butterfly: (Domina -- Atia)
[personal profile] butterfly
I finished watching Spartacus and I'm not sure I've ever had a more satisfying television-series experience in my life.

As befitted a show about a slave uprising, it was very subversive at times and defied a lot of tropes.

Both Andy and Liam did wonderful jobs as Spartacus.

It’s hard to think of any actor who fell short (example: the actor playing Tiberius Crassus certainly did an excellent job of making me hate and despise him). I was always invested in the story and the show was very fast-paced. I loved the variety of relationships on display — everything from the broken master/slave relationship of Crassus and Kore* to the mutual and healthy relationship that Nasir and Agron developed.

My list of favorite characters is near-endless. And such a variety of them. I felt spoilt for choice with the female characters — Saxa, Naevia, Laeta, Melitta, Lucrezia and Ilithyia, Mira, Sybil, doomed Kore. So many different women, all complex and interesting characters.

The show had some great friendships — Gannicus and Oenomaus, Gannicus and Melitta**, Agron and Spartacus, Spartacus and Varro, Castus and Nasir, the more fractious one between Spartacus and Crixus.

And the themes. The worth of freedom and how Spartacus was able to win even in dying because he died free. How even though, technically, Crassus won the battle, he lost on every level that mattered — through his own choices, his son and lover were lost to him, he wasn’t able to see Spartacus die as he wished, and he did not even get to claim credit for the victory. It was a victory of bitter ash for him.

I really appreciated the show’s approach to oppression — I like how the show does illustrate that the Roman system hurts the even the most elite Romans as well, by caging them into enacting behaviors that mostly led to their own misery, while make certain that never overshadowed the people most damaged and restricted by the system.

I loved the character arcs — Naevia, Gannicus, Nasir, Crixus, and Agron all had particularly good ones. I kinda loved that Saxa’s response to Gannicus falling for Sybil was to go get herself a hot girlfriend, too. You were awesome, Saxa.

And I really appreciated the subversiveness of the gay couple surviving. That was one of the main reasons I watched the show, because I heard about the ending, and it was very emotionally satisfying to get to see it.

Oh, and Sura’s prophecy/dream/warning came true! I found that delightful, idk.

Sura: “My husband on his knees, bowing before a great red serpent. The life draining from his veins.”
Spartacus: “What meaning did you take from it?”
Sura: “A warning. If you go to war, you are destined for great and unfortunate things.”

I loved how much the ending did harken back to the beginning. The whole series was just so well-crafted. I am definitely on board for whatever series Steven S. DeKnight does next. He goes for the guts and the heart.


* When he found out the truth about Tiberius, I was so tense the whole scene, uncertain whether or not he would kill her. I was not so much surprised to see her up on a cross with Gannicus at the end, as I was resigned. Crassus defined himself by his ‘noble Roman’ identity and by doing so managed to destroy all the good things in his life.

** they were a friendship first and most primary; that was part of what fucked with their heads so much

(also posted on tumblr)

I'm probably going to end up rewatching it and writing meta. Because I've been looking for meta and not finding any (if you know of any, please inform me! I'd love to read it).

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February 2015

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