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NEWS GOSSIP RUMORS
#39

By Laura Sue Dean
July 20, 2001

ANOTHER NGR: LOOK OUT FOR MAJOR SERIES FINALE SPOILERS FOLKS
LAURA SUE, LADY OF LEISURE
SPECIAL: LAURA SUE AT THE MOVIES!
AWARDS SHOWS, TALKS SHOWS, AND NO SHOWS
MUTANT CHICKS, PRICEY PICKS, UNLIKELY FLICKS
FINAL BORING RATINGS INFORMATION
TEDIOUS MERCHANDISE STUFF
LETTERS TO LAURA SUE
LAURA SUE NEEDS YOU!

ANOTHER NGR:
LOOK OUT FOR MAJOR SERIES FINALE SPOILERS FOLKS

Hi Kids! Laura Sue is back from a loooong vacay the Caribbean, getting in a full round of sun-bathing for her next acting assignment! Laura Sue will begin shooting a small independent feature this month (ironically enough, with the working title "Small Independent Feature") and she needs to look like a spoiled, bronzed California chick who has spent too much time at the pool. Laura Sue loves to stretch herself dramatically.

Laura Sue DID run onto a few problems upon her return that have made getting this last NGR out a tad more difficult. Like so many of you, Laura Sue was despondent over the Xena series finale. In a tiny little, bric-a-brac laden tourist cart in the BVIs, Laura Sue discovered an urn that bore a striking resemblance to the one containing Xena's ashes from FRIEND IN NEED II. Thrilled beyond belief to find it (and that it was under five bucks), Laura Sue purchased with abandon and determined to place the urn in a position of importance in her collection of Xenabilia.

Upon Laura Sue's return to the U.S., those surly U.S. Customs Officials asked if she had anything to declare. Thinking of the clay receptacle, Laura Sue said, "All I have to declare is a little pot."

She was instantly surrounded by a squad of Drug Enforcement Agency Officials and led aside. Needless to say...Laura Sue has had a slightly LONGER vacation than she anticipated. Why these things seem to happen to Laura Sue, who knows? She did get to meet a cute attorney by the name of Bernie, who has a cousin in the business, and a beachfront condo -- oops, I digress. Let's get back to News...Gossip...and Rumors!



LAURA SUE, LADY OF LEISURE

Speaking of long vacations and attorneys named Bernie, Laura Sue will be going into partial retirement here in her column. Honestly, darlings, with the show over, the Xena News, Gossip, and Rumors have dried up a tad too much to keep Laura Sue cranking out regular reports. So many readers have said "Oh magnificent goddess of gossip (well..OK..exaggeration), why don't you give us gossip on ALLLLL the other chick flix action thingees." Well, sweetie, that would require an AWFUL lot of work..and Laura Sue's love (and connections) is with Xena: Warrior Princess (not to mention the fact that Laura Sue is working a lot more now). Fear not, Laura Sue is not going AWAY. She just will be posting updates a little less often than her sporadic bouts of genius now. If you need more regular updates, remember to check in with Kyms' regular (and not nearly as entertaining..ahem) General News and Rumors updates in the Episode Guide section.



SPECIAL:
LAURA SUE AT THE MOVIES!

HOW VISIONARY...NOT. LAURA SUE'S FEW WORDS ON THE FINALE

What on EARTH were they thinking?? It has been said that the finale to the series Xena: Warrior Princess was the most hated series finale in the history of television. Xena gets killed, mutilated, and then stays dead (how uncharacteristic) and leaves Gabrielle to become the new ultra warrior woman. Now, Laura Sue didn't HATE the finale...it just was, well, unlikely. I mean, honestly...the whole premise of Xena's permanent death hinges on the idea that she is responsible for torching the city of Higuchi and condemning 40,000 souls she burned up. First off, the whole Higuchi torching incident was just too much! Xena was DRUNK, for Eli's sake, when she torched the place, AND she was being roughed up by a local mob. If you had to get pierced by arrows, beheaded, strung up, and cremated (and put in a cheap pet urn) and stay permanently dead for every time one has an indiscretion when you've been hitting the sake a little too much...Laura Sue would look like a permanent charred headless pincushion herself. If anything, Xena should be forced to stay dead because of her APPALLING fashion sense during the scene in question. No wonder the mob attacked her! She SHOULD have been attacked for that revolting Pat Benetar 80's hairdon't, that shocking shoe selection (ugh!..and they were MEN'S shoes to boot, honey), and her questionable choice in clothes and makeup. Don't let this happen to you, girls! THINK before you go out or you too could be forced to stay dead the next time you get killed!

