Whoosh! Issue 50 - November 2000

WHOOSH Readers Ponder Fandom
Page 3

XENA, Like Milk, Does a Body Good by Virgina Sanchez and Lourdes Sanchez
My Life As A Xenaholic by Randi Mogul
Just Another Day in the Life by Jane Choy

By Virginia Sanchez and Lourdes Sanchez
50th Issue Project
Content copyright © 2000 held by author
Edition copyright © 2000 held by Whoosh!
786 words

Watching XENA Backwards (01-04)
Meeting Other Xenites (05-06)


Watching XENA Backwards

When God created Eve, she must've looked like Xena.

Not twins, but close enough.
From WARRIOR...PRINCESS (15/115)

[01] For being twins and inseparable at that, we share and share a lot. We share our fascination and insatiable interest in XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS (XWP), the greatest TV show there is. We were watching HERCULES first while channel surfing, but we were not regular viewers. We were aware of the other show, XENA, but did not pay much attention. We assumed both shows were for kids and Xena was another HERCULES-wannabe, or so we thought.

[02] Then one day, it just happened. We cannot remember which XENA episode we saw, but from that moment on we were hooked. XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS earned our 100% undivided attention. Since we missed two whole seasons (first and second), we had a lot of catching up to do. Through countless hours on the net, day and night, we immersed ourselves in getting, finding, and learning information about the show and its actors and actresses. After visiting XENA websites one after the other, joining mailing list after mailing list, and exchanging emails with fellow Xenites, our knowledge and curiosity were gradually satisfied.

[03] The WHOOSH site was heaven-sent. We were content and it was enough for us to just read the synopsis and commentaries on each episode and to use our imaginations. We then subscribed to cable and were fortunate enough to have XENA reruns of the first and second seasons being shown in sequence on the USA channel.

[04] We were so excited and happy to finally see how XENA all started. It was one thing just reading about the episodes and another to actually see them. It was weird watching XENA backwards, but we appreciated each one and really took notice how the story and characters evolved and developed.

Meeting Other Xenites (05-06)

[05] Like the legions of other XENA fans, we fell in love with the show. We have never watched a show like we do with XENA. We began attending HERCULES/XENA Conventions and met fellow XENA fans. When we could not discuss our passion with our own family and friends, we found comfort and felt right at home with the people we met on the net who shared our passion. To sum it up, borrowing Xena's words: "Xena is the best thing that ever happened to us. It gave our lives meaning and joy. It will be a part of us forever."

[06] We may not really know "what-could-have-been" if we did not stumble on a wonderful show, XWP. We relish the present moment, enjoying every moment of XENA and cherishing our experiences. We just wonder what our lives will be like when it really ends. When they bring the curtains down, when the last note is sung, when the last dialogue is spoken.


Virginia Sanchez Virginia Sanchez
I was born first on September 23, 1972 to our Filipino parents. My twin sister and I enjoy being twins. We are single by choice and loving it.
Favorite line:Xena: "But I want you to know that I still think you are the best thing that ever happened to me. You gave my life meaning and joy and you will be a part of me forever." SACRIFICE II. Xena: "It's strange -- the one I love most in all the world and the one I hate -- look exactly the same." SACRIFICE II
First episode seen:No recollection
Least favorite episode:MORTAL BELOVED and THE PATH NOT TAKEN

Lourdes Sanchez Lourdes Sanchez
My twin sister is just three minutes older than I am, but I do not let her boss me around. We are both very shy, but somehow XENA gives us the courage to reach down inside ourselves and do things that we are not capable of.
Favorite line:Xena: "But you're my source, Gabrielle. When I reach down inside myself and do things that I'm not capable of, it's because of you. Don't you know that by now?" from ONE AGAINST AN ARMY. Xena: "You always said that I was the brave one. Look at you now. If this is to be our destiny, let's see it out together. Even in death, Gabrielle -- I will never leave you." ONE AGAINST AN ARMY
First episode seen:No recollection
Least favorite episode:MORTAL BELOVED and THE PATH NOT TAKEN

By Randi Mogul
50th Issue Project
Content copyright © 2000 held by author
Edition copyright © 2000 held by Whoosh!
603 words

I Am A Xenaholic (01-02)
Using the Wayback Machine (03-04)
Here Is to the Future (05)


I am a Xenaholic

'Yo ho ho, and a bottle of...bottle of...buuuuurrrrp!'

The down side of Xenaholicism.
From THE PRODIGAL (18/118)

[01] My name is Randi Mogul. I am not a contributing writer to WHOOSH, nor have I ever written any article about the show. However, I would like to talk about how XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS has changed my life, from ordinary TV going person to obsessed Xenaholic whose life has never been the same since the show first aired. I am the quiet Xenite. I am on most of the mailing lists as a lurker and I have been to one convention, the first one in New York City.

