Spartacus: Blood, Sand, and Boobs

But not necessarily in that order.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I actually ended up watching all 13 episodes of this delightfully crappy show. It’s like the worst best blood sex fest I’ve ever seen. My viewing it’s entirety can be blamed on a nasty stomach flu which kept me bed-ridden for 24 hours, in which I devoured 8 episodes one after another. It was like some kind of fever dream… I now love it passionately and was very distraught to hear the news that Andy Whitfield, who plays Spartacus, has cancer. I’m hoping for a speedy recovery so I can wince, guffaw and chortle through another 13 episodes of this messy, ludicrous but lovable series. THANK YOU.

It was disappointing to learn that Spartacus: Blood and Sand came out on Starz, a premium cable channel the DH and I do not subscribe to. Didn’t realize this when I set up the DVR, so the show’s been recording blank episodes for the last month or so. Believe me, there’s nothing more tempting or aggravating than a DVR show that doesn’t record.

When the first five episodes magically appeared on Netflix Instant Watch this weekend, we settled in to watch the pilot and give it a fair shot.

Only to witness an entire hour filled with nothing but blood, sex, boobs and very little else to tantalize. The scripting and directing are weak, the special effects are quite laughable (so much green screen!) and not even the actors manage to pull of their hackneyed dialogue with much sincerity. It’s not surprising with lines like “he’s got his hands up all the right assholes and when he wiggles his fingers, they shit gold.” Uh, what? Maybe it could work with the right delivery. Maybe.

Perhaps I would think better of this show if two things were true:

1.) 300 was an accurate and compelling depiction of history

2.) HBO’s Rome hadn’t been so epically awesome

Instead – we are treated to this bastardization of what I consider to be some great depictions of Roman times. Aside from 300, perhaps.

The DH described it as a really awful serialized version of Gladiator, with the visual style of 300, but there are just enough differences in the material to avoid a potential lawsuit.

See for yourself:

The amount of blood seeping into the trailer and first episode alone should be an indication of how ridiculous this series will be. Gallons of it – and for some reason they’ve mixed real fake blood with CGI blood on-screen and the two do not sit easily together. Honestly – at one point my husband and I were laughing at the unintentional comedy of the blood splattering the screen. So much. Too much.

We’d been joking around about the title of the show – and discussing the insane amount of sex scenes and bare naked breasts invading the screen which served no purpose.

My naked breasts in this scene serve no purpose

We envisioned a scene in which the overuse of blood, sex and breasts would culminate in one orgiastic climax.

Little did we know, we were about to witness everything our hearts had desired. In the first scene of Episode 2: Spartacus, the soldier-turned-slave-turned-Gladiator is bound in chains awaiting his fate, and dreams about having sex with his kidnapped wife. Mid-copulation, her mouth suddenly bursts forth with blood and it shoots all over her naked breasts. Bloody sex breasts.

No, seriously.

The writers and visionaries of this crap-fest did not let us down.

Believe me – I wanted to like this show. Lucy Lawless (what is with her comically red hair)? Steven DeKnight of Buffy and Dollhouse fame? Apparently Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen are on the writing staff as well.

The only question this show raises is how so much talent can exist in one place and yet churn out a boring, silly show with material that should be a slam dunk. Rome, Shakespeare, Greek tragedy. It’s practically Drama-By-Numbers here people. You just have to make sure it’s GOOD. But Spartacus: B&S has nothing interesting to say or show us which hasn’t already been done…better. 

Should I stick it out for a few more episodes? Anyone?


I’m not the only one thinking it sucks

– This review suggests we revel happily in the sex, violence and absurdity


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About tinyheroes

Mindy Crouchley is a 33 year old woman with a degree in English and Technical Writing from Portland State University. She has accumulated three+ years experience in the Marketing and Communications field - with an emphasis on creating digital media content. She has been reading comic books since she was 10 years old. She currently lives in outer southeast Portland with her spouse Dan Robertson, her baby girl, and their dog - Jabba the pug. She spends her free time devouring books, crafting cosplay, video gaming, attending comic cons, writing stories/screenplays, attending book to film adaptation club meetings, volunteering, and watching copious amounts of TV and movies.

5 responses to “Spartacus: Blood, Sand, and Boobs”

  1. Hisham says :

    I haven’t had a chance to check out the Spartacus series, but it is worth checking out the Stanly Kubrik / Kirk Douglas film from the 60s. It’s probably Kubrik’s most “Hollywood” film, but it probably is one of the most enduring films about Ancient Rome that doesn’t focus on the rise of Christianity.

  2. tinyheroes says :

    I probably should check it out – I’m wondering how closely this series follows the mythology of Spartacus.

  3. Shounak says :

    Well look at it this way, despite being a crappy sex n gore fest, those who wanted to always have a peek-a-boo at Xena’s tits, now can 🙂 but yeah add 15+ years to that…
    Anyways the show is crappy and is no fun, even Game of Thrones is somewhat like that…

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