You're a heartbreakah, dreamreckah, lovetakah donchmessarounwithme...

Bad fashion sense can get you into a heck of a lot of trouble, girls...


The second premise that is as flimsy as Aphrodite's negligee, is that Xena would schlep all the way to Japan at the request of a manipulative, nasty little piece of work like Akemi. She knows her for, like, two weeks (in which Xena shows her the pinch, much to Gabrielle's horror), she uses Xena to kill her father, and she butters her up with some tawdry haiku. Of course, she even brownnoses Gabrielle..."I want to give you a gift"...oh please...honey. Do you think a tattoo is going to make up for this trip to Japan? Oh, and hold on for a second here, Gabrielle needs to hightail it to Mt. Fuji to get the to instant rejuvenation fountain...and she has time to get an ornate tattoo??? Do you all know how LONG it takes to get a tattoo? I mean, we can accept gods, demons, trips to Tartarus and back like it was a weekend getaway spa, but can we be a tad realistic about tattooing times?

Speaking of unlikely...if a whole lotta folks got barbecued in the LAST big Higuchi fire of 35 winters ago, one would think they would make it easier to get to that water tower to put the next one out? A ladder would be convenient. THINK of the insurance rates in that place! Does anyone care what happened to the armies massing outside the city? Gabrielle humiliated one of their leaders and now they all went home? Honestly, honey, with holes like these and legendarily hokey lines like "I hear snow falling on cedars", ya gotta wonder if they've spent too much time in isolation out there in the New Zealand compound….

Well, they may have rubbed Xena out in the finale, but as Laura Sue is writing this, Xena is hovering over her shoulder, blathering on about something or other. The problem is, now that she's dead, apparently everyone is seeing her around more than Elvis. Fear not fellow fans...TV characters never die, they come back over and over again in reruns (Xena is alive on Oxygen) and bother the h*ll out of gossip writers trying to get some sleep. (or maybe it's just the sake...)



AWARDS SHOWS, TALKS SHOWS, AND NO SHOWS

EMMYS…WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' EMMYS..THE ARGOS ROCK!!

Honey...mark your calendars and clear your schedules as the 2001 ARGO Awards returns to the Palace at Whoosh! for the Xenite party of the summer! The date and time? Saturday, July 28th at 7pm EST/4pm PST. Betsy Book is bringing the Palace back from the dead/Tartarus/Valhalla/the ceramic bowl to host this one-of-a-kind mega event. She even calculated the time to accommodate European and Aussie Xenites! All your favorite folks will be on hand as presenters (including little old me, Miss Laura Sue Dean as the Mistress of Ceremonies!) and you just never know who else might stop by to pick up their award in person! ;-) Bookmark this URL: http://www.whoosh.org/palace/index.html. Laura Sue has purchased a brand new tiara to replace the one she inadvertently lost at the wild post ARGO party at Dave's (sigh…..what a MAN!).

ARE THEY OR AREN'T THEY? WELL...TECHNICALLY...

Finally, Lucy Lawless answers the question "Are Xena and Gabrielle an item?" without ambiguity. On the Conan O'Brien show, and the Jay Thomas radio show in New York, Lucy Lawless laughed and said 'There is NO doubt in my mind". She reminded folks that they could still see it any way they wanted to, but as far as she was concerned...yep...Xena is out of the closet. Of course, there's nothing WRONG with that. It would explain why Argo was outfitted with a U-Haul hitch.

REN PICS IS REALLY DEAD (DESPITE RUMORS TO THE CONTRARY)

Someone sent Laura Sue a bogus story a short while ago that claimed that Ren Pics was starting a new sci-fi production over in New Zealand. Guess what? Ain't possible. Ren Pics is finished, over, gone bye-bye...they have been reduced to a few staff and (most likely) a few houseplants. All the petitions in the world are falling on deaf ears green leafy things, people. Give it up. There are just a few people left at PacRen. The props, costumes, etc., are all gone. They gave up the lease on the location ranch. Their Property on Rosebank is up for lease again as well. The Taperts have gone fishing and they deserve a long break. If you are still have the desire to let it be known that you want Xena back in the flesh, go to http://www.petitionpetition.com/cgi/petition.cgi?id=1952 and sign the petition to bring Xena back in the form of a TV movie. (what the heck...it can't HURT...right?)



