Whoosh! Issue 30 - March 1999

IAXS project #672
By Kimberly Foster
Content copyright © 1999 held by author
Edition copyright © 1999 held by Whoosh!
764 words

Regression? (01-03)
Timing? (04-05)
Empowering Icon (or Ares)? (06-07)

What Is It About Xena?

A scene from the unaired pilot HORSES, BABES, AND BEACHES

A by-now familiar promo.


[1] I do not want you to think I spend a lot of time pondering Xena: Warrior Princess. I do have some semblance of a life. However, I cannot help but think sometimes of how I got so hooked on this show and the characters.

[2] I have never been one for super heroes. I am 33, but even as a kid I did not go in for the Wonder Woman/Superman thing. I did collect the comic books for a time, but that was mainly for the potential monetary value. No, I can say that super heroes were not my bag. Behaviorists suggest that the reason kids like these super figures is because they feel powerless to effect their world, so they fantasize and create a world where they are their favorite super hero, and thereby they feel in control.

[3] I never felt powerless as a kid. It was only as an adult that I realized just how powerless I really was. So maybe, there is some truth to what these doctors say, and I am just regressing. I do not think that is all there is to it, however. This show is truly amazing. Sometimes a little corny, campy maybe, but always smart.


[4] The writing is always brilliant, even when tongue-in-cheek. The direction and performances are smart while not taking themselves too seriously. As for the timing, I really cannot say enough about this because timing can make or break a show of this genre. We have to remember that this genre has been done (sometimes to death) before. From Saturday matinee serials to TV's Lone Ranger (1949-57; 1966-69) to Buck Rogers (1979-81), it has all been done before. It is very difficult to put a new spin on it. Therefore, timing and performance are everything.

[5] Several episodes come to mind as good examples of where timing was critical. One in particular is THE GREATER GOOD (21/121), where a "supposedly" dead Xena is about to be pulled apart by two horses, one which is her own valiant mare, Argo. At the critical moment, Xena springs back to life to defeat the bad guys. This is a credit to the direction and performance. You have seen this situation played out a hundred times at least. You know that the hero will survive. The success of this episode is all in the timing, which keeps you on the edge of your seat. THE GREATER GOOD is the apotheosis of why I love this show. This particular scene brought out such emotion in me that I actually raised my arms in the air clenched my fists and exclaimed Xena! Luckily, I live alone.

Empowering Icon (or Ares)?

[6] I do not know if I feel more powerful because of Xena. I believe there is some truth to what feminists say about her. A woman righting wrongs and fighting the bad guys without the help of a man is a very powerful image. Perhaps, I will never be able to pinpoint why I am such a Xena fanatic.

[7] Perhaps, it is that Ares character. He sure makes my estrogen levels rise, but that is another story.


Kimberly Foster Kimberly Foster
Kim Foster, Age 33, Chicagoan! Born & raised in Chicago, relocated against will in the early eighties to L.A. Spent 8 Bad years and 2 semi-years in Lost Angeles before finally driving across country back home to Chicago in `90. Best part of trip was tuning the car radio and hearing WLS. Career highlights, Improv, U.S. Robotics, Ameritech, Kraft Foods.

Hobbies: Xena, Computers, Xena, home improvements, Xena, Desktop publishing, Ares(thought I was gonna say Xena, didn't you), My Dog Budha (aka My Son). Still single.

Loves: Jesus Christ, My Dog, Xena, Ares, working for Kraft, my garden, my other pets (finches, parakeets, koi), sexy confident men. Dislikes: Pretense, apathy, tax collectors, bill collectors.

Favorite episode: THE QUILL IS MIGHTIER...(56/310), BITTER SUITE (58/312), THE RECKONING (06/106), and KING CON (61/315). Not necessarily in that order.
Favorite line: Xena asks Rafe to hand her an article of clothing, and Rafe says "What do you say?" Xena says "Or Else." KING CON
First episode seen: Not sure but THE DELIVERER (50/304) and A SOLSTICE CAROL (33/209) were among the first
Least favorite episode: HERE SHE COMES... MISS AMPHIPOLIS (35/211)

Return to Top Return to Index