Tuesday, March 13, 2012
I was a big fan of Spartacus: Of Blood and Sand, I was really upset when it was announced that Andy Whitfield would be unable to reprise his role as Spartacus in the new season "Spartacus: Vengence." So since I haven't posted a review in awhile, and the second full season of Spartacus is coming to an end, how has it held up so far?
First off, Liam McIntyre, the NEW Spartacus isn't nearly as lovable as Andy Whitfield. They look similar, and if you didn't hear his voice you might actually have a problem telling the difference as can be seen in this side by side comparison.
So, they're similar enough, but unfortunately Liam McIntyre just doesn't have the same presence as Andy Whitfield. Andy Whitfield seemed to portray more emotion as Spartacus, Liam seems to just be angry all the time, which is part of the character, but still it just seems like he only has 1 emotion. This is the ONLY thing I've ever seen him in so I doubt he's a bad actor, I'd probably blame the director or writing, it's not easy dialogue to say and Andy just did a better job.
While what happened to Andy was unfortunate, the cast was also hit with the lose of the lovely Lesley-Ann Brandt, who played the character Naevia in season 1 and in the prequel "Gods of the Arena." Taking her place is Cynthia Addai-Robinson, apart from the hyphenated name they don't have much in common.
Cynthia Addai-robinson carries the unfortunate burden or replacing the absolutely beautiful Lesley-Ann Brandt. She's not bad looking, but well I mean come on! The character is also annoying this season, she was shipped to mines and raped a lot so she's really whiney and has a female empowerment thing going on. I'm not against female empowerment, it's more the fact that when it's done poorly it's painful. Like the first "Pirates of the Caribbean" When Keira Knightly gave her amazing "try wearing a corset" line. The audience collectively rolled their eyes and began hoping that the directors cut would remove said line. There are good examples of Female empowerment, like you never heard Buffy the Vampire Slayer say something along the lines of "you think your tough try bleeding for a week" people don't talk like that and when they do it takes you out of the moment. Even Mira and the other two female leads are decent examples of solid female characters, I don't know why Naevia gets the short end of the stick in this season.
The plot to this point, I will try to exclude spoilers, involves Spartacus freeing slaves and trying to build an army while his arch nemesis Gaius Claudius Glaber does the exact same thing. The two hate each other and seem to be really desperate to stop the other. Lucretia, the wife of the slave owner who was Spartacus's master, survived her attack from Spartacus's army and is being used as a symbol of hope, sort of ancient Roman propaganda if you will. Most of the other characters are right where you expect them, either side's numbers are growing and building to what appears to be a final showdown between Spartacus and Glaber.
It can be slow at times, the acting isn't great but getting better, the women not as sexy and occasionally overly whiney, but it holds up fairly well but isn't as much fun as season 1 or even season 1.5. I doubt the show will make many new fans if they haven't seen the first one, but if you were a fan of either season then I'd say this is a happy addition to the current list of episodes.