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David Hines [userpic]

SPARTACUS: BLOOD & SAND: a helpful primer

February 22nd, 2010 (11:12 pm)
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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.

Fandom, are you sold yet? This primer, with pics, may help; it is, like the show, NOT SAFE FOR WORK.Collapse )

Comments

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Posted by: Diana (the_grynne)
Posted at: February 25th, 2010 12:50 am (UTC)
rome_maecenas

(Manu used to be a ballerina. WHAT??)

This is hilarious, and so true.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: February 25th, 2010 05:08 am (UTC)
oh john ringo no

I am not going to ever be surprised by anything Manu Bennett turns out to have done. He seems to have boggled Lucy Lawless and his castmates and producers by his constant nudity, but look at the reaction he's getting. The guy is crazy like a fox.

Posted by: Franzi (franzeska)
Posted at: February 25th, 2010 10:00 pm (UTC)

I was really worried that this would have some sort of pretentions to Quality and Art, by which I mean depressingness and whining (How is Varro not dead yet? Seriously!), but instead it's living up to the lofty example of cheesiness set by Xena and Cleopatra 2525.

And you're totally right about who fandom is going to love.

Posted by: What the Monkey? (svilleficrecs)
Posted at: February 26th, 2010 09:09 pm (UTC)

I. Love. This. Show.

I described it as "What if Rome and 300 had a baby and that baby was raised by Cinemax and Logo?" But this picspam is so much better.

OH OH and I have the perfect excuse for dudes who wear the prostetic penises. They can just say, "Well, I'm circumcised and that would be historically inaccurate, so that's why I have the rubber schlong." *nods*

Posted by: What the Monkey? (svilleficrecs)
Posted at: February 26th, 2010 09:10 pm (UTC)

Also, you totally need a screenshot where the little person is running around with a dildo on his head, dressed up as a unicorn.

Because I think that sums up the series pretty well too.

Posted by: desolate_noir (desolate_noir)
Posted at: February 27th, 2010 08:42 am (UTC)
veiled woman in lace

thanks for the info about it I have been meaning to watch it and have been putting it off. Oh here is a link to watch it off my favorite streaming site, just thought I would share.

http://www.ninjavideo.net/cat/2180

Posted by: khaleesian (khaleesian)
Posted at: March 4th, 2010 09:48 pm (UTC)

Awesome prep guide, much appreciated!

Posted by: rekindle956 (rekindle956)
Posted at: March 12th, 2010 11:06 pm (UTC)
Tree&Clouds

Found through stalking nomelon, what a wonderful primer! Thanks!

Posted by: K. Take (futago_02)
Posted at: March 20th, 2010 10:02 am (UTC)

aw, DAMN. :D all I've seen of this show is commercials, but this is hilarious. I loved your intro, and I'm intrigued by the show. Thanks for sharing!

Posted by: kali (kalichan)
Posted at: April 26th, 2010 04:22 pm (UTC)
whiskey tango foxtrot

Have just begun watching the show and this is the best description of a) fandom and b) SPARTACUS: BLOOD AND SAND ever. I found this helplessly googling to see if there was a fandom yet, and well, just ♥.

I go off to proselytize on behalf of the Epic-Man-Pain and wtf-ery that is this gloriously awful, deliciously fun I AM SPARTACVS madness. This will help. Thank you!

Posted by: snopes_faith (snopes_faith)
Posted at: June 16th, 2010 11:42 am (UTC)

Hi! We've never spoken but just to say thanks for this fantastic primer! This was the final bit of convincing I needed to go check out this show and I'm *so* glad I did. It is quite delicious for all the reasons you've so beautifully described :)

Also, this is very helpful for now knowing everyone's damn name!

Posted by: HJ (hjcallipygian)
Posted at: February 7th, 2011 07:35 pm (UTC)

After watching through, oh, episode four or five this weekend (wife is out of town on a conference), I've come back to here to read all your Spartacus stuff. I think I mentioned on Twitter that I was a bit unprepared for how literal your descriptions of the show were; when I first read them, I apparently filed your words under "hyperbole, mild-at-best" and moved on.

If anything, you have understated this show.

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