Group Therapy #289-294
Sent: Friday, July 06, 2001 2:53 AM
Subject: Group Therapy
The question was "What do you feel about the show's ending?" Well, first of all I need to say, just to make that clear, that I haven't had a chance to watch FIN 1//2 yet. Over here in Germany we just finished season five. So I guess I would have a lot to look forward to. Especially after what I had read on the internet about the season six's episodes. I had thought: "Great! Can't wait anymore until friends send me the taped episodes from England over! Maybe, just maybe they will even put some positive conclusion to the subtext question in the season. Maybe in the last episodes?!"
Well, that was before FIN 1//2. I was so unsure if I should read the episode reviews. But I was kinda excited as well. Because I didn't know what to expect. I had heard rumors that they will kill Xena in the show's last episode. I was horrified. And my girlfriend said: "Nah! They wouldn't do that! Or if they do, then they would kill them both. Leaving only one to stay behind would be much too cruel and stupid a thing to do!" Then I found an article in which RT was quoted as saying that he wouldn't kill Xena. Still, I decided that maybe it would be better to not read any reviews of the last episodes. Just to make it more exciting.
Unfortunately, one fine day, I check one of my favorite webpages. And of course my eyes have to fall on the first sentence of a long text. I can't totally remember how the sentence was, but it suggested that fans were horrified about how the show's final ended. That stirred my curiosity and off I was to check every single webpage I have bookmarked about any small information about the episodes. I remember very clearly how my jaw dropped when I found out that Xena was dead. My first thought:" OOOOOOOOOhhh...MYYYYYYY......GOOOOOOOOD.....THEYYYYY...KILLED XENA!" I think I had a problem with my aching chin from it hitting the floor so hard, for many days after. (Maybe I could sue RT for causing that?! j/k!) Anyway, I couldn't believe it and didn't know what was going on. Some more time on the internet revealed the whole horrible truth: Xena was dead (and I didn't know in all details yet how she had died) and Gabrielle had to leave alone, traveling without her soulmate for the rest of her live. Looking back to that moment, I am a bit stunned to having felt (and still feeling) the way I felt back then: I was horrified, angry, soooooo sad and confused. I didn't cry..but only because I think I was in some kind of shock. It is weird to me to that you can feel that bad about the death of a TV character. But it really was as if a close friend had died. Thoughts like "Oh come on! It's a bloody show! A TV character! A fiction! Not real!" crossed my mind, but they didn't change how sad I felt. Having read a lot of fan reactions to what had happened, luckily showed me that I am not the only one feeling like that. And knowing that my girlfriend (who is as Xena crazy as I am)felt exactly the same.
It was the same day that I had found out, that I told her about what had happened. She said: "When you picked me up from my school I immediately realized that something was wrong." I asked if it is very foolish of me to feel like that. As if a real person had died. She said no. Because she felt the same. We laid down in bed, hugging and mourned the death of a great friend. And of another fact that made us feel even worse: That Gabrielle was left behind without her soulmate. To think of how Gabrielle would be feeling made us even more down. It wasn't even the fact that Xena had died ( and I repeat, back then we didn't know that she was decapitated, hang up on a tree naked, burned to ashes and all the other stuff. Knowing that now makes things even worse.). We would have been sad, but okay if both of our heroines would have died. Or stayed alive together. As long as it was TOGETHER.
To give us something good to think about we tried the "but they gave us a kiss" tactic. Didn't work. Because my mind screamed at me: "Yeah! Great! They kissed. But Xena is dead when they do! Dead, dead, dead....and Gabrielle, even though they shared that intimate moment, is left alone afterwards!" The pain of that knowledge made matters worse.
That knowledge, that in the end our most beloved (TV) couple would be separated, made every episode feel useless. At that moment I tried thinking about all those other great eps we were able to watch over the last six years. Only to come up with the conclusion: It doesn't matter because in the end Xena will die and leave her soulmate behind.
