Whoosh! Issue 60 - September 2001
Letters to the Editor

Page Four

Cut That Cord...NOW! #086-117


Hated it, and want to cut the cord now.



Serves the selfish b*st*rd right!



I can't say that I was terribly surprised by the ending of Xena, and frankly, my main emotion concerning the demise of the series was relief. I suppose I could run down the usual list of complaints about season six--the actors seemed tired or bored, the writing was tripe, there were YAXIs on top of YAXIs, but really, the bottom line for me was that the show itself had veered so far afield from what attracted me to begin with, specifically in characterization, that I simply no longer cared about either Xena or Gabrielle. Xena's character had fallen into the trap that so many "hero" characters before her had--she had become basically invincible. There was no suspense left, no sense that the villain of the week posed any real threat, and thus no drama. And above all, Xena Was Always Right. It finally took an army of 10,000 to kill her? Whatever. Don't care. As for Gabrielle, she had gone from being a counterweight to Xena's character to simply a blond "mini-me" version with sais. Occasionally she'd get all emotional about What She'd Become, but it was never resolved in any meaningful way, or with any continuity, so eventually I stopped buying into her so-called angst. Again with the whatever.

And the plots themselves? Don't get me started. It was fun and tongue-in-cheek when Xena was revealed as a major player in the Odysseus myth. But by the end of Season 6, apparently every major religion and mythos involved her in some way? Not fun, just stupid, and oh yeah, contrived. Out of ideas much, writers?

Finally, the whole relationship question. Whether you're into subtext or not, whether they're lovers or not, how many times did we have to hear the "soulmates," "I'm lost without you," blah, blah, blah stuff in one season? Romeo and Juliet would have been embarrassed by the sap factor there. They're close, okay? Maybe really (nudge, nudge, wink-wink) close. So freaking what? We're regular viewers, and We. Get. It. REALLY. Could we get on with something like an interesting plot that actually makes sense now?

As far as I'm concerned, they should have left them on the d*mn crosses at the end of season 4. At least then they could have died with dignity, instead of rambling on and falling apart, the victims of silly plots, gratuitous sex and violence, and an overall lack of the verve and energy that made Seasons 1-3 worth watching.

Not that I'm bitter...dangit.



Disgusting ending after six years...thanks...



It was horrible...the plot was so full of holes it looked like a target after target practice. However the actresses did great w/the material that they had to work with.



I hate being right. I've known all through the past season that Tapert would kill off Xena, no matter what he said in public. Lip service, rationalizations and basic bs aside, Hollywood still thinks the only good Lesbian is a dead Lesbian and that's why Xena was killed off.

The actors did a wonderful job all through the run of the show, even when they were handed complete and total crap (i.e. the entire fifth season) But the last 2 1/2 seasons have proven to me that the real talent (i.e. intelligence and humor) behind the show was Liz Friedman.

Tapert may feel that the franchise is still alive and it very well may be ... but frankly, who cares.



Try "appalled and disgusted"! The producers virtually promised us a happy ending, which is why I tuned in after months of episodes that had gone from delightfully fantastic to completely ridiculous. I do not think that Xena's ghost talking to Gabrielle qualifies. This could be a death blow to all heroic fantasy on TV, leaving us with nothing but those horrible reality programs. What were they THINKING of? Jackie



I voted for this because: 1) the cinematography, costumes, acting were magnificent and yet - the plot made no sense!; 2) Xena and Gabrielle are essentially outed as lovers - and then Xena dies!; 3) Xena dies for what? misplaced guilt? seeking redemption? death wish? for no sensible reason as that is the nature of death? I don't mind a cryptic plot to make one think but I'm also rather weary of strong women/lesbians dying or otherwise being punished on TV shows and movies.

Well, that's as short as I could keep it. Maddeningly uneven, that's what I took "cut the cord" to mean.



hated it.



Come on it was just getting good



Too much conflicting feelings at the end. Knowing it was the LAST episode ever made expectations unrealistic and impossible to satisfy or to come away with closure in any way. But to kill Xena off seemingly more permanently than ever before because of an accident she caused in the midst of her grief and efforts at self-defense is the weakest reason of all six years of plot development. Very poor rationale for ending the way it did.






Very poor ending. The finale should have been titled 'Gutting Xena.' That would have covered what was done to Xena in the finale, as well as what was done to the character and storyline development of the last six years.



Japanese history does not begin formal reckoning until the Yamato Period in 300 A.D. Since that "time of troubles" Xena fought was just prior to 403 BC, it is plain the 'real' Xena never visited Japan. The 'mythical' Xena can go anywhere the writers care to send her. Her visit to Japan was used by the producers as an excuse to go there to film, to provide a basis for including Xena in Japanese folklore, to build a market there for Xena books and comics and to put paid to the series.

