So I’m curious how many of you watched the premiere of Spartacus: Blood and Sand last night. You can read my B+ review of it here, but I wonder how many viewers who have access to the Starz network were also game for this bloody and sexy gladiator tale. For me, it was over-the-top in a way I found both enjoyable and clever — a clanging hoot. Some other colleagues I respect, such as Time’s James Poniewozik, gave it a thumbs-down.

I didn’t watch as much of Rome as I should have. Yes, I know — it was good, my mistake for not keeping up with it; I’m a bad boy. And I suppose the movie success of 300 proved there’s still an audience for this genre, unlike, say, the Western. (Boy, would I like to see someone revive the Western successfully — mass-audience successfully.) Me, I wasn’t a big 300 fan — in fact, one reason I enjoyed Spartacus so much is that its tone isn’t anything like 300. Spartacus has no lofty tone, no junk reaching for grandeur. It settles right down into the muck, with a lot of vicious fighting and decadent sex. (Who knew this would be just the right series for Lucy Lawless to make yet another fine comeback?)

So I return to my original question: Who watched? And if you did, what did you like or dislike about Spartacus, and would you watch again? (I tell ya, it only gets bloodier and sexier.)

Let me know; thanks.

Spartacus: Blood and Sand
  • TV Show