- Entertainment and Media
Xena Warrior Princess - Gorgeous Greek Girl Goes the Gauntlet with Gal Pal
What do you get when gorgeous Lucy Lawless meets Gods and Goddesses, Greek good guys and bad guys and goes gladiator type bad? You get a show that became a cult sensation.
Xena; Warrior Princess can only honestly be classified as somewhat cheesy. When looked at on paper, all the little parts appear to be something that can only total up to a colossal flop.
Xena proved week after week for six sensational seasons that the old adage what works on paper doesn't always fly in the real world holds true in the reverse too.
I so loved this series, cheese and all.
The sum was so much more than the total of the parts.
The show really didn't have a lot to work with when compared to many other shows in terms of everything from dollars to CGI support, relevance to modern times, music, fashion, nothing.
A further big stinky minus for the show's chances was the ridiculously low budget. From stunts to props and sets, the lack of funding showed. No one really cared.
Name recognition was in many ways considered a major minus right before a release that many stated would ensure the show never made it past one season.
Xena debuted on Hercules the Legendary Journeys.
The above video, Hercules - The Warrior Princess (Xena Attacks a Caravan) was made by ZoeBell01Fan on Youtube.
Boy, were they wrong.
Lucy Lawless, prior to bringing the heroine Xena to life, had been primarily known for her roles in adult movies. To put it bluntly, we're talking porn here.
The character Xena was first introduced to mainstream audiences on the show Hercules; The Legendary Journeys. The show was targeted to a very young audience. Kids fell in love with Xena. Some Hollywood money maker types thought she would make a great female heroine girls would watch.
While that ended up being more true than anyone knew, many a parent was in a tissy over the past experience of the lady playing the main character and felt it would have a derogatory influence on young girls.
It didn't matter one bit in the end.
Which one factor contributed the most to Xena becoming so popular?
What did the show have?
It had charisma, heart, chemistry, that elusive something special all shows wish they could achieve, that sprinkling of magic fairy dust that somehow makes the impossible become in your face reality.
It had the characters and the kids that loved them. Over time, that audience of Xena loving fans grew way outside the scope of the children's demographics encompassing much of mainstream America.
It had a new kind of female action hero. Very new, one with a dark past.
Yep. The entire box set.
Breaking the mold.
Traditionally, female hero types were looked up to for their virtue. For instance, the character Penelope in The Odyssey was deemed the pinnacle of the perfect female for centuries for her devotion to Odysseus and cleverness at keeping her virtue and his fortune from the hands of other men.
Woman weren't known historically for getting in on the action much. Even the handful that were such as the Norse Goddess, Freyja and Wonder Woman, were portrayed as having been heroines from birth, somehow born for greatness, always on that straight and narrow path with few detours.
Xena was just as good at being bad as she ever was at being a hero.
The video above was uploaded to Youtube by ZDOG89.
Xena came with a history, a bloody, murderous, sin filled past of bad.
While many a male character in the past had reformed his outlaw ways and turned to good, it wasn't seen so much with the gals, especially in a physical kick butt kind of way.
The novelty was attractive.
The idea was infectious.
The idea that a women could on her own take charge of her life and do the incredible captured the hearts and imagination of millions around the globe.
What started as a fan base of legions of kids quickly grew to include just as many adults.
The inside cover shot of Ares, God of War from season five.
Breaking the timeline, laws of physics and rating norms.
The show was never really true to the Greek myths that inspired it, the timeline of real history or even the laws of physics as illustrated again and again with the over the top fight scene stunts. None of it mattered.
Xena and her loyal gal pal, Gabrielle, journeyed through life as true friends, growing, learning and fighting for what they felt was right while we got the joy of watching.
Some say the show was really about the journey of a young girl, Gabrielle, mentored by a hero and how that girl grew to be a powerful woman. Certainly, such is an integral part of the show but I contend it's really much more about faith in dear friends and the sacrifices made for said friendship. It's about an attempt made at atonement, a dedication of one's life to the betterment of others.
Zoe Bell - Xena - Amphipolis Under Siege - Season 5
The above video was uploaded to Youtube by ZoeBell01Fan.
Xena was sexy, funny and sometimes brutal.
The sex appeal factor for this show was huge. Between Lucy Lawless being clad in leather most of the time and Gabrielle's own garb becoming less and less each season, there was no shortage of eye candy. Buffed up beefcake made appearances weekly both as good guys and bad guys.
Both Karl Urban and the late, great Kevin Smith made regular appearances as Julius Caesar and Ares, God of War, respectively. Also a huge cult star in his own right, Bruce Cambell made frequent appearances as the character Autolycus, King of Thieves.
Witty banter, action, ancient Greek myths and super sexy characters came together on the screen once a week to create some of the silliest shows. Yet, here's the thing. Mixed in with the silly and the over the top war cry were gut wrenching story lines too.
Who was your favorite Greek hero?
You never knew what you were going to get.
One week our heroines were fighting and fishing to the funny farm when the next found people dying for their religious beliefs. The range Lucy Lawless showed in her ability to play campy comedy right along beside hard core fight to the death for a just cause action was remarkable.
What fans did know was that every week we could trust Xena to entertain us, inspire and many times enlighten. It was never boring, often beautiful and at times bloody well brilliant. From personal struggles to epic battles on earth and in the heavens, Xena will always live in the hero hall of fame.
Check it out.
A compilation video of Ares, God of War and Xena, Warrior Princess set to Bad Romance by Lady Gaga.
Lucy's next big role.
Lucy moved on.
Hugely successful, this show in which Lucy Lawless also stars is kind of like a gladatorial soap opera.
It's brutal, sexy, action packed, full of drama and intrigue. It's not for the little ones that's for sure but for fans of history, killer fight scenes, the Roman era and drama, you can't go wrong with Spartacus.