Posted by : Wendy B Tuesday, 2 August 2011

My flailing over the initial gratuitous sex in Game of Thrones led to discussion about HBO's finer gratuitous offerings. A friend tried to convince me to try True Blood again - and I did try - but, until Sookie and Bill are properly disappeared, I can't handle it.

Thus, thoughts turned to the other suggestion: Spartacus: Blood and Sand

J and I tried to watch this when it first aired but we quickly grew bored of the John Woo slow motion and anime spurty blood and turned the channel. To think, we didn't even make it to the boobies and manflesh.

Good thing I have friends to show me the error of my ways! We liked the characters and intrigue of Game of Thrones and I liked the visuals of 300, so why shouldn't we give this a chance?

Somebody needs a hug.
Cruel Netflix and TMNOD twists of fate prevented me from watching more Blood and Sands, so I switched to Spartacus: Gods of the Arena in the mean time. This series was a prequel to Blood and Sands, brought in to kill time as the lead, Andy Whitfield, dealt with his illness. Despite my initial frustration with accessing Blood and Sand, I now consider myself fortunate to have seen Gods of the Arena first. As far as prequels go, this one was most excellent. It truly solidified the characters by giving them strengthening their personalities and giving them significant back stories. It even made me see the soft and cuddly side of Dotore (right). Okay, maybe not that soft and cuddly... but still! Knowing that much more about all of their history and motivations made the good guys better and the bad guys worse.

Speaking of bad guys, that is one of the ways I judge good writing. As in, how well the detestable characters are written. None of these let me down. Characters I could love to hate, and better still, evil characters who kept you guessing at what they might do next.

I finally did get to see all of Blood and Sand, including all the amusing behind-the-scenes extras. Gladiators squealing like little girls never gets old.

Sadly, Andy Whitfield won't be returning for the next season, Vengeance. Much credit to STARZ for showing such integrity in waiting for their star to recover. I can only assume they would have put that much integrity in searching for his replacement when he gave them leave. It won't be the same, but knowing that Liam McIntyre has Andy Whitfield's blessing should help with the transition.

January 2012 is so very far away...

One Response so far.

  1. http://gonzo21.livejournal.com/899328.html?thread=17018112#t17018112

    Excerpt from interview:

    AX: Was the language of the series always planned to be so Shakespearean?

    DEKNIGHT: That was quite a struggle. I had always wanted to do it, but there was a lot of doubt from my producing partners and Starz. They wanted to make it modern. It just wouldn’t have the same feel. So my first draft of the first episode, the biggest note for me from my producing partners and Starz was they didn’t understand what anybody was saying because it was much more Shakespearean. I’ve toned it way down since then. If you look at the first couple of episodes of season one, you can see it takes a few episodes for the language to really gel. Once we hit episode four, we get a good handle on it.

    Some people love the language of the show and some people hate it. I get a message every now and then on Twitter or Facebook asking if it would kill me to use an article now and then. There are other people who are well versed in Latin, point out that they did use articles in Latin. I totally understand that but it’s a device to give a feeling of an ancient time. I’m the first to say that it doesn’t have to go as far as I go, but I studied as a playwright so I’m well steeped in Shakespeare. I love Shakespeare, so for me it always seemed natural to do it this way. Having said that, I kind of bit myself on my own ass because it is so much harder to write these scripts. If it were modern, I could blast through a season much more quickly. It’s incredibly time consuming. At first, some writers would write the scripts or scenes with modern dialogue and then go back and change it – which doesn’t work at all. You’ve just got to sit there and it doesn’t come very naturally. It’s incredibly time consuming, but also very rewarding. One of the most rewarding things is after practically every episode airs people are quoting lines from the show.

    AX: How about the swearing in the show?

    DEKNIGHT: Jupiter’s C**k was a curse based loosely on stuff our historical consultants sent us. Season one I read about the Jupiter’s C**k drinking game. You take one shot for c**k and you take a double shot for Jupiter’s C**k, and then rush yourself to the hospital. [Laughs] I’ve had a lot of people asking me if they really said c**k that much. I don’t know, but the point is it’s a word that works in our world. Do I sprinkle it in a lot? I sprinkle it in just enough for what I feel characters would say.

    When the show first aired, I got a lot of complaining about the profanity. People were absolutely 100% certain that they didn’t curse like this back in ancient times, to which I reply that I’m pretty sure the caveman had a grunt that meant f**k. It’s just one of those words. Every once in a while I have to reply to some know it all who tells me the language is so historically inaccurate and that they didn’t have the word f**k back then – it came about in the fifteen hundreds – at least that version of the word. Every single curse word we use on the show is based on Latin, and the Latin that means the same thing. So they have a word that means f**k. I do get snide comments telling me “shouldn’t they be speaking in Italian accents instead of an English accent?” The ancient Roman conceit of people having an English accent is what people are used to, and it’s what works. It elevates the language. And again since I am going quasi-Shakespearean it also works that way too.

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This is my mindspill. Mostly about comics, books, video games, movies of the science fiction and fantasy leanings. Sometimes recipes and parenting stuff will sneak in, along with a real world rant or two.

I also write about geek culture at Women Write About Comics, and I review genre fiction at The BiblioSanctum.

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