I know, I know. She is there with Gabrielle in her soul and as a ghost. But, come on! That is just....a ridiculous try to make us feel better, isn't it?
Anyway, when I told my girlfriend about my thoughts, she said with a frown: "Well, that is how it would be in live. That is live. Death is a part of live." My response to that: "It's a TV show! I watch it to be able to "escape" from reality. To be able to dream how wonderful things could be. I don't want our reality LIVE for Xena and Gab! I want to see a happy ending that makes me feel good. That is why I watched that show. Because it made me feel good. If I want pain..well...There is enough of that in real life! If I want death, I watch the news! I don't need to see that on X:WP! Why can't there be a happy ending for once??"
It went back and forwards like that We cursed, we discussed what had happened, we tried to make things better in our heads and hearts. But nothing helped.. Either of us bringing something up to make us feel better let to the other one finding something out of FIN that made it all seem stupid and useless.
What broke my heart the most and left me so devastated is, as I said before, that Xena and Gabrielle were parted. This feels so wrong in my heart. I have the experience of loosing loved ones and I don't want Gabrielle to feel that with Xena. It just isn't right.
And I do know that they are fictional characters. My aunt said (standing in the kitchen, waving her arms around as if fighting with a sword): "They are just TV characters! The actresses are still very alive and running around and playing with their swords!" My mind screamed: "I give a d*mn about the actresses! This is about Xena and Gabrielle! I know that LL and ROC are still very happily alive and all. And that's great for them! And congrats to Roc for her baby! But I'm not interested about that at the moment!" So, the knowledge that we might see LL and ROC on TV in other shows soon again, is very nice, but not helping either. It's a hopeless case! *sigh*
Writing all this here makes it clear to me again just how important that show was to me. Besides giving me hours of exciting episodes to watch, wonderful hours on the internet finding new pics and fanfiction to download, giving my muse a reason to make me write again, spending hours and hours in fantasy shops going through merchandising (and I don't want to know how much money I spend for Xena stuff...shame on me!*L*), the show also made me meet new people who have become close friends.
And: It revealed a secret to me that I didn't want to be open to yet. On this show on TV there were two women. And there was this exciting chemistry between them. At first I thought it was all just in my head. Stupid thing to see. But then my, back then, best friend told me that there indeed were subtexters feeling the same as I did about Xena and Gabrielle. And slowly the show and watching Xena and Gabrielle getting closer and closer told me: You feel that, ay? Wish you were in their place, hm?? Ever wondered about how it would be with a girl, hmmmm???? It took me one wonderful "thing" to happen to realize I was a lesbian. And even that was connected to Xena: In one of the many Xena chatrooms I met my girlfriend. We are together for over two years now.
I could write and write about how sad and disappointed and angry I am about FIN 1//2. It would maybe fill a whole book! *L* Even though there are no words that could describe just how the ending makes me feel. But the main point for me is: I can't accept FIN as and ending to the show. I REFUSE to believe that Gabrielle won't be with her soulmate until she dies as well. To me they will stay the perfect ALIVE couple that gives me hope and inspiration in my own life. So, the world now not only has a dedicated subtexter (even though subtext became maintext in FIN! So I should probably call myself maintexter?!*GGG*)but also a hardcore refuser.
I had thought about not watching FIN. Just leaving this cruel episode out of my system. The only problem I have is that it is too late. It's already in there. I know how the show ended on TV. But nevertheless I won't let it finish like that in my heart. And maybe one day we will be able to watch them reunite in a movie or TV special....and if not, well....I discovered that reading Post FIN stories helps me overcome the shock and sadness. Because for me Gab and Xena lived through fanfiction. And they always will......
