So I just finished the first season of Spartacus. Now I was among the many who thought the first two or three episodes were quite bad. I kept watching because someone told me that it got better and much to my surprise, it did. They got some interesting storylines going along with some great performances by Andy Whitfield (RIP) and John Hannah. It wrapped up with one of the more satisfying finales I can remember watching.
It definitely kept the over the top gore throughout and the effects were up and down. I also haven't watched the 1.5 prequel or any of season 2 yet, so I'm not sure how those are.
However, if you want to see a TV show get steadily better and end the season with a great climax, I highly recommend it.