18 December 2011


My girlfriend is back down from Great Lakes for the holidays, and that means I finally get to watch the prequel series Gods of the Arena.

Clearly, I am a happy clam.

If you've never watched Spartacus, it's basically a sword-and-sandal soap opera. Quintus Batiatus and his wife Lucretia are two plotting owners of a ludus, basically a training ground for gladiators. You watch as they maneuver and plot their way around society while the gladiators deal with the consequences of a life without choice and doing what must be done. They know their place in the world is not high, and their rivalries and brotherhoods is interesting to watch.

Oh, and there's a lot of gore and/or sex, often in the same scene. The world of Spartacus is a dirty, grimy world. You won't find bronzed gods of gladiators here, with squeaky clean love lifes and noble aspirations. They're forever talking about their own penises, or of women and wine, or of killing. Their ludus is often covered in dust and filth, the city is crumbling and shitty. Look at that picture below- the people there are dirty, the arena is cracked and makeshift. You can believe in the world of Spartacus. Exquisite care has been taken to make sure that this world of ancient Rome looks like ancient Rome would, in a world without spray cleaners and germ theory.

Honestly, I don't care if it's not high literature, or destined to be a classic, or what. It's just plain good. The plots are thick, the dialogue is quick and snappy while still being in what is recognizeably a foreign dialect, and the action is presented in such a way that while you know it's not real, you can't help but squint every time somebody gets decapitated or beaten up somehow.

It's fantastic, and I love it.


  1. I love the series. Have bother seasons on bluray and anticipating the new season coming out in January. Probably my favorite series now. Enjoy the show.

  2. "I don't care if it's not high literature...It's just plain good."

    Agreed. A good story is a good story. I enjoyed the original series and am looking forward to the prequel as well.