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Spartacus

Gathomas88

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I've made a point of avoiding this series for years simply because I thought it looked like an (even more) brainless poor man's version of 300. However, a friend of mine basically shoved the DVD in my hand recently upon hearing the I hadn't seen the series, so I'm currently giving it a shot in the interests of being polite.

I have just finished season 2. While I'll admit that the show is better than I thought it'd be, my overall reaction to the series so far has been somewhat mixed.

The first season was actually pretty good. While there were quite a few goofy moments, it was rather interesting to watch the day-to-day politics at play in a Roman gladiatorial school. It almost could've been described as being "Game of Thrones light."

Season 2, on the other hand, has pretty much taken a nose dive into exactly the kind of territory I feared the series was headed for right from the very start.

I'm sorry, but Spartacus and crew being more or less invincible simply kills any narrative tension or incentive I could possibly have to root for their (allegedly) "underdog" cause. After roughly ten hours of watching sweaty roid hulks in loin cloths effortlessly hack their way through literal human waves of highly trained and heavily armored soldiers, while occasionally pausing to give obnoxiously self-righteous (and frankly, hypocritical) speeches about "freedom" and morality in between, I'm actually finding myself rooting for the Romans more and more.

Hell! At this rate, I might even enjoy watching all of the main cast get crucified at the end of season 3.

A problem not helped, I might add, by the fact that the writers killed off pretty much all of the show's most interesting characters at the end of season 1.

I mean... Honestly, what does it say about a series when a smarmy serial rapist and murderer is significantly more likeable than any of the show's supposed heroes?

Spartacus himself (particularly since they switched actors after the end of season 1) is little more than a bland pretty boy who likes to give grating and overly long Picard speeches. His lieutenants are little better, as they are all either thoroughly unlikeable meat heads who couldn't act their way out of a wet paper bag or simply "meh" wastes of space (though Peter Mensah is, admittedly, awesome :mrgreen: ).

Oh! And did I mention that they're all basically terrorists as well? Considering the fact that they actually burnt down an entire arena full of people at one point, they probably have a civilian body count that's well into the thousands at this point.

The show, of course, tries to unironically brush this off as being justified simply because the people killed happened to have all been "Romans." :roll:

Overall:

Season 1: 8.5 out of 10
Season 2: 6 out of10

I honestly kind of wish that the series wasn't about Spartacus at all. It would've worked much better if it had simply remained a show about a gladiatorial school and the petty roman politics surrounding it.
 
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Gathomas88

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Season 3 is proving to be more palatable moving forward. The Romans have been given a massively needed upgrade in their on screen tactics, leadership, and general level of competence, and the show has finally started to acknowledge the inherent flaws in Spartacus's actions and "holier than thou" attitude.

It might be a tad "too little too late," but it's something. The show has managed to make me reinvest myself in the story and characters, at the very least.
 
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Spartacus FPV

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Have you watched Gods of the Arena, the prequel season?
 

Northern Light

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The guys in it are hot.

Other than that there's no reason for me to watch it. :)
 

Gathomas88

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Have you watched Gods of the Arena, the prequel season?

Not yet. I was planning on saving it for last.

I expect that I'll like it better than season 2 or 3, however; simply because it goes back to setting, tone, and characters of the first season.

Also, Batiatus (John Hannah) was easily my favorite character in the whole series. :mrgreen:
 
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