The Lalalaptop Cup Of Tea

4 Reasons You Should Watch This Forgotten Show That Impacted Many

I’ve never really been a big fan of old fantasy shows. The effects are already enough to make me cringe, but then there are also the plots that feel a tad bit too corny for my taste. So it’s easy to assume that I’m definitely no Star Wars fan. It didn’t really catch my eye and I was so confident to say nothing similar ever would. But, as it tends to happen, I was wrong. And no one is as surprised as I am.

It’s a show that began in 1995 and although it doesn’t sound that old, it’s definitely got the looks of one that is. Honestly, the visual effects alone should already horrify me, if not, at least the silly writing that reminds me of superheroes in the ’90s (think of the cheesy Superman with the spandex suit and supposedly perfect hair). Yet still, I’m somehow hooked on one of the flashiest hero shows I’ll probably ever watch—Xena: Warrior Princess.

I’ll be honest, when I say the title it makes me cringe a little, but as much crap as I’m giving these old shows, they really can be great, especially this one. I mean I’m already in season four after a couple of days and I’ve chatted my mom off about it soooo, definitely got no right to judge. But! I’m here to convince any of y’all to watch this badass show because seriously, it’s getting lonely being the only college kid who’s even heard of it.

To paint a better mental picture of the show, it’s time for me to do what I’ve been wanting to do for several days now: rant. Alright, so the synopsis is that there is a woman named Xena who decides to change her life around after being evil for quite some time. Along with her new companion, Gabrielle, they get into some pretty crazy stuff and no joke, it does get pretty crazy.

As basic as I’m probably making it sound, it’s filled with plenty of awesomeness. It’s good whether you’re into action, comedy, romance, angst, whatever you can think of, it’s probably got it! Don’t believe me? I got four reasons that might just convince you.

  1. 1. It was Diverse for its Time 

    In 1995, as much as I would love to believe it, things weren’t so diverse. Minorities weren’t shown often in primary roles and stereotypes were everywhere. It was pretty bad, but for its time, Xena had its moments for going against the norm. It had two main female heroines that were as strong as any male superheroes that had complex backgrounds and storylines. We still struggle with this now, so kudos to Xena for that. Throughout the show, many episodes also contained women of color with a variety of backgrounds that took the spotlight alongside the heroines. It’s refreshing to see something that gave these characters a real persona with problems and imperfections. Too many times I’ve seen carbon copies of the “perfect” woman and during a time when there were really only two shows with super female heroines around, it was a big deal.

  2. 2. It had a Huge Impact on the LGBTQ community 

    As the show progressed, many fans saw a romantic relationship between the two main heroines, Xena and Gabrielle. The studio was actually concerned with the relationship, having specific guidelines to follow to assure a romantic relationship couldn’t be confirmed. However, the network eventually became a bit more relaxed with the idea, writers making it ambiguous but oh so obvious at times (like really obvious; not sure how anyone could deny it.) It had a huge impact on a world with no representation for the LGBTQ community. Also, I’m happy to say that in season two, an episode had a drag queen that Xena herself supported. Good job writers, good job!

  3. 3. It has Musical Episodes

    So far, I’ve only seen one of them but yep, the show had two musical episodes! The first one in season three and the other in season five. And let me tell you, the first one is brilliant! It’s got the perfect theatrical music I’m such a sucker for and it had meaning within each song. The best part is, the episode gave viewers a deeper look into Xena and Gabrielle’s relationship.  Which, of course, gives viewers more of that subtext, that I’m really hoping we’re starting to make the main text in present times. If that doesn’t interest you, I can assure you all they had great music. No joke, I saved the album on my phone. 

  4. 4. It Became a Top-Rated Show

    If none of the aforementioned points caught your eye, well maybe the statistics will convince you instead. Originally, the show was predicted to not become much of anything. The studio head even told executive producer, Rob Tapert, to keep his focus on Hercules because he believed female heroes didn’t really work on television. But boy was he wrong. The show’s second season became a top-rated syndicated drama series on American TV and remained in the top five for the rest of the show’s six-year completion. It truly established worldwide popularity, airing in more than 100 countries. Also, as a plus, its ratings topped Hercules. Clearly, the show surpassed many expectations and obtained a huge following that changed many lives. As Tapert said, “...people breathed their own lives and hopes into them [Xena & Gabrielle]”.

I haven’t finished the show yet, and as I do with shows I love, I don’t want to. Looking even deeper at the show, I realize how much it meant and still means to a lot of people that struggled with being different in a society that wasn’t very accepting. Xena wasn’t just a random burst of entertainment, it changed lives and proved so many great things we continue to fight for today and we need more shows to do exactly that. So what’s next for 2020?