 25, 2010
I know they're planning a 2nd season. SInce the actor playing Spartacus has cancer they will have to replace him. I hope Andy Whitfield gets better soon and herewith wish him all the best.
October 25, 2010
Yeah, I heard that they were postponing the second season because of him. I do hope he gets better soon as well- what a shame to finally realize your dream, only to have it taken away from you!
More Spartacus: Blood and Sand reviews
review by . July 02, 2010
Ancient Rome is one of my favourite periods of history, and I love books, movies and tv shows set in this period.  Even if I didn't already have an affinity for this period in history I'd still love this series.  Watching the first episode it starts off relatively simply and the gratuitous amounts of action and sex draws you in.  A few episodes later and more layers of the story are revealed, the gratuitous amounts of action and sex continue, but you also realise just …
review by . May 12, 2010
I've always enjoyed books about ancient Rome and of course, movies as well. I watched this the first time and was hooked. It shows  how hard the life of slaves were in ancient Rome and how cruel they could be. As you get to know the Gladiators, you learn about them, their background and the lives they were leading before becoming slaves. The show lets you get to know the character and to feel for them, well most of them! If you don't like a lot of blood, this is not for you but if you truly …
About the reviewer
Andre Heeger ()
Ranked #144
I love stories in all form. Painting, film, comics, books, music - anything. Also sculpture, more the classic kind from ROman, Greek onward until I need to read so I might understand what I am supposed … more
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Genre: Television, Action & Adventure, Drama
Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay

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