[02] I have been watching the show since its inception and everyone who knows me is well aware of the XENA shrine that is in my apartment. PowerStar especially loves me with all the business I have lavished on them. I just wanted to share a quick story of how this show has truly affected my life.

Using the Wayback Machine

[03] When I was a Resident Assistant at SUNY [State University of New York] New Paltz, one the channels was hosting a STAR TREK marathon and I remember hanging out with some of the people and hosting it as a program. As soon as an episode came on, they knew right away which episode it was, the title, air date, guest star, etc. I remember thinking, how in the world can they do that? Now I understand because I can do the same thing, but with XENA. I am now a Resident Hall Director at SUNY Cortland in central New York and everything is Xenatized in my life, computer, apartment, office, etc.

[04] The one time I tell my RA staff not to bother me unless the building is burning down is when a new XENA episode is on. I am so happy the show was created because it has really added much joy and happiness to my life. I love seeing such a strong role model that young women can relate to and I not only is Lucy Lawless great, but I must confess I am an even bigger Renee O'Connor fan. She is the best and easily my favorite TV actress. I only rue the day that this fabulous show ends, but of course having every episode on tape will keep me busy for the next millenium!

Here Is to the Future

[05] I hope they go to the big screen when it does end. I just wanted to share and say how much I enjoy reading WHOOSH and to tell you what a great job you do, and to say thanks for letting me express my thoughts. Keep up the good work.


Randi Mogul Randi Mogul
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y. but grew up in Latham which is outside of Albany. Born Jan. 11, 1966. Graduated from SUNY New Paltz with a B.A. in English. Worked as a hall director at SUNY Delhi, SUNY Oneonta, Cazenovia College and now SUNY Cortland. Hobbies: XENA of course, MOVIES, reading, my cat Salem who is the love of my life, surfing the net, eBay, and English history. Single and never been married, no children.
Favorite episode:REMEMBER NOTHING
Favorite line:Gabrielle: "Your flying parchment is stuck in a tree". A DAY IN THE LIFE
Least favorite episode:GIANT KILLER

By Jane Choy
50th Issue Project
Content copyright © 2000 held by author
Edition copyright © 2000 held by Whoosh!
2526 words

The Dangers of Promises (01-03)
The Plot Thickens (04-06)
Going Online via a Friend (07-09)
Discovery of Subtext (10-12)
Getting Online by Myself (13-14)
Season Five (15-17)
The Future (18-19)


The Dangers of Promises

When a Titan stepped on Joxer's hat

A frying pan is a handy substitute when one's chakram is across camp.

[01] It all started on a May weekend three years ago. Nobody was home at that time save me. I had just finished studying. It was approximately 2:30pm. I decided to watch some Saturday afternoon TV. As usual, nothing good was on so I clicked to the TV Guide channel to wait and see what was on. Nothing good was on, no comedies, no dramas, not even reruns of Entertainment Tonight. Where is Bob Goen when you need him?

[02] I did not have Internet access back then so I had only TV for my regular visual entertainment. Frustrated, I turned the TV off and closed my eyes. I said to myself, "Self, you are going to watch whatever you first lay your eyes upon." I turned on the TV again and XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS appeared in front of my eyes. "Not that stupid show," I said to myself. I had always known about the show but never cared to spare a second to it for reasons that non-Xenites are too familiar with. I knew nothing about the show, yet I already had formed an opinion about it. How strange. Nonetheless, a promise is a promise.

[03] First thing, I saw was this little baby angel shooting arrows around. "Ah, it's that Greek mythology love god with the arrows." Then, the warrior woman showed up and "THAT's what Xena looked like. Hmm, cute blonde." The episode, COMEDY OF EROS (46/222) came and went and I was surprisingly entertained by it, no doubt since I am a sucker for comedies. In addition, the actors impressed me more than the plot. "This Lucy Lawless person's quite good... weird name though." The episode caught my attention, or rather, Lucy Lawless caught my attention. First her height, then the leather, her face, her EYES, and of course, those thighs. "Wow, if I could look like that." This concluded my little afternoon and life went on as usual. "Maybe this isn't so bad after all."

The Plot Thickens

[04] I finally remembered to watch XENA again. It was the double role episode, WARRIOR...PRINCESS (15/115). I did not watch it all, but I did see Xena fighting in an elegant pink dress. Bits and pieces told me it was also a comedy and "this is definitely not bad at all". The third time I caught the show it was too late. I saw this vampire mugging over a pot of blood and "this looks like Gabrielle... they do vampires?" Of course Xena popped up and saved the day [GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN (28/204)]. Saved MY day, too.

