Xena - smart TV that pretended to be dumb

Discussion in 'Archive: The Amphitheatre' started by Miss_Golden, Nov 1, 2006.

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  1. Miss_Golden Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2006
    star 1
    I only recently got into the series, and I have to say I am impressed. I mean at first glance it seems like a typical syndicate action TV show, and while that might be true for the first season, it really is smart TV that pretends to be dumb.

    It had the perfect blend of over-the-top action, supernatural, sex, comedy, violence and mythology. It had deep insights on Christianity, the supernatural and Hinduism, while providing it's own take on Greek and Asian mythology along with Roman and Egyptian history. You had medieval rock concerts, Go-Go cage dancing, the paranormal (which is probally what placed the show in the Sci-Fi genre) Indiana Jones look-a-likes, clones and car electricution, samurai battles and more! Then there's the much talked about form of lesbian subtext. Every episode the writers would always drop hints of Xena and Gabrielle's "special" relationship with lines about hickey's, love confessions, breast and ass groping, sharing beds and baths along with open mouth kisses. Can you name any other action TV show that dared to go that far? And when can you ever go wrong with Bruce Campbell?

    Also I can see why people called it Baywatch BC. I mean the show had some of the hottest hunks of 90s television - William Gregory Lee as Virgil, Karl Urban before his Lord of the Rings days as Caesar/Cupid/Kor/Mael, Captain Typho himself Jay Laga'aia before he was Padme's bodyguard and the late, great Kevin Smith as anti-hero and sometimes villain Ares. Then there are the women - Lucy Lawless, Renee O'Connor, Hudson Leick, Alexandra Tydings, Adrienne Wilkinson, Melinda Clarke (remember her as Julie Cooper off the OC?) Danielle Cormack, Claire Stanfield, Jennifer Sky, Willa O'Neill, Meighan Desmond, Victoria Pryat and Jacqueline Kim providing eye candy for the boys (and the other audience ;)) - most of which wearing nothing but tight leather and skimpy bikinis!

    Another thing that impressed me - character development. You NEVER see that on other syndicate TV shows like Hercules, Beastmaster or Sinbad. You had Xena, the former power hungry warlord seeking redemption, but along the way finally finding peace within herself as a person instead of just righting her wrongs. You have Ares and Aphrodite, two Gods who at first only care for themselves and don't give a crap about the rest of humanity, but become more human as the show progresses. You have Joxer, the bumbling idiot warrior wannabe, who has time passes grows up into a noble person. You had Callisto, the innocent girl turned into an evil, highly psychotic woman hell bent on revenge, who in the end finds redemption herself.

    And finally there's Gabrielle, one of the most developed characters on TV in years. Starting off as an innocent, naive yet defenseless farmgirl, Gabrielle goes on to become an adventure seeking Amazon Princess, the lighthearted battling bard eager to share her stories become as strong as Xena without killing, the sidekick who goes from being a girl to a woman through the pain of losing loved ones and taking another's life, her spiritual journey through Hinduism and anti-violence, to being Xena's protector during her virgin pregnancy, to finally becoming a full fledged but hardened and deeply conflicted warrior - now as Xena's successor.

    The design of the show was amazing too. Anyone who watched the second half of the series' run when it ventured out of Greece, into new lands such as Rome, Siberia, Persia, India, China, Japan, Egypt and othr parts of North Africa, would be impressed by the detail put into the design of the sets and costumes. Gabrielle's later costumes infact, look like they came from a Hollywood movie. The exterior of Gurkhan's Arabian palace is among my favourite locations. Alti, the warrior witch from the second half of the show's run also had some amazing costumes (plus I love the way she delivers the line "Xena's little bitch. Welcome to the doghouse!" before beating the living hell out of Gabrielle with her supernatural and psychic powers)

    The acting was questionable at first, but really improved as the s
  2. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    I've seen a few "Hercules" episodes in passing, and one or two "Xena" ones, too, but I really couldn't pick up the back story with any success.

