I remember when I saw Spartacus (Blood and Sand)the first time. I thought the same thing. After the 2nd-3rd ep I feel in love. I'm hoping this is the case.
Same here, I thought it was just a 300 rip off. Something made me watch it again the next week, and every episode kept pulling me in.
It is going to be hard seeing the new actor in the part, but I will have to give him a chance, it's not like they had much choice, other than just stop making it.