I been following Spartacus Blood and Sands, a new Starz show on Netflix. I am finding that I really like it. Tim of Gothridge Manor already beat me to a post recommending this.
What I will add is that this is a show where so many thing "could" have gone wrong. The cinematography echoes that of 300 and Gladiator. It is very minimalist. There lots of blood, lots of nudity, lots of explicit sex.
However they do an excellent job with the basic plot of Spartacus' life. They interject interesting new elements and more importantly follow up on them. For example in an early episode we learn that the trainer Doctore was noted for facing Death and survived. In the latest we learn what that was all about and it was well executed.
But coupled with the plot are the actors and they really make the show. It is a brutal world that the Romans live in and this show doesn't pull any punches. But despite that the actors turn in some surprising performances and begin to draw you into their world. In some cases make you care about what happens to them.
I am looking forward to future episodes of this shows. My personal bet it is that it will be 4 season. The first will be Spartacus at the gladiator school ending with the initial revolt and escape. The second will be about the growing revolt and end with the initial victory against the local Romans on Mount Vesuvius. The third revolt will see Spartacus army come into it's own defeating all comers including a Praetorian army followed by a climax where not one but two Consular armies are destroyed by Spartacus and his men. The final season will be Spartacus downfall at the hands of Crassus.
Fun Fact #442
3 hours ago