Whoosh! Issue 72 - 
September 2002
Editor's Page

From the Graphics Editor:
The Night of the Amazing Aphrodite and the Final Finale

From the Graphics Editor:

This month Whoosh! features a number of articles dedicated to one of the most loved recurring characters in Xena and Hercules - Aphrodite.

The goddess of love spanned two series, pretty much throughout the length of both. Introduced primarily as comic relief, Aphrodite shone even more brightly when given the opportunity for dramatic development. The character evolved from a shallow, self-centred vanity plate to one who took her responsibilities seriously and near the end risked her very immortality and existence for the sake of her mortal friend.

Few characters inspired the love and loyalty that Alexandra Tyding’s portrayal of Aphrodite did. Let’s face it, there would be no Aphrodite as we know the character without the dedication and effort of Alexandra Tydings. She took the valley-girl bimbo image and made it into something bigger and better. It would be unthinkable to consider any other actor in that role.

So this month, in recognition of such an important character, we have some feature articles we hope you enjoy.

Also this month, the topic of FRIEND IN NEED rears its bashed and ugly face once again.

In New Zealand this month they aired the Xena finale for the first and probably last time.

The promo for the finale spoke more about Pacific Renaissance than it did the finale itself, going through a series of “From the People Who Brought You…” attempted jokes that just fell more flat than they were amusing. Apparently it was decided that the finale couldn’t be sold on its own merit so the approach was more along the lines of “watch this for old times sake because we brought a lot of work to New Zealand.” At least, that was my impression.

And for the most part, the only people who did watch the finale in New Zealand were people associated with the industry, those who knew them, and a small number of die-hard fans. Xena was not hugely popular in New Zealand even in its heyday, and as the seasons wore on local interest waned, as it did the rest of the world over.

But the finale did attract the attention of comedians at the Classic Comedy Bar, wanting some topical humour on amateur night. As one of them so aptly put it, “The character of Xena, a lesbian icon played by a New Zealand actress, was beheaded by an Australian actor wearing a dress. How ironic is that?” Unfortunately his joke and the jokes of others didn’t get huge laughs, mainly because the audience was largely unfamiliar with the show. Now there’s irony for you.

It’s also just plain challenging to find amusement in something that is not funny, though I commend the Classic Comedy Bar veterans for trying. After all, they too had some affiliation with the show. One can see many familiar warlord and “extra” faces among these people who are trying to make their own unique mark in the entertainment industry.

Over a year after most of the remaining Xena audience had a chance to see it, Kiwis had their chance to view it on TV4 and the vast majority of them passed.

After all, I had a chance myself to see the finale again or go out on a Tuesday night to enjoy some cool jazz and sip some fabulous New Zealand red wine in a place where many a former Pacren person and myself enjoyed an evening.

I chose to go out.

Bret Rudnick
Whoosh! Executive Committee
Auckland, New Zealand
18 August 2002

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