[05] The last time I watched XENA by chance was what I thought to be the series finale because they jumped the timeline into the modern times and ended up discussing how the show was created. This time I watched the whole episode and was completely fascinated by Lawless' characterization from a damsel in distress to the warrior princess [THE XENA SCROLLS (34/210)]. The clips gave me a better idea of what I had missed. The episode ended and left me in a daze. "Great, this is just great. I'm beginning to like the show and you're telling me it's the end?" I decided that if I could not watch any new season episodes then I should at least catch up on what I had missed. Thank the Gods for reruns. THE XENA SCROLLS is what got me hooked and the rest was history.

[06] With just one friend who watched the show, I managed to find out the essentials of it. Xena was a warrior on a path of redemption for her evil deeds, Gabrielle was her best friend and kept her on the straight and narrow. The show was about their adventures of doing good. To my delight, my friend told me that the show had only finished its second season. "Then maybe there's more to come!"

Going Online via a Friend

[07] I could not hold it in anymore. I simply had to go online. Using a friend's Internet access, the hunt began. I started from the Official XENA page (http://www.studiosusa.com/xena/) and went on from there. Getting a better grasp of the show and its people, I felt like I could 'venture out' to fan pages. Again, my 'better judgment' told me that the fandom probably only consisted of teenagers, kids, and young people. I was wrong as I later found out. I did a simple "Xena" search and I could not believe the number of hits that resulted. I had NO clue which site to go so I clicked on the first one. It led me to Tom's Xena page (http://www.xenafan.com). Boy oh boy. I stayed at my friend's house for a good half a day surfing just that one website. I became concerned that if every Xena site were as voluminous as Tom's, I `would be in trouble [Note 01]

[08] After stuffing large amounts of XENA pictures and even more information into my brain, I moved on. Tom's site linked me to a strange site. It did not have any pictures as decorations, just a plain ol' yellow wallpaper with words and words and words. No pictures in sight save a XENA shot at the page bottom. The title was what, something like "international association of Xena studies"? "What's this? There's an *association* of people *studying* XENA?!" My old self began to taunt me and I was feeling ridiculous again. Nevertheless I read on and was absolutely in awe of the sophistication, depth, and dedication that the essays had. These came from the hands of intelligent, artistic, and mature people. What a grand educational resource.

[09] I felt so little then. I spent the next week or so just surfing and reading Tom's site and this Yellow Page and finding local listings of the show. XENA reruns and synopses became my biggest discovery yet during that summer and I managed to watch a good chunk of the second season and had a pretty clear and strong grasp of the show by the time season three started and by the time it came, I had already become a nut.

Discovery of Subtext

Eventually, the sound of leather squeaking on leather drove them 
quite mad.

I'd like what they're having.

[10] It was also during that summer that I discovered what "subtext" was. I found it quite interesting that some fans choose to interpret the relationship as sexual. My initial conclusion was that "Oh, so they're like Mulder and Scully! Cool!" I am a subtexter but if you ask me, I would not say the characters are sexually related; to me they really are like Mulder and Scully. They are committed and dedicated to each other and nothing can destroy their love for each other. I agree that the term "soulmates" fits them best.

[11] I am a spoiler lover now but I still cannot deny the thrill I got when I watched a brand new episode without first reading any spoilers, *especially* season three. Of course, not having my own Internet access helped. I understand now that season three became a "struggling" season for many fans but not for me. I found it a marvelous idea to drive a wedge between the characters to challenge the viewers and provoke our mindsets. Gods, to have the guts to do what TPTB did!! After all, how many recent TV shows deliberately go up against its supporters? Season three was to me an absolute thrill.

[12] The summer of Season three was by far the most torturous summer for me. I still did not have Internet access and had to visit my pal more often [Note 02]. Reading fan speculations and visiting more websites were fun and very exciting, and it began to open my eyes.

Getting Online by Myself

[13] Summer of Season four was the summer when I FINALLY became connected. I subscribed to the major mailing lists and enjoyed everyone's analyses tremendously. They were *really* dissecting the episodes bit by bit and I applauded and respected and admired every one of the members of the knowledge base. I have always felt humbled in front of my fellow fans.

