While "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" was on indefinite hiatus after titular star Andy Whitfield was diagnosed with cancer, Starz decided to satiate fans' blood/booblust with a six-episode prequel, "Spartacus: Gods of the Arena."

While "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" was on indefinite hiatus after titular star Andy Whitfield was diagnosed with cancer, Starz decided to satiate fans' blood/booblust with a six-episode prequel, "Spartacus: Gods of the Arena."

It was recently announced that Whitfield would not return to "Spartacus," and Season 2 of "Blood and Sand" will go on with a new star, Liam McIntyre. In the meantime, we get the backstory of the inaugural season's nefarious villain, Batiatus (John Hannah).

It's an interesting move given the outcome of the first season's finale, but the "Spartacus" series has a loyal following and there's always a niche for gratuitous sex and violence on television.

So "Gods of the Arena" is simply about how Batiatus and his wife, Lucretia (Lucy Lawless), rise to prominence as Roman and gladiatorial power players with the help of brash fighter Gannicus (Dustin Clare).

In the first 10 minutes of the first episode, there are copious amounts of breasts and beheadings, so that facet of the "Spartacus" franchise is as strong as ever. And the stylized action - "300" meets "The Matrix" - also remains along with the unrealistic "Romanesque" dialogue and farcical swearing.

While my inner 14-year-old boy was more than pleased by these camptastic attributes, "Gods of the Arena" can only be viewed as the guiltiest of pleasures.