I’ve just watched the first episode of Starz’s Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Oh, dear.

The blood was candy-red, and flung over everything. And it made me giggle. I’m guessing it was basically designed (not unlike Xena: Warrior Princess, Tapert and Raimi producing–coincidence? I think not…) for the international syndication market. There was no acting to speak of, or writing, or scenery for that matter. Even the arena looked suspiciously Xena-like. As did the make-4-men-in-red-cresty-helmets-stand-in-for-a-Roman-army and 3-horses-sound-like-the-cavalry ‘special effects’. The whole thing staggered about under the weight of cod-epic syntax. There were no jokes. Though it was so over the top I laughed a lot anyway. I also think they owe Zack Snyder (of 300 fame) a cut (er, no pun intended).

Oh, and there was a lot of sex. At one point, there was a how-many-positions-can-we-do-in-one-session montage. (What is it about straight people and their athletic positions? My opinion: if you have to try lots of different approaches to inserting tab A into slot B before you get to the beaming-pass-me-a-grape stage, you’re doing it wrong.) I’m guessing the sex was there because it’s so cheap: one set, no extras, no costumes. Kelley chortled and said they should have titled it Spurtacus. I did note that in the Kiwi version of Rome, women have discovered waxing and razors but that those new-fangled grooming inventions only work for men on their chests.

Episode 2? I don’t think so.