Every Saturday night as children, my brother and I couldn’t wait until the TV was on and we could watch our favorite shows: Hercules and Xena. Those were the days! Needless to say, when I saw on Netflix that they have all the seasons of Xena and Hercules I was ecstatic (literally, screamed for joy). They were immediately added to my queue and I delved right into my favorite, Xena.
How to even begin to describe six seasons of the Warrior Princess? In short, the tale is of a female warrior, Xena, and her travels across the globe. Xena has had an interesting background, and it takes six full seasons to get almost the whole story. She has led a life of war, crime, and evil, only to turn the tides and fight for good. In the first episode of the series, were are introduced not only to Xena, but also her future sidekick Gabrielle. Gabrielle comes from a small village in Greece and wants Xena to teach her all she knows about fighting and defending innocent people. Xena is apprehensive but allows Gabrielle to tag along. And thus begins a great and powerful friendship.
I really wanted to re-watch all of the episodes from Xena mainly to relive my childhood and remember what “good” television was. How I was so blind to all of the sexual innuendos that were embedded in some of the episodes, or the constant question of how Xena and Gabrielle were lesbian lovers. I was 12, how was I supposed to know? Taken at face value though, the show had some substantial themes for kids, the main one being: good always conquers over evil.
Obviously, Lucy Lawless was a perfect actress for Xena and Renee O’Connor as Gabrielle was great too. However, it was the auxiliary cast that made the show what it was: Ares, Aphrodite, Joxer, Callisto, Caesar, Autolycus, Borias, and Ephiny to name a few. By far my two favorites had to be Ares (Kevin Smith, RIP) and Joxer (Ted Raimi). Polar opposites, Ares was the God of War, and Joxer was a nimrod, these two characters added substance to the show and really made it more than just following two women fighting evil throughout the world.
There were some aspects that I was not a big fan of. Like when Xena went to a Mid-East region to fight with the Amazons and had to sacrifice horses and dress in skins and wear horns. Nope, wasn’t my cup of tea. Or some of the weird, modernist re-tellings of Xena in modern times reborn in some characters. I knew the writers were trying to spread their wings and do some things a bit differently, but they should have stuck with the traditional plot.
In the end, re-watching all of the episodes, while it took me a few months, really was exciting and made me fall back in love with the show. I guess though many of the stunts and special effects are outdated, so if you didn’t grow up with watching Xena you probably won’t have an appreciation for many of the episodes, which is a travesty. If you DID grow up watching them however, get binge watching. It’s a great show, great cast, and great message. Xena, you will forever kick butt. Ayyayaaaaaayayayayaya (Xena War Cry!)