Just The Facts
- Xena: Warrior Princess was a television show that proved there was a market for strong willed, kick-ass heroines who were beholden to no man.
- Provided, of course, that they continued to wear stupid and demeaning outfits.
- The show was beloved by feminists, except the ones who hated it, and quite a few others who had never really heard of it.
Xena: The Guest Star
Xena: Warrior Princess originally appeared as a character on the television show Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. In her first appearance, she was seen following a career path common to women in Greece's Heroic Age: leading an army of murderous assholes as they marauded and pillaged their way across the countryside.
Her army turns on her, however, when she prevents her douchebag lieutenant Darphus from killing an infant in a village they're sacking. Darphus exploits Xena's decision to take time off from work for the purpose of not killing a child and assumes command of the army. He then has a bunch of her former employees beat the shit out of her. This is a problem that too many women in the workforce still face today, and most try to solve it the same way that Xena does, namely by killing Hercules.
She tracks him down using her Warrior Princess skills, and immediately attempts to behead him. Xena swiftly gains the upper hand in this fight, until the old boys network comes to Hercules' rescue in the form of his cousin causing a distraction. Hercules uses this opportunity to bash her one. He then delivers a patronizing lecture on why it's wrong to kill people, because he's the TV version of Hercules and has to worry about censors. The only time the mythological Hercules stopped killing people was when he was killing weird animals that grew extra heads or pooped too much.
Anyway, once Hercules is done patting Xena on the head and telling her to be good, a supporting character named Salmoneus that we forgot to introduce earlier pipes up with the suggestion that they team up to defeat Darphus. Xena refuses, apparently repelled by the idea of teaming up a with a man who just beat her up on the advice of another man she considers to be an idiot and is widely known to be untrustworthy.
Do not buy a used camel from this man.
Later that day, Darphus and his legion of dicks attack the village. Hercules and some of the villagers hold them off. Suddenly Xena appears and beings fighting against her old army, apparently having decided that the entire audience knew this was going to happen anyway, so what the hell.
Xena kills Darphus during the battle, and either drives off or straight up murders the rest of the army. Hercules thanks Xena for coming back. Xena tell hims that she had to, because "they weren't true warriors." No one thinks to ask Xena what this means, exactly.
Later on Darphus is brought back to life by Ares, god of war and proprietor of Uncle Throbby's House of Leather. Xena and Hercules cooperate to kill Darphus, this time by feeding him to Ares' dog. This also kills the dog. Xena kisses Hercules and rides off into her own series.
You can't tell us he's not into BDSM. Speaking of which, has anyone ever bothered to take a serious
look at the outfits the Baroness and Destro from G.I. Joe wear? What the fuck is going on there?
Xena Gets Her Own Show
As the series opens, Xena is seen ditching her armor and sword. Xena is apparently under the impression that because she is no longer an evil murdering jerk, neither is anyone else. This is one of the first clues the audience gets that although Xena may be a courageous and formidable warrior, she is also a total moron.
Almost immediately, she runs into a small gang of asshole slave traders who have captured a bunch of local ladies and are taking them to sell in some despicable place (Newark).
Xena, being exactly the type of pushy bitch who is offended by a little sexual slavery, administers a demonstrative whuppin'. She frees the women, including a naive young farm girl named Gabrielle. Gabrielle immediately decides to follow Xena around for years on end. She claims this is because she "admires" the feisty Warrior Princess. However, by the series' end we see that "admires" is ancient Greek for "wants to get into the pants of."
Given their content, it sometimes seems as if the main purpose of certain episodes was to convince us that any time Xena and Gabrielle are off screen, they're humping like crazed minxes.
Let's be honest here. We didn't really take much convincing.
The two wander around and have adventures, often temporarily teaming up with comical sidekicks. These include Ted Raimi in the role of a man wearing a ridiculous helmet, and Bruce Campbell in the role of Bruce Campbell with a moustance and soul patch.
Bruce Campbell? How could this possibly get any better?
Oh, yeah...we forgot about the lesbian sex.
The run of Xena: Warrior Princess included many episodes that dealt with serious and complex issues such as courage, personal sacrifice and the integrity of self. However, it also included a number of really dumb episodes, including two episodes that were chock-full of singing and dancing. Bruce Campbell's buddies from high school are apparently crazy for this sort of shit, but that's still no excuse for shoving a dance number into Spider-Man 3.