[14] Along the way, I made some online friends as well. I also came upon MaryD's site (http://www.ausxip.com). Another jaw-dropper, enough said. There was another site that impressed me with equal measure: the Pacific Northwest Online XENA Fanclub (http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Shire/1291/graph/main.html) headed by Xena Torres and her staff. Her site had various "standard" sections like rumors, media alerts, newsletters, mailing list, interviews, awards etc., but the highlight of the site was her episode transcripts and the Xenafests organized by the staff members. They had three already on the Pacific coast of United States and Canada. Xena Torres [Note 03] is literally a walking encyclopedia of everything XENA. Ask her anything and she can give you an answer no less detailed than Logomancy's credits guide (http://www.klio.net/XENA/EPISODES/xenaocmenu.html). Learning a little bit more about her will only impress you even more. Moreover, what about Sword and Staff (http://www.sword-and-staff.com)? I could discuss it, but that would require another ten pages or so. Visit the web site and you will see what I mean. Tom, MaryD, Whoosh staff, Julie, and Mist, I salute you all.

Season Five

[15] Then came Season Five. What an eventful season on and off screen. It stirred the fans like no other season had and I most certainly did struggle along with many fans. Some great story lines were presented but left unexplored or not explored enough, and I did not always agree with the characterization of certain characters. I am glad it is history now.

[16] I, regretfully, have never nor can I ever go to a XENA con unless some miracle happens and Creation decides to hold one here in Vancouver, BC. This is one great legacy of the show that I can only be a part of through pictures and con reports.

[17] Perhaps my biggest discovery throughout the XENA experience is Ms. Lucy Lawless. With her elegant intelligence, down-to-earth attitude, innate artistic talent, and generous initiatives in charity work she is one great person that I am truly glad to call an idol and a positive influence in society. I believe that with attitude and talents like hers, the Flawless one should succeed in the Hollywood industry.

The Future

Nice to know gauze never goes out of style.

Let's hope the future is nothing like CLEOPATRA 2525

[18] As we come close to what can very well be the last season of the show that changed the face of television history in the past decade, I cannot help but begin to wonder what the future of the fandom will be. Will sites begin to close down and Xenites become ex-fans? Will the show go out on a high and be remembered or will it dwindle into yesteryear's news? What are Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor's plans? When will we see them again? Will they ever share the screen again? Is this really the end of Xena and Gabrielle? Will there be follow-ups? These are a few common questions that we have yet to answer. I personally would like to see Lawless and O'Connor explore their career in other genres like theatre and movies. I see such potential and opportunities for them that I would not want them to delay any longer unless another season of XENA is really what they wish to do. I cannot speak for others but I see their artistic skills develop as the years pass and like a mother bird watching its children grow, I would like to see them fly higher, with an occasional home visit of course.

[19] Three years later from my initial ignorance of the Xenaverse, to say that I am in absolute awe of what one single commonality among different people around the globe has done and can do is understated. Websites, e-journals, fanclubs, conventions, fanfests, mailing lists, donation drives, fanfiction, episode analysis, petitions, and the list goes on. There is no way in Tartarus for me to know all about the fan community but during these last few years, my eyes have opened a lot more and my principles are certainly polished. With the help of the Internet, the expanse of the 'verse is multiplied nthfold. How often do we see as huge a project as this? At last, I hope that this legacy can continue as the show concludes. What is happening and has happened, good and bad, should be a glorious page in the annals of the television industry and this has definitely been a great learning experience for me.


Note 01:
Thinking back to those days, Tom's page really is the best XENA page. I am glad that his was my first and I always recommended his page to all the new fans that I managed to convert in later years. THANK YOU TOM.
Return to article

Note 02:
Michelle, sorry and thank you! Hong, thanks for enduring my whining every single day for 140 days. Yes, I counted, remember I put it in my journal for Dundon?
Return to article

Note 03:
Aka Julie Ruffell. Hi XT, you just know I simply HAVE to mention you!
Return to article


Jane Choy Jane Choy
I came from Hong Kong 5 years ago to Vancouver, Canada and right now I'm a second year Commerce student at the University of British Columbia. Accounting is my plan right now but my goal is portfolio management. Besides studying, CNN, and Xena, I like to shop and the movies. I work out too but my friends all call me "big shot" in the most literal sense. I'm not a writer clearly and don't write often except doing reports. No fun, huh?
Favorite line:Gabrielle: "No. No look, you promise me. If something happens to me, you will not become a monster. There's only one way to end this cycle of hatred, and it's through love, and forgiveness." CALLISTO; Gabrielle: "Hey! Hey! Human suffering, here." IN SICKNESS AND IN HELL; Xena: "I can't answer that question, maybe 'cause there's nothing I can say that can take away that feeling you have. You wanna know that what you did was for all the right reasons, but with that pain in your gut and the weight on your shoulders, the best you can come up with is that it was a good day of fighting. I've seen so many changes in you, things I could never have expected, but as hard as the changes have been, you've gotta know that it's for a reason. All this is for a reason. Otherwise, what's the point? I was asking myself that same question when I first met you." A GOOD DAY
First episode seen:A COMEDY OF EROS

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