I’m loving this show. It’s just unfortunate there is only one episode left this season. Then I’ve got to wait for the lead actor Andy Whitfield to be healed from his treatable cancer and then wait for them to film the second season. If we’re lucky, that means probably next January at the earliest.
I originally took interest in the show because it takes place in ancient Rome. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a sucker for Ancient Rome/Roman Empire stuff. Movies like Gladiator and shows like ROME and now Spartacus always grab my attention.
When my girlfriend and I first sat down and watched Spartacus I was a little disappointed. The overuse of computer generated blood and speed ramping the action shots (every shot) was a turn off. It was just too stylistic. It was trying to be the movie 300 just a little too much. Personally I was never a big fan of 300 to begin with. However by the third episode Spartacus really grabbed me. Since then I’ve been hooked, making sure to catch it every week. Over the episodes they’ve tappered off on the overuse of CG blood and slow motion action shots. It’s still there, but they definitely calmed it down or at least learned to use it properly to where it is not noticed as a burden on the eyes. Which is good.
The show is shot on RED digital cameras, all indoors on sound stages against green screens and set pieces. So even its outdoor scenes are shot inside. One of the producers of the show mentioned that should they ever shoot anything actually outside, the look would be too jarring for the audience compared to everything else they’ve shot. So this will remain a sound stage only production. Considering its look and feel, that’s ok. But there are definitely outdoor shots that look composited.
As for the story… its got enough hills and valleys to keep you going. Not to mention enough little twists here and there. It has surprised me more than a few times and that isn’t easy. I’m the type that’s always looking for stuff. So kudos there.
If I were to compare it to a show like ROME? Well ROME is an epic show. It was very well done and certainly had a huge budget to go along with it. Spartacus is definitely a smaller show. It also seems to push the nudity and sex a little farther than ROME did. At least as far as I remember. But ROME was no slouch there either.
That said, Spartacus is definitely more stylized and graphic novel-ish as they intended it to be. By comparison it’s like reading a really good comic book versus watching ROME which is like reading an actual novel.