Spank The Monkey comes to praise Spartacus, not to bury him
Do we need spoiler alerts for this one?
When I wrote about the Starz TV series Spartacus for Mostly Film last year, we were three seasons into what we knew by then was a four season run. I tried to keep spoilers to the absolute minimum, just telling the bare bones of the familiar story: the one about the Thracian slave who ended up leading an army of the oppressed against the might of Rome.
But now we have the final season to consider – Spartacus: War Of The Damned, recently shown on television and just released on home video. The story of Spartacus is familiar, and its ending is even more so. One particular version of it has become so ingrained in our culture, it’s become a metaphor for a certain type of heroic sacrifice. And that’s not even the true version. As Steven S. DeKnight and his writers approach the final chapters of their tale, their retelling of it has to battle against all the baggage the viewer brings along to it. It’s been pre-spoiled. Is that going to be a problem?