Ryan Wilson

Spoiler-Free TV Review – Spartacus: Vengeance “Fugitivus”

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The much anticipated second season of Spartacus is finally here, but was it worth the wait?

Those who haven’t followed the development of the show should know that the second season took a very tumultuous two years to happen. Production was initially delayed due to the original Spartacus: Blood and Sand actor, Andy Whitfield, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. A prequel, called Spartacus: Gods of the Arena was quickly filmed to dampen the delay as he recovered. Unfortunately, attempts at recovery were not successful, and the titular character had to be recast with Australia-born Liam McIntyre starring. After a long battle, Andy Whitfield finally succumbed to cancer on September 11, 2011.

Was Liam McIntyre able to fill the big shoes of Andy Whitfield? For the most part, yes. Liam proves himself to be a competent in the role of the new leader of the gladiator rebellion. In fact, the acting seems stronger than ever this time around, a refreshing change from what Gods of the Arena had to offer. The dialogue, however, is still as smarmy as ever. The phallic-centric dialogue of Batiatus has not seemed to die with him, as every character has seemed to say everyone’s favorite giggle-worthy “rooster” synonym.

The premiere episode of the second season also suffers from weak writing, which I believe is partially to blame on Spartacus’ history itself. His capture and eventual escape from gladiatorial slavery made great television, and character development was not spared for the sake of another decapitation or to fill their naked body quota. Season 2, however, follows Spartacus and his ever growing ex-slave army. If action is what you crave, this season will have it in droves, but those looking for real development may want to look elsewhere.

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