Chakrams, Swords, and Battle Cries!
Xena Über Alles!
Daniel L. Mitchell
Sad and depressing was the day, this past spring, when the final episode of Xena: Warrior Princess aired. Luckily, the episode was an action packed, two hour extravaganza of Japanese costumes, samurai warriors, and travel from the realm of reality to the land of the dead. It was indeed a bittersweet episode, for it was the last Saturday afternoon that I would spend plopped in front of my television, eagerly anticipating a new episode of the greatest show ever made.
Xena, played by the supremely talented Lucy Lawless, is an evil warlord and wrong-doer who saw the err of her ways, and dedicated her six seasons on air to fighting those who would bully the poor, meek, or defenseless. She uses a wide variety of techniques to vanquish enemies; from swords to the chakram (a circular, boomerang-like, bladed metal Frisbee), from flying kicks to a straight fist in the face, Xena is always able to hold her own.
Now, for those of you who have seen the show and decided it was too cheesy or corny, let me persuade you. I know, you probably think that Xena and longtime travel partner, Gabrielle, are gay lovers; and you may be right (there’s a whole Web site dedicated to this notion, click here!). Who cares though, really? I get very tired of people telling me “You actually like that show? It’s so gay!” Whatever, people!
Those of you who have never seen the show are totally missing out. Luckily for you, the show is being shown as reruns on the Oxygen Network, weekdays at both 11 AM and 6 PM, and on weekends at 12 PM and 4 PM! You lucky dogs are in for a wonderful treat, to say the least!
As far as the cheesiness of the show goes, I guess it’s just a matter of preference. I am not a fan of the Hercules series, nor am I a fan of Beastmaster, or any of the other shows in the Xena genre. I really don’t usually enjoy shows so overtly fantasy based as Xena, but there’s just something about the show that I can’t fight.
It could be the undeniable beauty of actress Lucy Lawless, whose super light blue eyes and dyed black hair contrast so intensely as to cause my knees to weaken. It could be the wonderful camaraderie between Xena and Gabrielle, who battle well together, are able to make jokes, and trust each other beyond comprehension. It most likely is the incredibly thick and interwoven story line, which only the truest die-hard fans can follow completely.
Much like the Star Wars series of movies, Xena: Warrior Princess has a very detailed back story, and each week’s episode reveals sometimes minute, often times monumental information about Xena and the show’s other significant characters. This makes for a very successful baiting technique, which had me hooked around the beginning of season two. I became an instant fan, and I asked everyone I knew if they watched the show; this is when I was met with the flurry of gay-bashing comments, so I chose to keep my love secret. It was hard, but I was eventually able to learn all of the relevant information from season one, and I caught many of the episodes on rerun.
Another reason the show is so appealing is that no limits are put on setting and props. The show looks truly timeless, for the action happens in many different and beautiful settings, from lush green forests, to snowy mountainous regions, to Asian temples, to the tops of huge cliffs; the imagery is stunning in each and every show. The props themselves are wonderfully created, from the aforementioned chakram to Xena and Gabrielle’s ridiculous leather battle outfits. As corny as they could potentially be, they come off looking fantastic!
The show may be over, and Lucy Lawless and crew have moved on, but for die hard fans, it’s hard to walk away. I highly recommend the show to those who have ignored it in the past. To those of you who have slagged fans for their “warrior princess love,” give them a break and give the show a fair try. Try to let yourself get lost in an episode; you’ll find it’s an exhilarating experience!
I miss the show terribly, and I rarely admit my dedication to Xena to new acquaintances, but the desire to see more Xena will never be put out. Interestingly enough, if you are interested in seeing more Xena, too, you can sign an online petition for the creation of a Xena movie, by clicking here. The show was great, my secret’s out, and I still need more Xena! Help! Battle on!