February 22nd, 2010


SPARTACUS: BLOOD & SAND: a helpful primer

Have you guys noticed that fandom wants a bunch of incredibly contradictory things?

Fandom wants unbreakable, unshakeable friendships that are deep and complete and true, and fandom wants intense love-hate relationships that aren't so much mature as fraught. Fandom wants characters of color in interesting roles, but often ignores them and writes endlessly about the pretty white boys. Fandom wants women in strong roles, but doesn't want them getting in the way of the slash. Fandom, in short, is absolutely bugfuck, which is why it's at its own throat every other Sunday.

Well, there is one show that has pretty much *everything* fandom has been clamoring for, God help it, and it is SPARTACUS: BLOOD AND SAND.

No, the show is not actually any good. This has never stopped fandom before.

SPARTACUS is, I repeat, a pretty crap show. But it has a stoic, intense, emotionally unavailable hero who has a protective, emotionally supportive, and physically contrasting male best friend; it has a hero who has nothing to do with the women, because they are physically separated and because both the powerful female leads hate his guts, so the women literally *cannot* get in the way of the slash; it features two socially powerful women who make no bones about seeking out their own sexual satisfaction, often graphically; it has male-on-male sex, portrayed as part of a devoted relationship; it has a fairly diverse cast of actors who originate from Ghana, Australia, Lebanon, and more; it features slavery, which becomes a fanfic AU for *every* fandom, as an integral component, with powerful women using men as sex slaves; and it has a ton (quite literally, at least 2000 lbs worth) of well-muscled men who walk around for whole episodes wearing nothing but loincloths and baby oil. Sometimes they forget the loincloths.

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