Monday, February 7, 2011

Spartacus: Blood and Sand

My wife and I recently finished watching the first season of Spartacus: Blood and Sand. We were longing for more "historical" entertainment after having watched HBO's brilliant production Rome. I did some snooping around at the local store and stumbled upon Spartacus: Blood and Sand, which just completed it's first year. And what a lucky find this was! Spartacus has everything that Rome has to offer; story, deceit, love, lust, deception, as well as fantastic fighting scenes. If you liked Gladiator, you will love Spartacus. The first year had me on the edge of my seat-bed actually. We can't wait for year two, three, and hopefully more.

What I love is that Spartacus  takes the perspective from the gladiator's point of view. This is a story rarely heard, even if only fictionally. This is the story of slaves, who were trained to fight and kill to provide entertainment for their masters, the Romans. And remarkably, we meet men and woman who still hold to love, and ideals in a world in which they have little say or power.

One of the most attractive characters in the series, is the Celt Crixus, which in Gaelic means  "one with curly hair". Crixus is a magnificent character, a powerful and proud Celtic warrior. I pause to mention Crixus, because he is such a wonderful and memorable Celt; impulsive, hot headed, and one hell of a fighter in the ring. Before Spartacus arrives on the scene, Crixus is top dog. Rivals at first, Spartacus and Crixus warm to one another, and this is how the first year concludes. Historically the real Spartacus and Crixus would lead a rebellion of slaves against the Romans, so I imagine this is what we will encounter in future episodes.

A feature of good drama is that it can make you feel you are part of the story, lifting you from the present and placing you in either past or future. Spartacus: Blood and Sand  does just that and along the way you will meet Crixus, Spartacus and many others. It is a journey well taken.

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