Do you enjoy swordfights, ancient Rome, and boobs? I thought so. Those are the main ingredients of Spartacus: Blood and Sand which premieres January 22nd on Starz. We talked about this series before, but that was six months ago when it was “coming later”. Now it’s “coming in less than a week,” so prepare your cable boxes, satellite dishes, DVRs and all that jazz. I just watched the first episode for this series, and it goes above and beyond what you’re probably expecting. These are the most graphic sex scenes I’ve ever seen on television, even if it is cable. There are copious amounts of nudity in this show. And by nudity I mean full-frontal nudity, both male and female, and lots of girl on girl sex. The trailer they showed us just this morning featured more breasts than a weekend in Vegas, and one scene with a girl pulling on another girl’s nipple ring. With her teeth.

Paying attention yet? If not, consider this: in one scene, Lucretia (Lucy Lawless) and her husband Batiatus (John Hannah) use their slaves as foreplay in what Lawless calles “the fluffer scene,” and yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Buck-naked slaves are getting them both ready for sex. executive producer and head writer Steven S. DeKnight said that the show’s sex and violence (and yes, there’s also a ton of violence in this series) go together “like peanut butter and chocolate.” So just to recap: yes, this show is about Spartacus, the legendary leader of a slaver leader against the Roman Republic in early 70s. B.C. 70s. However, they’ve considerably augmented things with tons of sex and nudity, and buckets upon buckets of blood. Who’s complaining?

Additionally, Starz has already announced, before the first episode has even premiered, that Spartacus will be returning for 13 new episodes in a second season, which will begin shooting this year. The second season will be called Spartacus: Vengeance, so that will probably take the edge the mystery out of viewers wondering if Spartacus (played by newcomer Andy Whitfield) lives to the end of this season. Sam Raimi and his longtime partner Rob Tapert are producing, which should be a lot easier, now that Spider-Man 4 ain’t happening. DeKnight thinks the show could run for six or seven seasons, which is somewhat hard to imagine right now, but I’ll endure the season and save that judgement for later. Tune in this Friday to see what the hubbub is all about.

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