    But didn't Xena start out as a villian in the "Hercules" series?
  3. Miss_Golden Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2006
    star 1
    That's correct. Xena debuted in the first season of Hercules as a villain for two episodes, then in the finale she decided to join forces with him and battle the army she once commanded. Originally she was going to be killed off, but the character was so popular she got her own show when Hercules reached it's second season. Xena was the more successful show of the two, and was much darker than the child friendly Hercules.
  4. TheBoogieMan Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2001
    star 6
    It was wonderfully camp, wasn't it? Lots of fun, but I was too young to really appreciate it when it was on TV.

    ... but not too young to pick up on Xena and Gabriel's "special" relationship. :p
  5. ApolloSmileGirl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2004
    star 8
    lol, no reason you shouldn't have caught it. Their "relationship" was flaunted whatever chance the writers could come up with, if I'm not mistaken.
  6. TheBoogieMan Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2001
    star 6
    Xena is an incredibly popular costume for the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, here.
  7. ApolloSmileGirl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2004
    star 8
    I've heard that lesbian and gay bars used to shut down the music for an hour, for weekly viewings of Xena, back when the show was on the air.
  8. TheBoogieMan Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2001
    star 6
    Heh, yeah, that sounds about right. She was a massive cult-like figure, really.

    Which came first - Hercules or Xena?
  9. ApolloSmileGirl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2004
    star 8
    I've no idea, I've caught maybe a combined total of two or three episodes, ever.
  10. TheBoogieMan Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2001
    star 6
    Heh, right. Well they were definitely related. I suspect Hercules came first, but you never know...
  11. Well_Of_Souls Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 26, 2001
    star 5
    I remember this show fondly, along with Hercules. Definitely entertaining television.

    And Hudson Leick was super hot as Callisto.

    [image=http://content.answers.com/main/content/wp/en/thumb/0/09/200px-Callistohudson.jpg]
  12. farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    "I love Sappho!"

    I bet you do.
  13. Juliet316 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2005
    star 7
    As Miss_Golden has said, Hercules came first and Xena evolved from a trilogy of episodes aired during Herc's first season. It was dark and funny and wonderful (and yes full of 'undertones'). However I felt that it jumped the shark around the time of the Virgin pregnancy and really never recovered from it.
  14. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    The finale took such a crap on its fanbase though, I can't imagine anyone talking positively about it... o_O
  15. Juliet316 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2005
    star 7
    That's why there's fanfic: To correct the wrongs of the creators.
  16. Miss_Golden Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2006
    star 1
    Everyone I know thought she and Gabrielle were better looking than Xena.

    [image=http://celebritypictures.duble.com/R/reneeoconnor/8.jpg]
  17. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    Hudson Leick was super-hot (and I'm glad there are naked pictures of her on the intra-web).

    Gabrielle was also super-hot and I'm sorry there are none of her out there to my knowledge. :(
  18. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Virgin pregnancy? You're kidding me...aren't you?
  19. MariahJade2 Former Fan Fiction Archive Editor

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2001
    star 5
    I loved when Bruce Campbell guest starred on both Hercules and Xena. Those were always my favorite ones. [face_love]

  20. IronGoldie Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 15, 2006
    star 1
    I absolutely love, love, love this show. I pretty much agree with everything the thread starter said. Shows that great just don't come along that often.
  21. JediRunner Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2005
    star 1
    One of my favorite shows, have a seasons on DVD. I love how the tap into some many mythologies from Greek, Asian, Nordic, I think there was some Celtic myth in some of the episodes too. Then the episodes with the ArchAngels great stuff. Gabby's character development was one the best things about Xena IMO.

    The only thing that annoyed me alot about Gabby was her so called baby and her claiming it was hers. I'm a dude and probably don't understand it too much but it just annoyed me that someone as smart as Gabby couldn't see how that cult used her and the child wasn't even human.

    Anyways I know people that found Joxer very annoying but I didn't.
  22. Miss_Golden Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2006
    star 1
    Virgil was hot on Xena. I was kind of hoping he and the Gabster got together in Season 6 since Xena always had her thing with Ares.
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