July 20, 2010

My Two-Cents on the SPARTACUS Spin-off

This past winter, Starz debuted one of its newest original programs, Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Initially, I thought the pilot was only OK and showed a little promise, but it was nothing special. Then Spartacus quickly became my guilty pleasure show.

The violence, graphics, and acting are over the top, but that is exactly what makes the show fun. It's so sensationalized that you can't help but smile at its insanity and charm. While S:B&S is not for everyone, it's definitely must-see TV in my opinion, and will have a permanent spot on my TV-watching rotation.

When star, Andy Whitfield, was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, many feared that meant Spartacus was in jeopardy. Then all of a sudden, spin-off/prequel talks started to hit the Internet since many of the cast, crew, and design sets were ready to start shooting Season 2, and they didn't want all of those resources to go to waste. These ideas had a life of their own, and before we knew it a prequel was greenlit to fill the void while Whitfield recovered.

This week, more news on the Spartacus prequel surfaced, and now we have new cast members, a subtitle, and premise. While I was a little surprised to learn that Spartacus: Gods of the Arena is going to add so many new characters, I'm just glad we're getting a placeholder between Seasons 1 and 2, so I'm not going to complain. The new cast members are good-looking enough to fit in with the rest of the scantily clad occupants of the ludus, and the storyline is what I was expecting (although I was thinking that either Crixus or Doctore would be the main character).

Nobody can replace Whitfield and Spartacus himself, but I'm glad that Starz and the production team were forward thinking enough to give fans something to hold them over. It'll be glorious when Spartacus: Vengeance (Season 2) officially airs, mostly due to the fact that Whitfield was able to come back, but I'm excited to see what Spartacus: Gods of the Arena has to offer.


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