The Chicago Tribune has a great article on the evolution of Spartacus Blood and Sand into a terrific show. CONTAINS NO SPOILERS for the season finale
Chicago Tribune - 14 April 2010
As Season 1 ends, 'Spartacus' emerges as a gripping gladiator romp
It's hard to say what's more impressive about the Season 1 finale of "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" (9 p.m. Central Friday, Starz) -- the hour itself, which is an enormously enjoyable roller-coaster ride, or the way it artfully combines everything "Spartacus" does well.
To give away even a scrap of what happens to the gladiator Spartacus (Andy Whitfield) and his wealthy owners, Batiatus (John Hannah) and Lucretia (Lucy Lawless) would be to ruin the finale's well-designed twists and turns. Suffice to say it left a lasting impression and will no doubt remain one of my favorite TV episodes of the year.
For those who dismissed the show as a sex-obsessed "300" ripoff, think again. "Spartacus" turned out to be so much more than that, especially when it kicked into high gear midway through Season 1. Over the course of 13 hours, and especially in several well-paced recent episodes, this swords-and-togas saga became downright addictive, in part due to its distinctive dialogue, which mixes Shakespearean flourishes with "Sopranos"-esque profanity.