One last thing: Thanks to LL and ROC for giving those two characters life and with that inspiring so many people out there to be creative and do things for the "greater good"( me included). And thanks to all the other actors/ actresses and stuff of Xena: WP for giving us six years of unforgettable entertainment. I have to say that I do understand that the people involved in the show decided to finish the series. It made me sad to learn about the ending of the show. But, apart from being very, very disappointed of how it was done, I understand and think it was a wise decision to stop the series. And I guess another thanks to RT for leaving the end so far open that maybe one day a movie can follow. That's at least a bit of hope......
From: Belinda Cuddon
Sent: Tuesday, July 10, 2001 3:45 AM
Subject: I know it's late/ my thoughts on xena's ender
Well where do I start. As a 22 year old young girl, this means I started watching Xena: Warrior Princess when I was 16. On a Saturday night in a quiet suburb in Melbourne, Australia, a long.... long time ago I see this tall, butt kicking 90's style wonder woman with blue eyes and as Ares would say 'Leather!!!'. Yep! we all know who she is. It was 'Sins of the Past,' the very first episode of the new show Xena: Warrior Princess. First thing I did was crack-up in laughter because I thought there is no show on TV like this before. So I kept watching. We get introduced to the character of Gabrielle. Wasn't she cute back then, I still think gee! look where she is now. I immediately hooked onto the character of Gabrielle because she was young like me and thought the same as me, mucked around, not to mention the humour, the amazing things that come out of that mouth of hers, most of all her wisdom and thoughtfulness. Renee O'Connor has done an unforgettable performance acting as the character of Gabrielle and she's certainly had me in tears and fits of laughter over the years, from the very first scene to the very last. And it takes a lot for me to cry. This was to be my favourite show from 1995 to 2001. Common! it had singing, funny episodes, serious episodes it had the lot! Which is why I love it. Channel 10 screened Xena from season 1-4 but not season 5 or 6. However a very kind friend in America has taped all of seasons 5 and 6. I received my very last tape the other week which had the xena finale on it. I thought to myself this is it. It's like a 'friend that no longer comes to call.' Before i watched, yes! I heard the rumours but just put my own thoughts on what's going to happen. Well like everyone else I was very wrong. My thoughts on the finale is this. Now mind you this episode had me in balls of heartbreaking tears. I told my mum what happens in the end and she said to me 'All great things must come to an end.' Then it hit me, Xena will always remain in Gabrielle's heart. I thought the ending was very fitting to the significance of the show and the character of Xena. I was upset at first saying 'this is not right.' You gotta think what was this show about, really. It was about Xena and Xena learning from Gabrielle where all of us thought that Xena was the teacher. She wasn't Gabrielle was. In the end Xena did the 'Good, The Right Thing.' The ending meant a lot to the character of Gabrielle, notice now Gabby's got her friends chakram. Xena dies but she will always be in Gabrielle's heart and by her side. The episode was by far the best I've seen from Rob Tapert. Great direction, great acting from Lucy and Renee, the best I've seen from both actors. Yes, we're all thinking after xena dies what about Eve and Gabrielle. Well Xena is alive, and will stay alive in all of us. I'd just like to say good luck to Lucy and Renee in future projects. Hope to see you soon. Thank you to the cast and crew for giving me such inspiration from two such great characters. Xena and Gabrielle I will miss you.
Sent: Tuesday, July 10, 2001 1:16 PM
Subject: XWP Finally
I have to say I have very mixed (and intense) emotions of the ending. As far as I am concerned any series which effects me as deeply (sub/consciously) should have an ending as extreme.
(reference point) I am in my mid 40's and I have lived and experienced both heterosexual and homosexual lifestyles. This does not mean I am bisexual (which is a whole other conversation) it just means I have experienced both, therefore; my perception is from both.
There are only TWO movies in my whole life which have effected me as profoundly and as intimately as Xena. ( Dead Poets Society 1989 and Platoon 1986) I know major motion pictures are not the same genre as a made for television series, but the impact Xena had on me was immeasurable. Some of it I was not truly aware of until the very end.