MUTANT CHICKS, PRICEY PICKS, UNLIKELY FLICKS

VICKY PRATT , SEXY MUTANT CHICK

Looks like Tribune Entertainment (the weenies that wouldn't distribute Xena properly) will be putting muscle-bound, fiery, RenPics alumnus Vicky Pratt (Sarge, Cyane) in a new action show playing a feral half woman, fiery, half-kitty mutant named Shalimar Fox. The show, called Mutant X, involves a band of mutants with super powers fighting evil (umm..sounds like the X-Men). Coming to a Tribune station near you this fall (or as soon as the lawsuit between Fox and Marvel over the blatant similarities to the X-Men gets cleared up..guess their lawyers thought it sounded like X-Men too).

$3,000 FOR THIS ORIGINAL TOOTHPICK PROP USED BY XENA...

Honestly...has the entire world gone insane...or are did they really auction off Renee and Lucy's underpants over at Studios USA? The bizarre thing that is truly frightening to Laura Sue is that even though she JESTS at things and makes completely absurd predictions about such things, they ALL seem to come true. Laura Sue will certainly consider permanent retirement if this trend continues. This auction has included things such as Xena's stunt urn (for $865...it doesn't open and is empty...perfect for inconveniently rolling over cliffs), a plate for Xena's head, and Xena's sake bottle (drained completely, naturally, Xena being a lush and all)

WHERE'S CELINE DION WHEN YOU NEED TO HEAR THAT SONG?

OK...now that we've had the finale...fans have clung to Laura Sue's Oxygen movie rumor from last month like it was the back end of the Titanic. Just to stretch this metaphor a tad...people the boat has PLUNGED into the icy waters. There is only the SLIMMEST chance Oxygen will come rolling around in a lifeboat to scoop up your movie hopes. Writing angry letters and sending them petitions isn't getting you any closer to shore. What Laura Sue said WAS: Oxygen has talked to Lucy and Renee's AGENTS and would be interested in a movie deal in the future. The only comment Lucy made about this, and it was IN the Oxygen studios, is "I wouldn't say no to the right movie, the right vehicle for Xena. But I don't hear any talk of that, and I'm looking into some other creative pursuits."

SPEAKING OF CREATIVE PURSUITS

Can Laura Sue spot a rumor of WHAT! A few months ago Laura Sue chatted with a few inebriate producer-types at a notorious Manhattan "theater people" haunt. Just barely audible over the din of attention starved dancer-singer wannabes attempting to hawk their demo CDs, Laura Sue engaged in gossip about how Lucy Lawless would be perfect taking on the Annie Oakley role in the Broadway revival of Annie Get Your Gun. Whaddya know..in Lucy's interview with NPR she reveals her strong desire to do just that. With any luck, those producers will get out there and lasso that filly while she's still free.

"RAZORBLADES...GET YER RAZORBLADES.."

While grieving over the end of Xena, Laura Sue was flipping channels and decided to give Witchblade, the new tough gal in leather action hero series on TNT, a chance. Not a bad show so far...aside from the fact that people live in the most improbable apartments, they don't have enough money to have more than a handful of locations, and that every 15 minutes TNT crams the commercial time with bad ads selling funeral plots (try cremation and a pet urn...better deal) and Mickey Rooney selling life insurance. Aside from this, Laura Sue was all excited to see TNT doing a TV movie adaption of the Mists of Avalon. Unfortunately however, the heroes all die or end up completely MISERABLE in this epic as well. Bummer. Time for Laura Sue to break out her Ab Fab tapes and actually laugh amidst all this prime time, 20-hanky, slaughter-your-characters-in-the-season finale morbid bandwagon that everybody in TV land seems to have leapt on. Will all the producers of the world please go get an anti-depressant prescription and for the god's sake get over this annoying idea that in order for your work to be "serious and important"...everyone must die. If this was the case, Charles Manson would be an auteur.