For those who think of her as being based on an actual historical figure, she never went to Japan and she never died there. She, and Gabrielle, do die as all mortals do but the places, circumstances and manner of their demises is as yet undiscovered.

Her fans may take comfort in knowing that if archeologists look hard enough for them, they may some day be found. Until then anyone can write their own ending.

Halls, TN


It was so sad. The look in both Xena and Gabrielle's eyes as they watch the sunset, made me cry. It seemed so pointless to have it all end like that. Why could they not finally admit their true feelings and walk off into the sunset?. Why not give the fans that stuck with it until the end their proper due.



Let's have no more Xena....period. No movies. No merchandise. Nothing. Tapert and Lawless wanted rid of her. I'm willing to accommodate them. CUT THE CORD!







Practically a snuff movie. X & G deserved better. So did the fans.



I hated the ending. Xena deserved to go out in a better way, and the fans deserved better too. After watching the show for all those years, this was a major disappointment to me. How do they justify a movie now? Are they going to miraculously bring her back to life (again)? I guess I just believe there were many different ways to end the show on a positive note that people would enjoy, and it would have left open the possibilities for big screen movies too.



i was extremely upset that Tapert killed Xena off that he made it impossible for her to return. What is Xena supposed to be now a voice in Gabby's head . Mr. Tapert you have got to do some heavy thinking about how to bring back the best d*mn female team ever to hit a TV channel. All the TV channels are not showing Xena I have been one of the lucky ones my scifi channel for a period of time was showing Xena Tues and Thurs. night for 4 hours. I miss LL -RC sooooooo much doooooo some thing . MAKE A MOVIE about XENA AND GABBY BUT GET THESE TWO FANTASTIC WOMEN BACK ON THE SCREEN



The XWP producers, writers, and lead actress have made it abundantly clear they can't be held accountable to the show's viewers, and the actress made it very clear she's "moved on." I, for one, intend to do the same.

I did learn a valuable lesson, though. When anyone in a position of power states publicly, "It's all about selling soap powder," and "It's only make-believe," I'll never trust that person enough to invest my emotional or intellectual energy in their endeavors. For me, the Taperts have proved beyond a doubt they don't understand the responsibility of artistic integrity, and weren't nearly mature enough to have earned their success. Like Phaeton, Rob Tapert drove the high-flying chariot that was "Xena: Warrior Princess" straight into the ground, dashing everything to bits as a result of his "vision." I won't be watching anything further from him.



that ending made me so mad i wanted to put a hole in the TV!!!!! > : (



I thought it was a very childish way to end the series. Defiance as defined by 12-year-old boys.

Thanks for all your wonderful work.



We did deserve better after making those guys filthy rich and giving them international exposure. What's with the "state of Grace" theme? They may have taken the ghost idea from Japanese mythology, but I bet the Grace idea came from someone's Catholic education. Wherever it came from, it made me so disgusted with the whole Xena phenomenon that I'm not even remotely interested in watching reruns anymore or even in reading fan fiction. I packed up my entire collection of Xena tapes and put them in the basement. If I don't feel differently in a year's time (or they haven't molded), I'll erase them on the anniversary of Xena's death.



It's been a few weeks now, and I'm still hurting deeply. I thought maybe writing might help. This feels alot like it did when I lost my big brother, my only sibling. Silly, huh? I know that X & G were just imaginary characters but there were real people that made this show. People that I thought appreciated the letters I wrote, the money to charity I sent, the fact that I watched every week and enjoyed their work. I know I appreciated what they were giving me.

I've read flip remarks from LL, "cut the cord already" and RT, "we knew what the fans reaction would be". I don't understand why they felt the need to do this but I will indeed "cut the cord". I won't allow them to take XWP from me but they certainly do not have to worry about me following any future projects. I won't be taken in and used by them again and then discarded with no regard.

The blood and gore, as well as the end result from a fans perspective, of this series finale makes me feel as though the cycle of hate that Gabrielle talked about in Callisto is still alive and well in 2001. I guess indeed it is!



Just a few random thoughts that keep coming back to me after a month--

The final episode of Xena had even TV Guide shaking its head in disbelief. Many faithful fans, myself included, felt betrayed, ripped off and outraged. While these are all justifiable and justified emotions, I believe there is a level of complicity in our betrayal. Betrayal, ultimately, is the price we must pay for re-envisioning one man's fantasy fiction as our own.

What made Xena so compelling? Strong women, close personal allegiance, the *ss-kicking. The "back story" of Xena's past was intricate - inviting speculation by the viewer. The ambiguity of Xena's personal relationship with just about every female character in the series allowed those who were so inclined to read the "subtext" and evaluate every gesture, glance or dialogue through that prism.