The ending, three weeks later, still sits at the forefront of my emotions. To realize after the finale show how deeply I was moved made me think about WHY I could be so moved by a simple television show.
I have to take my hat off and extend a deep and very warm bow to Tapert, Cast and Crew. Though I disagree with how Xena died and how Gabrielle will continue, he followed through till the end with a most brilliant show. I honestly feel Mr. Tapert missed his mark on the ending. I don't think he was aware of the depth these characters played in the every day lives of normal people. Otherwise I think he would have taken to heart some issues, which were obviously not.
For the first time in my life (well, since owning a computer) I actually found myself going to an on-line forum. (FYI - I don't do chat rooms and I until now, I have never entered a forum) Initially I was looking for an e-mail address for Renaissance to send a message to Tapert and ended up in a Xena forum on the Xena Warrior Princess Website. I found SO many others effected the same way I had to read on. Which ultimately lead me here.
So, there you have it. I liked it a lot and I hated it a lot. All I can say, is you left and indelible mark on this show and in my psyche, from the beginning to...THE END.
Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2001 5:10 PM
Subject: Letter to the Editor
some thoughts about FIN:
I’ve read the reviews and the follow-up fan fiction, I’ve watched the show so many times that I found myself humming the theme the other day -- and I’m still way out there on what to think or feel about the final episode of the Xena: Warrior Princess series. [And whose bright idea was it that FIN be the initials? It’s almost too perfect.]
On the one hand, I like FIN very, very much. I realized as FIN began that I was afraid something would happen that would ruin the show in my memory -- I assured myself that no matter what, there would always be “When Fates Collide” -- but nothing did. In fact, the things that made the series so special for me were amplified: Xena’s warrior spirit, Gabrielle’s growth, their mutual devotion which made moot any questions of “are they or aren’t they?” There are the scenes that are just so strong -- “to know what I know”, “you’re my whole life”, “the good, the right, the only thing”, the look on Gabrielle’s face as she accepts the necessity that Xena asks of her -- they make me so proud of this show. Xena was a brave warrior with an invincible heart, and devoted to Gabrielle, who was her strong, loyal, loving companion, in life and in death, and I can keep that vision of them. I think that’s just splendid.
FIN is a treasure trove to view and review because it is so lovingly well-crafted, and beautiful as well as richly layered and suggestive. What are all those antlers doing on young Xena and Borias’ ship? I know how the historical Japanese feared fire in their cities of paper and wood, so what other invisible roots lie behind FIN? I just watched the movie “Ghost Dog” and heard the hero quote rules which say a samurai must act so that one more action may be completed even should the samurai be killed. I like knowing that the last production scene filmed was the saving of Higuchi by Xena and Gabrielle in an epic collaboration that highlighted their skill, daring, and knowledge of each other. I like looking at Gabrielle’s face when the chakram returns to her -- surely her heart suspects what’s about to happen. I like Xena’s last battle, the courage, the warrior consciousness, the familiar Xena bravado of “Now you asked for it.” Even while my heart breaks at the invocation of Gabrielle, I wonder why those specific memories in the final moments. I liked a lot more, but that’s what the VCR is for.
And yet, I can’t believe that the Xena who sent Lucifer to hell in her place, who fought to save her daughter from Amazon justice, who wouldn’t let Gabrielle be executed -- that’s just in this season -- would accept that she has to stay dead. And separated from Gabrielle. And if you think a certain demographic is about to accept the “I’ll always be with you” without half suspecting that the speaker is weaseling out of saying “Um, I think I want to go back to my ex, but I’ll always love what we had,” then TPTB have neglected one crucial piece of research. Even Xena couldn’t quite pull off that line. But seriously, I’ve always been moved by the explorations of responsibility and guilt, the possibility or lack of it for redemption that underlies X:WP and I feel short-changed by the ending. Is there a scene on the cutting room floor that says more about why Xena has to stay dead?
Oh, yeah, that’s my favorite sword move when Xena finishes Yodoshi without turning around. All right!!
