The prequel and Season one were great, I loved every episode and never had a complaint about anything.
I didn't know what to expect from season two with Liam McIntyre as the new Spartacus. I really don't think it would of mattered who was chosen, noone could replace Andy for that role, but I watched it anyways.
The first few episodes were ok, I think Liam did a great job playing his part, he had huge shoes to fill, but it never felt like I was watching the same character as I was the previous season. I think this was the fault of the writers more than anything. He played his part well, but he was too kind, too boring, not passionate enough etc etc.
Throughout season two, Crixis was made out to be a bedhead (wtf with his nappy hair) love struck wuss, Naevia was just plain annoying, not the cute girl from season one. I think what made it fun to watch, was the fact that Crixis was such tough gladiator that wouldn't think twice about killing someone, but was so gentle and in love with her, this season he was just a wuss in every episode and it annoyed me to even watch him. I don't even recall Crixis killing anyone other than a guard, he got his ass beat when they were going to trade Illithia for weapons, Agron even stood up to him, he just wasn't the baddass from season 1 and the prequel.
Bring back the old Crixis!
This really annoyed me. Agron, the almost nobody from Season one seemed to have a bigger part in Spartacus than the once champion of capua. Crixis would of dropped him in a second in season one, yet he was some sort of badass right hand man for Spartacus all of a sudden.
Doctore, who could of taken on Spartacus and Crixis at the same time, somehow managed to loose and eye and get killed to yet another nobody thug.
Ashurs part wasn't bad, he was the typical sneaky, backstabbing Ashur he has always been, I was sorry to see him go.
Ilithyia, Lucretia and Glaber seemed to have great parts, I was really pleased with their characters although I'll miss Lucy Lawless next season.
I am really glad they decided to bring Gannicus back. I thought the prequel was great even though I didn't have very high expectations of it. I found myself looking forward to scenes with Gannicus in it more than Spartacus.
Overall I wasn't happy with Season 2, not because Andy wasn't in it, but because there were so many changes to characters and roles and the storyline sucked. If Season 2 had been the first season I watched, I probably wouldn't be too excited about seeing it again.
Lets hope the writers do better next season.