Preview: Ilithyia's nature unfolds on Spartacus, Friday March 12
By April MacIntyre Mar 11, 2010, 3:59 GMT
Ilithyia, courtesy of Starz
If you have not committed to Starz Original series "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" yet, shame on you.
Fans of the series were delivered a gut punch this week on the news that Andy Whitfield (Spartacus) was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, in its earliest stages. His prognosis is very good, and he has legions of well-wishers sending him powerful prayers, good thoughts and love.
Reasons to tune in to Spartacus:
The women: Lucretia (Lucy Lawless) and Ilithyia (Viva Bianca) wield a mighty tongue, and as the times dictated, women of noble birth had only their wiles to navigate a decidedly male world. The series' writers have tuned their ear to the ways of a Roman woman: slave, middle-class and Domina, and the ladies are always thinking. A woman has fifteen thoughts to a man's one. Their lives depend on their facile minds.
The men: The societal roles are greatly splayed with our patricians: The Magistrate, the hated Solonius (Craig Walsh Wrightson), Batiatus' (John Hannah) nemesis. Batiatus is a step above working class. He has to entertain the lofty, hence his two-faced nature. The Gladiators are the entertainment, prized "earner" slaves; the guards are working men, a step above the slave class. Moreoften than not, their lives depend on their physical strength. All the men are displayed in ways we have never enjoyed before in a TV series, lots of skin, fully nude, completely appreciated.
The Byzantine tale: The story is expanding and enveloping in layers, like a phyllo dough pastry with hidden delicious surprises tucked inside waiting for us to find. The characters are developing and fleshing out in very curious ways.
The crafts: Excellence in wardrobe, makeup, hair and camerawork are all aided by cutting edge digital intermediate work and CGI, making each frame render like a painting at times. The visual effects are stellar and no 3-D glasses are needed to take it in and enjoy.
Now comes episode 108, 'Mark Of Brotherhood' - as the scheming Batiatus purchases a fresh batch of slaves during an auction to be trained as gladiators and ponders the idea of selling Crixus.
Ilithyia is the house guest who will not leave, and her vexing presence becomes even more problematic to both Batiatus and Lucretia, for different reasons. Ilithyia's lust for Crixus treads on Lucretia's ground, and her hatred for Spartacus pokes a sharp thorn into the side of Batiatus, trying to maintain his money-making enterprise.
Who shall prevail? You know where I will be Friday night.