I’m waiting for the fan magazine, the interviews, any and all behind-the-scenes stories that add depth and breadth to FIN. And I’ll probably be able to name that theme in three notes pretty soon.
Angie in Chicago
From: Paul Phanuef
Sent: Friday, July 13, 2001 6:33 PM
Subject: Letters To The Editor
RE: Disappointed with Xena Finale
I didn't want to rush my opinion of the Xena finale. I know what my immediate reaction was, but I wanted to wait and try and put it in some kind of perspective, thinking that maybe time would temper my response.
But it hasn't. Having watched some of the reruns as well as some of my taped episodes I find that the ending has left such a bitter aftertaste that it colors my enjoyment of past episodes, and maybe even the entire series. The last show was such a monumental rejection of what had gone before that it was hard to believe Tapert had written it. And some of his quotes about the last two episodes border on the inane. In his interview with E!On-line he said "...the reaction is exactly what we thought it would be." Does that mean he purposely set out to alienate the fan base? He goes on, "People would say it was too ignominious to have her dragged around like a slab of beef, but I think it's what fueled Gabrielle to take the steps to be motivated". Xena needed to be defiled so that Gaby could be motivated to do what? "You really don't want to upset people" (oh really) "...but I knew it would be emotional for the right reasons." Which are? What, to anger and give the finger to loyal fans.
Even this week's TV Guide (in the "Cheers & Jeers" section) takes Robbo to task for selling out the series.
I know for myself I was caught off guard by the violence that was visited on Xena - the beatings, whippings,multiple piercing by arrows, and the decapitation. It seemed to me a strange way to say goodbye to a character that so many of us have grown to love and admire. Xena always had a great deal of dignity, but not after that last episode! What was Rob thinking, (and my beloved Lucy too for that matter).
The writing was incredibly slipshod as well. Suddenly we're presented with the fact that Xena HAS to die. Yet earlier we were told that the souls were now free, her debt was paid. So it seemed as if her death was tacked on as an afterthought, almost like something out of Scriptwriting 101. It's hard for me to believe that Rob had months (or even years) to think of the finale and came up with one that seemed so hurried and ill-thought out. This was the best he could do??!
Unlike the ending of "Ides of March" in which Xena and Gaby have time to talk about their lives, their friendship, and finally die together in a truly poignant moment(which I find difficult even now to watch), the ending of the finale gives us no time to absorb the news that Xena's death is imminent. Instead we're given a few moments, and not much dialogue, to see these lifelong friends suddenly say goodbye. The sun rises, Xena disappears, and Gaby is left to face the void alone. Suddenly on board the ship, Xena's ghost comes back in (I think) a weak attempt to try and make people feel a little more comfortable. The sun sinks, Xena's gone again, Gaby gives us a few words of encouragement and then the credits roll. With two hours to play with, Rob should have given more time to Lucy and Renee and less to the complex plot that had already been done before, and better, in Chin.
After six years I think the fans deserved better. Just the scene between Xena and Gaby at sunrise should have been heartbreaking (talk about an Emmy winning possibility) yet it was barely given screen time. I felt very let-down, it was almost anti-climatic. And to hear Robbo cavalierly write it off by saying "This is the 5th time Xena has died in the series, so I'm not worried about the franchise ending," as he heads off for Hawaii, lets me know that to him this was merely product. It had been sold and was over, and the fans were left holding the emotional bill.
From: patrick walker
Sent: Saturday, July 14, 2001 4:25 AM
Subject: so what now?
So What Now?
Take a deep breath and let’s imagine a world without Xena.
No, still a wonderful, wonderful world.
The world she made, the world her courage changed.
The world she died for.