NOW THIS WE COULD TOTALLY WATCH...

Alexandra (Aphrodite) Tydings and Claudia Christian (Babylon-5) are pitching a chick flick, action-adventure, time travellin', gal sidekick and hero TV show to MGM on Tuesday July 24th. The show is called Hourglass and it sounds FABULOUS! Of course, now that they have their meeting with the MGM execs, we need to help them out by telling MGM that we would LIKE a show like this (and you would, really). Go to their website (http://www.hourglass1.com/) right NOW. They want to get as many visitors as possible before their big meeting to prove to those corporate entertainment types that THIS is the kinda stuff we want to see (PLEASE..not another Big Brother. Feeling like you couldn't do anything to save Xena..well you can ACTUALLY make a real DIFFERENCE here. GO on. All you have to do is click.



FINAL BORING RATINGS STUFF

Laura Sue **JUST** heard how the finale did. FRIEND IN NEED I earned 3.2 (AA) and FRIEND IN NEED II earned a 3.9 (AA). FIN II ties with LEGACY as being the highest rated episode for this last season. Here's the ratings to FIN II, listed from best ratings to lowest for this season (all caps indicate initial airing):

Name Rating
LEGACY 3.9
FRIEND IN NEED II 3.9
GOD YOU KNOW 3.8
WHOS' GURKHAN 3.7
RING 3.5
Succession 3.5
OLD ARES HAS A FARM 3.5
PATH OF VENGEANCE 3.5
TO HELICON AND BACK 3.5
ABYSS 3.4
RETURN OF THE VALKYRIE 3.4
COMING HOME 3.3
RHINEGOLD 3.3
DANGEROUS PREY 3.3
HEART OF DARKNESS 3.2
Coming Home 3.2
Antony & Cleopatra 3.2
FRIEND IN NEED I 3.2
YOU ARE THERE 3.1
MANY HAPPY RETURNS 3
HAUNTING OF AMPHIPOLIS 2.9
Married with Fishsticks 2.9
Legacy 2.9
WHEN FATES COLLIDE 2.9
SOUL POSSESSION 2.9
God Fearing Child 2.8
Abyss 2.8
Old Ares Has a Farm 2.8
LAST OF THE CENTAURS 2.8
Who's Gurkhan 2.7
Haunting of Amphipolis 2.6
Heart of Darkness 2.6
Rhinegold 2.6
Ring 2.6
Callisto 2.5
Return of the Valkyrie 2.4
SEND IN THE CLONES 2.4
Sins of the Past 2.4




TEDIOUS MERCHANDISE STUFF

Go right now and take this poll (http://www.xenahercules.com/poll.html) to tell the people who sell those Xena video sets that you WANT, NEED and MUST have box sets of Xena on DVD. According to one report, they plan to start carrying DVD sets at the END of this year or the beginning of next (smart marketers will get these ready by Christmas...but that's just a suggestion). Those intelligent British people over at Blackstar Videos in the UK, who have long had Xena on DVD, have already started selling them in box sets. It can't be long now folks till we see DVD sets. Columbia House started selling them one at a time in one of their subscriber-based deals. Laura Sue would bet that a box set would be the most economical way to go here...so GO TELL THEM! Take the poll.



LETTERS TO LAURA SUE

Laura Sue,

Did you get the idea that they left it open for Renee to do a "spin-off"? I'm still disappointed that Xena had to die. I've heard about a movie in the works, too, but are we going to see it as Gabbie and her ghost sidekick? Just curious.

Julie

Dear Julie,

Well...actually...there is a greater chance of Laura Sue becoming the Queen of Sweden than Renee doing a spin-off. Of course, the chance is 1 in a billion for either (are there any single Swedish princes out there?), but as Ares said (and Ginger the chicken in Chicken Run) "that means there's still a chance". Don't go betting the farm on this one, though, sweetie.

-Laura Sue

Dear Laura Sue,

My heart is broken and I am feeling totally lost. I am with hope that the producers will feel the need to do a special series to bring Xena back to life and back to her mortal beloved Gabby. I could go on knowing that she is alive and that together she and Gabby sail off into the sunset to live happily ever after. We need your help Laura Sue to help mend not only mine but thousands of other broken hearts. Your words of wisdom are cherished!

