Spartacus: Blood and Sand is one of the early surprise hits of the year. With very little fanfare, this little gem of a series sprung up on my radar mere days before the premiere. Not impressed initially, I continued to watch, giving Spartacus the fighting chance it deserved. By the end of Season 1, I'm thrilled that I had the opportunity to review this gem of a show. Created by Steven S. DeKnight, Spartacus is a dark, violent and fascinating look at the life of a gladiator through the eyes of a Thracian slave seeking vengeance.
The series' premiere episode feels detached from the rest of the series. While "The Red Serpent" chronicles Spartacus' (Andy Whitfield) journey from noble Thracian to enslaved warrior, it lacks much of what makes this series so great in later episodes. You'll find none of the Roman political intrigue, subterfuge or any of the memorable characters that we meet later in the series. It's also weighed down by trying to mimic movies like 300 and Gladiator. Movies that some may appreciate in their own right, but give this opening foray into the world of Spartacus an uninspired feel. Many, including myself, were not convinced that this series would ever achieve anything more than mediocrity. Thankfully, we were wrong.
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