Xena’s dead. She didn’t have to be, if she was Ares daughter she could have lived forever, like Hercules has. In the wonderful world of the Xenaverse nobody has to stay dead (with the possible exception of Perdicas). If Lucy and Renee agreed they could still walk off into the sunset together in a TV movie, feature film, revived series or even direct to video release much as Doctor Who fans have pioneered. Even with the comparative dip in ratings, season six was still the second most popular show in syndication after seven years of adventures beating off the likes of higher budget rivals such as Stargate SG1 (tellingly Kevin Sorbo’s series ‘Andromeda’ was number one). No studio in the world would turn the idea down. But we all know in our heart of hearts that Xena is dead, and no amount of fan fiction is ever going to bring her back.
So what know?
Well, I reject the idea of Gabrielle Warrior Bard. Gabby is obviously now a fearsome killer; her destiny has come full circle. I remember the collective gasp at the Chariots of War convention as the Chakram returned to the grasp of its’ new mistress. It was comparable to discovering that Darth Vader really was Luke’s father or when Dr. Who races up the stairs only for the Dalek to glide up after him. The world palpably changed at this point and changed forever. I think it was only then that I realized they really were going to kill Xena. It was a long way from the little girl Xena had found in Poteidaia whose kid sister could beat her up.
So Gabby might go to Egypt and look up her old friend Cleopatra. She might drop in on the Amazons (if there are any left after ‘To Helicon and Back’). She might even look up Meg, Diana or Leah (Hestia thankfully surviving the Mount Olympus massacre) but it could be too painful. Or possibly join the Athens Academy of Performing Bards if she’s still young enough.
Yet Gabrielle has nothing to atone for and I don’t really think her heart is in adventuring now that Xena’s gone. Certainly Ares doesn’t treat her modern day incarnations with the kind of respect he would afford her if she did take on Xena’s role. When she thought Xena had died before she decided to settle down with the Amazons but this seems unlikely now following the events of the past season, the Amazons are gradually being lost to history, just as the Centaurs were. Their destiny lies on Amazon Island with another female superhero in a much more revealing costume. Gabby can never be the warrior Xena was, she’s learned much but then her parents were mortals whilst Xena was demigod. Anyone who still doubts that Ares really is Xena’s father, please write to me, I have a bridge in Arizona I’d like to sell you. Of course this gives Ares’ lust for Xena and Eve a nasty incestuous quality but then the Olympians were like that, remember Hera is Zeus’ sister whom he raped and forced into marriage (which makes her character a lot more understandable, especially the wonderful Meg Fosters’ very sympathetic portrayal). Ares follows his father’s example hinting at a relationship with his sister (and Strifes’ mother) Discord in ‘The Deliverer’.. That said, remember Gabby was born with eleven toes.
Ultimately, after a quick trip to Amphipolis to bury Xena’s ashes alongside Lyceus and Cyrene, I think Gabrielle belongs in Poteidaia, with Lila and Sarah. Perhaps she could found that hospice she talked of with Najara. We know she has descendants (other than Hope and The Destroyer obviously) so a husband is on the cards. To the lynch mob gathering at my door I say, get over it, Perdicas was a good guy and he and Gabby would have been very happy together. Gabrielle can’t be with her soul mate in this lifetime so she’ll just have to love the one she’s with. Barring another immaculate conception care of Angel Callisto this means a guy.
Maybe Virgil could succeed where his dad always failed, they certainly have plenty in common (although I wonder what Meg would say? Gabby’s pretty much a black widow to everyone she’s ever met!). Or what about Uncle Jett? He must be out of prison by now and he seemed pretty impressed by the “cute blond who twirls a mean stick” in ‘King of Assassins’. Besides, Gabby always liked the challenge of reforming people (I like Jace a lot but I kind of doubt he’d be interested, that would be too much of a challenge).
Perhaps a few grey hairs have only improved the dashing good looks of the King of Thieves and he might decide he’s too old to be jumping out of windows anymore. Iolaus lives to be a hundred, why not him? Or Toris? Or Hercules? On second thoughts maybe not, he might just crush our precious little bard.
