Spartacus: Five Episodes In

So a while ago I posted my thoughts after watching the first two episodes, and how I wasn’t really digging the show that much. Well last night the season finale aired, and during the past couple weeks I’ve seen multiple mentions of how awesome the show has become on Twitter, and several articles about it. I’d always been planning on getting back into the show at some point when I had a less show-filled schedule, but all this sudden praise made me work it in again.

The third episode was significantly better than the first two, though it still wasn’t blowing me away. The fourth was really good though, and holy crap was episode five awesome.

Part of the reason I wasn’t overly impressed with the show to begin with was the misalignment of my expectations for the show and what the show is. Spartacus is a show devoid of comedy, except for the very black kind present in the ridiculous slow motion shots of arterial spray. This show is dark and gritty in the extreme.

One result of this style is that you aren’t immediately endeared to any of the characters. As the episodes go by and you get to live with them, you get to see facets other than ‘angry douche’ and suddenly you’re worried when that guy you hated is about to die.

And speaking of death, while there’s been surprisingly little of it for our cast so far (though from what I hear that will be changing soon), this show has done something I’ve never seen before, in that when we get to the last ten minutes of an episode, I’m half convinced that the main character is actually going to die and they’ll somehow have to continue Spartacus without Spartacus. His ability to not die when he quite obviously should is really his best trait at this point.

Everything else I said about the show still holds: The acting, action and visual style are all great. Using effects to work around a small budget is an interesting choice, and it works quite well. I especially need to give props for the Theocoles battle, it looked really good and was extremely badass. Now that I’m done writing this I’m gonna go watch episode six.

-Jerk

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~ by Jerk on April 17, 2010.

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