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I didn’t take any formal notes during the watching of this show, and I’ve since finished watching it a few weeks ago, I’ll have to simply throw out what ideas I have and see if they coalesce into something worth readying.

What to say first? The style of this show is obviously, and unashamedly stolen from 300, it’s trying to cash in on the cache of that movie, and it has pretty good cinematography for a TV show, particularly a relatively home grown one with production operating out of NZ. I originally watched the first episode a year or two ago, and because it did look like a cheap knock off of 300 I couldn’t get through it. In looking for more shows to consume I went on IMDB to see what rating it had (as I tend to determine my show watching by rating) and found to my surprise it received 8.7 (out of a possible 10). Upon giving it a fair viewing on its own merits it took me much of the first season to see what the big deal was – to me Whitfield was ok, Bennett was good, as was Courtney as Varro (in fact it was him who I was interested in mostly, particularly the relationship between him and Whitfield, it was obvious and apparent they were friends in real life). It wasn’t until the season progressed and as the writers took Spartacus through more and more grueling an experience, and how that manifested as a change in character in him that I began to see how gripping and well played the melodrama was. The dialogue is clever, not on par with Shakespeare but spoken much in the same vain, and I found that easy to understand and infinitely appealing. the sex and violence will be appealing to some and off-putting to others, I found both to be interesting, I generally tend to enjoy fight scenes more than sex scenes in film and TV, that’s for you to decide though. Needless to say, this show has both, in very graphic detail.

By the end of the first season I really was all behind Whitfield, he’d sold the character to me, as had the writers – his conflict with Crixus, his dominus,the scheming to overthrow such, the death of main characters etc. I guess the point is: I cared about what happened to these people, this made the show poignant to me, given my skepticism at the beginning. That made the terrible events that followed S1 all the worse, as Whitfield became ill with cancer the search began to find his replacement, in the interm the writers did a mini-series which went beck in time, prior to Spartacus’ involvement with house Batiatus, which focused on Crixus and Gannicus. Even this I was skeptical of, yet again – how could this show replace someone I’d come to feel was pivitol for the show? Gannicus and Crixus’ character development was taken seriously and the effects of this mini series would be felt throughout the show (I won’t spoil anything for anyone). Still  when coming back to the official season 2 and the replacement of Whitfield I was extremely trepidatious with the show, yet again, having to prove itself to me, with McIntyre taking up the role. It took me all of 5 minutes to fall in love with his characterization of Spartacus – apparently his audition was so strong they overlooked the fact that he was a scrawny little kid -he really does have an intense screen presence, that although was different to Whitfield was still incredibly captivating.

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