Friday, 6 April 2012

TV: Spartacus: Vengeance (8/10)

Following on from the first series and subsequent prequel, Spartacus has developed something of cult following and true second season of the most explicit show on TV returns with Spartacus raising an army of familiar faces to take on the might of the Roman empire. The writers manage to find a way to reunite all the favourites from both previous seasons. Spartacus is played by Liam McIntye in Vengeance following Andy Whitfield's sad death and McIntyre fills the role with similar gusto to Whitfield albeit with a slight Christian Bale voice impersonation.

Third time around its dawned on me how seriously the show takes itself. There are very few light hearted moments and I lost count of the number of grand speeches and intense stares Spartacus and Praetor Glaber give throughout the series. The seriousness of the show is in stark contrast with the attitude of Spartacus' audience, most of whom I believe watch just for fun and with tongue firmly in cheek, adding to the shows cult appeal.

The combination of extreme gore, though impressive, and explicit sex is not quite as novel this time around but the backstabbing, bed-hopping and blood-spilling plot is still strong enough to enjoy. The finale is gripping as the action switches between Spartacus and Glaber and the scheming pair of Lucretia and Illythia.

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