April 10, 2010

My Guilty Pleasure Show

Two months ago, I shared my initial thoughts about Spartacus: Blood and Sand. I pretty much talked about how the show utilizes a fairly simple formula that involves boobs, blood, and more boobs. While I appreciated the visuals of the pilot, I still wasn't quite sure if I was sold on the story. Now, that the first season is coming to a close, I have no problem admitting that S:B&S has become my guilty pleasure show of 2010.

I fully acknowledge that Spartacus is not ground-breaking, the story is cliched, the acting is suspect (although John Hannah is pretty great as the ambitiously corrupt Batiatus), and the CGI can be a bit overblown, but I have to watch it week in and week out.

Despite its simple premise, S:B&S tells its narrative quite effectively. I've found myself buying into this reconstructed history, and actually rooting for Spartacus while he fights for his life and tries to avenge his wife. Plus, he's surrounded by all of these off-the-wall characters that are all wrapped up in corruption, affairs, power struggles, and betrayals. Sure, it sounds soapy, but it's a manly kind of soapy (you know, the kind that involves riding horses backwards).

I seriously doubt Spartacus: Blood and Sand will be winning Emmys anytime soon, but it's been a break-out hit for Starz, was given a second season even before its premiere, so it's obviously not a fluke. Spartacus is just a crazy ride to take week after week. Plus, all of the boobies don't hurt either.


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