Melissa Crawley writes about popular culture with a special interest in television. Her published work includes articles on CSI and The O'Reilly Factor for the online journal Flow as well as a chapter on reality television for The Great American Makeover: Television, History and Nation. Her book, Mr. Sorkin Goes to Washington: Shaping the President on Television's
Actors often talk about bringing an emotional authenticity to the characters they play. A physical authenticity should also be required if the part involves a weekly round of fighting off scary Russian operatives or shady government spies who know jiu jitsu.
With all the slicing and cutting and loss of bodily fluids, Spartacus would seem to be a prime candidate for criticism about its excessive violence, but its stylized approach to violence makes for unconventional, provocative programming.
The predictability of the cast is their Achilles' heel. Ronnie and Sammi’s weekly dysfunctional hour of make-up/break-up is as expected as Snooki’s alcohol soaked antics and the Situation’s Sunday dinner of sausage and peppers.
The clean room at the end of the show is my visual cue that the hoarder is cured simply because order beat chaos. Any thoughts I might have about what it means to overcome a mental illness are overshadowed by the pleasure I feel at seeing the before and after ‘reveal’.