Being brutally honest about books

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Top Ten Reasons I Love Xena: Warrior Princess

Top Ten Tuesday is an awesome meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's theme is Ten Reasons I Love X. I thought and thought about what I was going to do, and finally decided on one of my two favourite TV programmes, the 90s cult classic Xena: Warrior Princess. 

 For those who don't know (gasp!) it's about Xena (Lucy Lawless), a warrior woman who kicks arse around Ancient Greece and the rest of the known world with her gal pal Gabrielle (Renee O'Connor), a bard and Amazon princess/queen. It's an American show filmed in New Zealand, but most of characters speak with - or try to speak with - American accents, which can be both distracting and hilarious. Physics does not exist in this show.

Okay, now you know the basics, here are just ten of the things I love most about this show.

1. It's so absurd and even the creators didn't take it seriously. The humour, the AU episodes, the WHOOSHes... Ridiculousness will rule the show!

Nigel interviewing Gabrielle and Xena in an actual episode

2. It has two of the best female villains ever. Be afraid. Be very afraid.


Callisto                             Alti

3. Women everywhere! This is possibly the most feminist TV show, even today, not just because of all the lady warriors, but because it's about inner strength as well. They don't shy away from female relationships, either, which is pretty special.


Gabrielle and Xena fight together

4. It's set mostly in Ancient Greece and includes a lot of Greek mythology, including the gods (my favourite is Aphrodite, but Ares is the star) but they also travel to Britannia, Rome, Egypt, India,  China, Japan, North Africa...

Ares and Aphrodite

5. It's anachronism central! Gabrielle meets Homer one episode after she and Xena meet Helen of Troy, which is ten years after Xena meets Julius Caesar; Xena invents CPR and the kite, she and Gabrielle get crucified and get sent to hell and heaven and meet archangels... There is a very long list of historical inaccuracies, and it's brilliant because it's not meant to be accurate.

Ancient Greek underwear??

6. The "subtext", or as I call it, "text".

7. The same actors are recycled into different roles. Spot The Karl Urban is a favourite game that Xenites like to play.


Karl Urban as Julius Caesar, Cupid, Mael, and Kor

8. One of the main themes is tolerance: of different cultures, religions, world views, personalities, genders (there is a very progressive episode in which Xena kisses a transgender character, whose actor (also transgender) was actually HIV positive, to show the audience that you can't contract HIV from kissing someone who has it), etc.

 9. There's a musical episode! (Actually there's two, but the second one is terrible.)

 10. And of course, Xena and Gabrielle's relationship. They are the most married of couples you can conceive of. They have the closest friendship and the deepest love. I saw someone refer to them as the "mothership", on account of the show being very influential on general fandom. One of my favourite things about this show is that it's about a positive loving relationship between two women, back in the 90s! No wonder it's so important to millions of wlw around the world.

 I could very easily add ten more things I love about this show, but I'll stick with the prescribed number. 

What are your feelings? Nostalgia? Overwhelming fannish feels? Have I convinced any poor souls who aren't familiar with the show to watch it? Will you watch the reboot?

I'm Alexandria, a 19-year-old reader/writer/blogger from New Zealand. I love language, history, and sci-fi. Hi! I'm always around if you want to talk, which you can do via comments, the contact form, or Facebook.

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