Sincerely,
Luna

Luna…darling,

Laura Sue is so sorry you feel lost, depressed, despondent...Laura Sue has received literally hundreds of letters from fans who felt let down by the finale (which is NOTHING on the bags of mail Kym has received), so she will now address you all. All Laura Sue can say is that nothing ever sticks in TV land because it is all fantasy. Xena has come back to life, been to hell and back, soooo many times that even when she says she has to "stay dead"...you KNOW it doesn't mean a thing. The bummer is that it was depressing enough to have your favorite show end, but then they decided to REALLY make it painful. Remember, Xena and Gabrielle keep showing up all over the timeline...so they are immortal in a way. If they ever decided to make a movie or write a book...or WHO knows what else...Xena can get restored in under 5 minutes ("it was a wizard"). It's just the end of a TV show, not the end of Xena and Gabrielle. Don't let that lousy finale ruin your enjoyment of a good thing. Xena, like a good diamond, is forever.

Chocolate ice cream helps a great deal as well. Avoid sake.

Take care,
Laura Sue

Ah, Ms. Dean what are we going to do without you?! Who will give me my gossip fix? Who will I recommend to my agent as having a promising career in nastily witty comedy? How will I get PAID if he doesn't sign you? *deep sigh* These things and more keep me awake at night, I tell you. Do keep in touch, old girl, will you? I'd be absolutely disappointed if Regis and Kelly don't invite you on their show. This world needs your joie de vivre. ;-)

Peace on ya,
Kieli

Kieli, you darling sweet wonderful fabulous person,

Laura Sue adores your ability to worship so unabashedly and will work on paying you herself to regularly send adoring notes likes these, just as soon as she becomes the Queen of Sweden and can afford such things...

Big lipstick smeary smooches,
Laura Sue

I know it was not you; however, I think Robert Tapert's series finale absolutely and completely sucks. It took him two hours to destroy everything that Xena: Warrior Princess really stands for. I would say much much more if he was not married to Lucy Lawless but I just cannot believe he would stoop to that level for the finale. He must have done it deliberately to just see how irate everyone would get. Everybody I know just hopes Lucy does fine but that this ends his career. I could not agree more!!!

Frances F. Mahanes M.D.

Dear Doc…

Laura Sue is SOOOOOO glad you know it was not HER that p*ss*d you off in such a complete and utterly vindictive way. She will now go and see if Gucci carries kevlar vests in something kicky yet elegant..

-Laura Sue

Hi,

Sorry for the bad question Laura... but i really muct know who the character Rococco is in Xena... I can't find this character anywhere! Please let me know if you know anyone who can help me or if you know? Thank you for your time!

Chris

Dear Chris,

Rococco was in the little known unseen episode IF IT AIN'T BAROQUE DON'T FIX IT. A charming Becker directed third season comedy about ornate architecture and ghastly furniture. No...seriously...Laura Sue has no idea what character you are talking about.

-Laura Sue

Dear Laura Sue--

You remind us to have a box of tissues by our side when viewing the finale. Well, I have to keep one handy when I read your column 'cause I laugh so hard the tears just flow. You have a fantastic gift and I thank the Goddesses that you love XWP and were moved to share your perspective with other fans.

I will miss your words and send you a may-all-your-dreams-comes-true wish. Speaking of wishes, I wish that our cable carried the Oxygen channel as I could then enjoy your commentary during the XWP airings.

Thanks again for enhancing my XWP experience with your wit.

Dear Fan of LSD,

Oh hon...I had to have a box of tissues to read this because Laura Sue was MOVED. Laura Sue is not being cremated anytime soon (at least if she avoids Dr. Frances up there...phew) ... but will sporadically drop a line or two when something really monumental comes around ...or there's a letter than is just too hilarious to avoid printing. Bother those local cable folks for Oxygen. Laura Sue is trying to gun for her own talk show...(naturally...as the Queen of Sweden).

Kiss kiss…
Laura Sue





LAURA SUE NEEDS YOU!

If you HAVE any good dish, write me. Need a rumor confirmed, denied, or ambiguously tap danced around? I'm your gal! Just drop Laura Sue a line!

I can't print every letter, but I'll do my best to answer your questions... and report those late-breaking XWP stories!



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