I don't know about you guys but I am continually shocked at how graphic television has gotten. I'm not complaining mind you. The sight of sexiness doesn't hurt my delicate eyeballs. The sounds of people making love, having sex, doing the nasty, bumping uglies, knocking boots, getting laid, whatever does not offend me in the slightest. As a matter of fact I find it somewhat cool to be able to follow a storyline all the way into the bedroom/car/back hallway/airport bathroom wherever this sort of activity is taking place, if it helps do something for the actual story that I'm also following.
And, when done well, it really does provide motivation for main characters and adds a little "somethin' somethin'" to the draggiest of plots.
It is my contention that these premium channels (HBO, Starz, Showtime, Cinemax, even A&E to a certain extent) are in some sort of silent race for the raciest....a quest for the highest (or lowest) point of sexual activity one can show and it NOT be labelled as pornography. There are scenes of out and out oral sex (Californication, Banshee), vamp sex with biting and bloodiness (True Blood), sex with minors (Weeds), sex with prostitutes (Deadwood), werewolf sex (True Blood), redneck sex with a "bonus Swinger party!" (Justified although this one is not quite as out there as some), sex while zombies threaten your existence (Walking Dead), 1960's sex (Mad Men), 1930's sex (Boardwalk Empire), fetish sex (Weeds), pimp giving sex lessons to the whores sex (Game of Thrones), gay male sex, plus all kinds of glorious weirdness like sex with your mother-in-law so she can get pregnant PLUS BDSM fun (I LOVE THIS SHOW: Shameless).
But nothing and I mean Nothing with a capital "N" beats one show for out-and-out, show-it-all-why-not, orgies, girl/girl, boy/boy, slave/master (literally), sex as reward, sex as relaxation after a bloody day on the battlefield, sex help from the slaves you NAME it they have DONE it: Spartacus.
Now, I love a good sandals and swords romp. I honestly figured that it would be a one-and-done. I mean, if you know your history, you know that "Spartacus" the man did not live that long. He was a brave gladiator who did a brave thing (burning down his arena while leading a slave rebellion). But honestly? Stretching this thing out 4 or 5 seasons seemed a bit craven and lame. Until I figured out what this show is about.
Yep. You guessed it. Sex. All kinds and forms of it--beautiful, erotic, lovemaking; enthusiastic, jaw-dropping orgies; man love (a lot of this, which gives the show an A+ in my book for veracity); choose your partner parties (which to this day makes me hear "I love quick time harch" in my head). In the very first season there was a scene whereby the Dominus and Domina (yeah, check the roots of THOSE words Oh 50 Shades of Dismay fans) are having a lovely evening together, sharing wine and a meal, chatting about their day watching the yard full of barely dressed, muscular dudes beat the sh*t out of each other for their master's sport, ripping off the townspeople, plotting the downfall of fellow mid-grade managers like themselves--the usual workaday Roman stuff. And as they continue talking they commence getting naked, fairly matter of factly (you would have to turn to straight up porn to see more man-dingle than you do in this show. None of it erect, mind you and alas.). They keep chatting, "Oh the woes of we who lead," sort of stuff as they fall into a bit of cursory gettin' it on. Kind of a "Oh let's have sex before we go to sleep kind of thing, could ya hurry up with that hon?" You know....we've all been there.
BUT.....just as things seems to be moving along at a normal, married couple sex way, the slaves waltz in and start...well, "diddling" their masters is the only word for it. Swear it. Rent the thing and see. It's Lucy Lawless (who is the BEST bad gal ever---too bad she was a Roman and had to go) and that dude from The Mummy and Four Weddings an a Funeral, getting off -- or I guess "finishing off" with a little help from the help. Yowza.
And the parties that Lucy would throw! Whew. Plus she had the super triple bonus of pretty much having a stable of studlies to choose from when she wanted a little private pony ride. She chose wisely, in Crixus, but he felt otherwise.
Listen, this thing is many times over the top. They all are (see: Shameless and Californication). We are all sort of numb to this kind of thing anymore so shows like Spartacus are invented to see if they can throw us for a collective "Holy crap can you do that on tv?" sort of loop. And I love it.
What is your favorite over-the-top show? If Spartacus is your cup of amphora-aged wine (like mine 'cause we are just nasty) who is your favorite character? What was your favorite storyline? I LOVED the evil Illythia b*tch. She was awesomely awful. I can see the thing is winding down to it's well-known, historically recorded ending. (Spartacus sees the business end of a cross). But lo and behold we have a new hotster this season and his name is: Gaius Julius Caesar. Yeah. And he is gettin' HIS own show once we move past our nasty, dirty, slave rebellion.
Happy watching! (or Happy Endings)
P.S. this show has it's own built in sad story too. The absolutely adorable Andy Whitfield played Spartacus The Original Anger Issues Slave Guy. He was diagnosed with cancer and died about six months after, leaving behind a wife and child. The new guy Liam something or another is good. But he is no Andy.
p.p.s. Spartacus is also the most egregiously violent thing on tv--fake blood and all. Seriously if you want the full bore "history with the guts, gore and fellatio and a fair bit of cunnilingus and man meat left in", get your paws on this show.
Oh, right, the promo bit: Ahem:
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