For me, Spartacus was like Lost: it started out really strong and then went to shit. But the first two seasons of both were so good that I think they’re still worth recommending.
Spartacus is a loose re-telling of the actual historical figure’s story: a Thracian gladiator that rebels against his masters and eventually wages a full-scale war against Rome. And it’s just fantastically good.
The outstanding cinematography, costume and set design, and gratuitous blood, gore, and sex immediately grab your attention, but the depth of the acting and writing is what really keeps you watching. For me, Lucy Lawless and Andy Whitfield are the stand-out performances, but everyone holds their own.
Oh and in case you’re wondering why I said this show eventually goes to shit, unfortunately Whitfield died of lymphoma after the second season and from that point on, the show just gets worse and worse (his replacement is a skinny-fat weakling that you just can’t get behind, there’s a distinct lack of intensity in the other characters, and the writing degenerates into downright absurdity).