It has often been noted that lesbian Xena fans clearly saw the subtext and straight fans missed it completely. Would there have been a subtext if there were no lesbian fans? I suspect that the overwhelming queer response to Xena fueled the subtext more than was originally planned. It was certainly, to judge by attendance at the conventions, a useful marketing tool.

However, Xena is and was the product of Tapert's imagination. At one convention he mentioned his childhood TV heroines as source material for Xena : Emma Peel, Honey West, Wonder Woman. The largely female roar of approval certainly suggested a consanguinity in early entertainment experiences. But was Tapert seeing what we were seeing? The name Emma Peel was taken from the British film industry's expression "man-appeal," or "M-appeal." A little girl-on-girl action is a staple of soft porn for straight men. And then, there is the Giantess fantasy involving huge, enveloping, powerful but nurturing women for men in need of a return to the womb.

For me, the most disturbing elements of the final episode were the dismemberment and degradation of our powerful woman icon. After six years of watching her heroically try to redeem herself in life, and we discover she can only be redeemed by death. The creator of the Giantess turned against her, tore her into smaller, more manageable pieces - literally putting her (and figuratively, us) in her place. In fact, for all of the powerful images we perceive in Xena, there was a great deal of bondage and degradation of women - especially Gabrielle.

There has been some research done on the "lesbian gaze" - how lesbians read lesbian characteristics into cinematic personas such as Marlena Deitrich and Greta Garbo. This begs the question of "when is a tuxedo just a tuxedo?" With so few sources of positive imagery, the lesbian gaze must operate within a male original vision. Thus, for the pleasure of watching Garbo kissing girls in "Queen Christina," we must also accept her sailing off to join the Spanish Ambassador at the end of the movie. Or worse - for the pleasure of lesbian content or subtext, one or both parties must end up - dead.

Perhaps part of the general disgust with the final episode derives from our acute self-knowledge about the price to be paid for the lesbian gaze. Fooled again? Or did we willfully ignore the self-serving nudge-nudge-wink-wink behavior of the writers, producers, and most of the actors in the vain hope that in this day-and-age they wouldn't lure us down a path based on a male sexual fantasy, taking our money and our devotion without regard our sensibilities. It was fun while it lasted, but we should have known better than to think it might have ended any other way.



Loved the series, what a wild ride, but what's with the female kick *ss TV heroine of all time "having to make up for her mistakes" by dying at the end of her series while the lovable Herc (who killed his own wife and kids, for chrissake) just wanders off with his friend into the happily ever after? is it just me or what? eeew. I think we women have enough of a complex. But, nevertheless, I was needing a new hobby, so just as well I guess. It has been great, but it's time to move on. Hope all the other fabulous babes who've loved this show along with me find some equally wonderful new stuff to do.






Words fail!



I am so upset with Robert Tapert's version of the Xena ending that I will never watch another Xena program again. This was the utmost betrayal of all the fans who watched this program for the past six years and deserved better than they got. I am amused at the amateur philosopher's that try to justify this maudlin and totally predictable cop-out of what should have been a magnificent ending with some hope that there might in the future be more. Although I had no idea what the script was, months ago when I learned that the final was in Japan I could have predicted the ending and the somewhat gruesome details.(I know, I know, its just a TV show) but it is dangerous folly at the best of times to kill off ones boyhood heroes or the like. I do not know how many fans feel the same way as I do but they must be legion. Japanese Mythology may be good for Japan but unless I lost something somewhere, Xena was Greek. Why does honour transcend your roots? Fate is responsible for accidents,not people. The death of forty thousand in a fire when there are numerous escape paths? Come on! I know its mythology but this transcends the ridiculous. I applaud Mr. Tapert for the creation of a fantastic character but in the end I believe that he showed that he never really understood his own creation ( viz. switch to Baron Frankenstein). A Xena movie in the future? I believe it will fail miserably because a great number of fans will not forget this "betrayal" . Not one of us really expected a ride into the sunset but there were so many ways that this could have ended with a more satisfactory conclusion. The best endings are not the graphic picture of finality but the unexpected left to the imagination. One more cliffhanger that never had an ending. Despite my obvious disgust with A Friend in Need II I wish Mr. Tapert success in future and Lucy Lawless infinite success in all her endeavors. She is a vision and beautiful beyond all dreams.



I voted for this because: 1) the cinematography, costumes, acting were magnificent and yet - the plot made no sense!; 2) Xena and Gabrielle are essentially outed as lovers - and then Xena dies!; 3) Xena dies for what? misplaced guilt? seeking redemption? death wish? for no sensible reason as that is the nature of death? I don't mind a cryptic plot to make one think but I'm also rather weary of strong women/lesbians dying or otherwise being punished on tv shows and movies.

Well, that's as short as I could keep it. Maddeningly uneven, that's what I took "cut the cord" to mean.



Practically a snuff movie. X & G deserved better. So did the fans.


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