Published: 12:02 p.m., Thursday, January 21, 2010

NEW YORK (AP) -- "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" isn't exactly put-your-feet-up-and-relax television.

Premiering on cable's Starz network at 10 p.m. EST Friday, this new action-adventure series grabs you with its raciness, derring-do and visual pizazz.

It's based on the real-life Thracian slave-turned-rabblerouser from the first century B.C. (and, a couple of millenniums later, on the Stanley Kubrick film starring Kirk Douglas). But more, this TV reimagining teems with the sort of fabulousness that thrilled, inspired and grossed out fans of Zack Snyder's digitized masterpiece, "300."

Like that 2006 film, "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" is a blend of hyper-realism and epic fantasy where, during battle, ragged streams of a victim's spilled blood pause lazily in mid-air before soaking the ground.

It's a world where brawny gym rats clad themselves in circa-B.C. thongs, or less; where steamy trysts and orgies are the rage; where even leading lady Lucy Lawless ("Xena: Warrior Princess") has her moments in the buff.

One spicy scene finds her, as Lucretia, about to get romantic with husband Batiatus (John Hannah), a Roman sports impresario whose "ludus" -- an extreme training camp for gladiators -- is where Spartacus is enslaved. Lucretia and Batiatus are hot for each other, that's clear. But to get things started with maximum ease, each spouse calls upon an attendant to supply the needed foreplay.

In short, "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" is a series guaranteed to make you sit up and take notice.

Click here to read the interview with Lucy & Andy

News submitted by Adi.