So, Gabby’s hardly going to be short of suitors, so where does that leave everyone else?
Well, Herc kicks around for a couple of millennia and then takes up acting. Iolaus lives to be one hundred and presumably dies of natural causes. Presuming that Virgil is the Virgil he lives to grand old age and dies respected and revered. Meg will be OK, she’s a survivor and she’s raised some great kids. Perhaps her famous son will buy her a great grand house in Athens so she doesn’t have to earn a dishonest living anymore.
Eve must also have children; this stands to reason if Xena is to have any descendants (unless she has more Solan's stashed around somewhere that she forgot to mention)
This brings us neatly to the question of Ares. Only a descendant of Xena can free him from his tomb in Macedonia. It stands to reason that Eve or her progeny sealed him in there in the first place. By the late 1990s he’s out, in time to bug his half brother for merchandising rights and contemporary to the civil war in the Balkans. Coincidence? The modern Ares seems much less powerful than before, perhaps humbled by the God of Eli or crippled by the lack of belief in him. How Strife appeared on Hercules I’m not sure but remember the Chronus Stone? If you were to resurrect any of the Olympians it would hardly be him anyway, much more deserving candidates would be Artremis and Athena (or, “that hagster” as she’s known to Aphrodite).
Speaking of whom, where does beauty lie? Well, in the words of Burt Bacharach ‘what the world needs now, is love, sweet love’ and we couldn’t live without her. Without love we would be but empty rooms, shuttered and dank, truly dead inside so she’s still with us. Perhaps our second (or third if you appreciate Callisto) favourite blond is a gossip columnist, a writer of trashy romances, a fashion designer or has a recurring role on Baywatch? Does she currently reside at the Playboy mansion? As for Cupid, well apart from a guest shot as ‘hunk of the week’ on Charmed I think the world of male modelling beckons although I hope he resists the allure of boyband stardom.
We may not still worship the many Gods (except when Alex Tydings appears in costume or Kevin Smith takes his shirt off) but nor do we forget them. Every Valentines Day, every time we look into the night sky and see the ominous red sheen of Mars followed by the welcome relief of Venus signaling the new dawn, we remember them
And what of our favourite series, where does it go from here? Well, certainly it will live forever in our hearts, on the internet and in the repeats. Its’ influence is enormous and will resonate for many years. We now have a bevy of strong female heroines who don’t pause mid-battle to touch up their lipstick a la Charlie’s Angels, The Girl from Uncle, The Bionic Woman etc. Without Xena we’d have had no Buffy, no Dark Angel, no Highlander; The Raven, Sheena, Charmed or countless other more or less flattering imitations. The term Xena has entered into the English language much as the phrase Catch-22 has, even people who never watched the show will no what you mean if you describe a woman as Xena-like.
Unfortunately I don’t see it growing into a Star Trek style cult, like Elvis Presley or the Beatles that was a case of the right concept at the right time and will never be repeated. Dr. Who has endured wonderfully with a constant stream of video and audio productions, radio plays, over two hundred original novels and a monthly magazine twelve years after the series ended and five years since the last TV movie.
But Xena isn’t like that, it’s much more a visual series, the various comics, novels and other merchandising never sold that well. Our devotion to the series will remain as it fades from the public consciousness, about the only thing that could preserve it is Lucy, Renee or perhaps Hudson becoming movie mega-stars or aping Kevin Sorbo and having another smash hit show.
So what are we left with? A mouthful of ashes? (Or should that be an urn?). No, We are left with 132 episodes ranging from the heights of ‘Gabrielle’s Hope’ to the lows of ‘King Con’, six episodes of Hercules, a rather dire animated movie and a plethora of memorabilia (my favourite is my Callisto shot glass).
We are left with the equivalent of forty full-length motion pictures. James Bond would have to endure for another thirty years to rival Xena and he cost a whole lot more.
And let’s face it, wasn’t nearly as much fun!
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