Sunday, July 24, 2011

Xena Warrior Princess

Many of you know how much I love Xena. I love it equally to Star Wars, which means it is extremely important. When it ended in 2001, I was pretty devastated. The ending was not what I had hoped for. I grieved for a long time. Sure it was just a TV show, but these characters had been part of my life for 6 years. Not only that, but the show led me to my partner of 15 years (15 yrs. in November 2011). We met in #Xenafan on IRC. I had a personalized license tag on my car that read "Xena" until I sold my car last October. We spent $250.00 on a Xena prop (The Amazon Epinon's belt) which at the time was more than our rent.

Xena had become part of my weekly joy.

After the show ended, I couldn't watch Xena anymore. It was just too painful. I cried for weeks. Seriously. I cried at work. I just couldn't understand why it had to end the way it did. I logged onto the MCA/Universal sponsored Xena Netforum & quickly realized I wasn't alone. There was a whole lot of anger, confusion & frustration, but mostly there was grief. This show had been empowering. It had been a show that many seem to identify with, especially when it came to the Xena & Gabrielle relationship. *SPOILERS* (Don't read the next line if you haven't seen the series ending) The ending seemed to ignore everything we had learned about revenge, vengeance & finding redemption. Xena sacrifices herself to avenge souls she had accidently caused to die & leaves her soulmate & best friend alone. She never forgave herself, finding the true peace I felt she deserved. Basically, she killed herself due to her guilt. It didn't feel like an empowering ending. It felt like a greek tragedy, which maybe that was the point. Moreover, though, it felt like a friend had died for no good reason.

Recently, my partner went on a family vacation for two weeks. I no longer had television, but I did have Netflix. I also have a couple 8 x 10's of Xena & Gabrielle in the living room & I started thinking about T & I & how we met & I wondered if I could watch Xena again. As the gods would have it, Netflix was streaming it. So, I watched one. I forgot how much I really loved Xena. I also forgot how great the writing in this silly little show was. The writing, the direction, and the acting. It is a remarkable little piece of television history. There was never anything like it, and there will never be anything like it again. It came about in a unique time & place & for me the right time & place.

T & I decided to go back & watch the whole series again from beginning to end. This time the director's cut ending. Maybe that will help. We just finished the first season last night, so we have a ways to go.


The Director's Cut of Friend In Need is indeed much better.  When you get to the end, watch it rather than what they showed on TV.  Still, I feel like Xena felt she didn't deserve happiness.  She didn't deserve to be able to have a life free from guilt.  Only in death could she be freed.  Such a sad ending.  And to leave Gabrielle so utterly alone.  Ugh.


If you were ever on the MCA/Universal Netforums from 1996 (?) to 2001, go check out the FB page Xena Netforum. Hopefully it can serve as a sort of reunion page for all of us old timers who used to frequent the place so often.

If you have never watched Xena, don't write it off as just a silly little fantasy show. There's some really good stuff in there. Give it a shot while it's streaming on Netflix. It's way worth the journey.


Anonymous said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE XENA!! I met my partner through Xena too.. 9 years in August :D Its always good to connect with fans and share the emotion - i cried for weeks after it ended and just kinda went into a shell - noone could understand except for my Xena friends.. you really do become a family! I'm glad you have revisited it.. I couldn't ever imagine not having Xena in my life.. I even have a chakram tattoo - she will always be with me!!

Anonymous said...

Done and done... already knew about this Fb group.. I soooo hope it gets up!!! the Xena Con 2012 is the last one and I haven't been able to make it to one from Australia :( But there is also talk of getting one to NZ for the 20th year anniversary in 2015!!!