Friday, July 24, 2015

My Weekend Crush

So I know by now – as a good gay lady – you’ve heard the good news about this rumored “Xena: Warrior Princess” reboot. Cue an “Ayiyiyiyiyiyi!” war cry of joy. While Lucy Lawless herself has weighed in to say it’s more wishful thinking than done deal, it’s still something to dream about. And it’s worth getting our hopes up to hear that original series producers Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi are in on the very, very, very (very, very, very) early stages of some sort of reboot. Also, Lucy has already expressed interest in reprising her character. Time for an even louder “Ayiyiyiyiyiyi!” war cry of joy.

But here’s the part about these very (very, very, very) initial talks for a reboot that troubles me. It has been described as a “modern reboot.” On it’s face that isn’t terribly troubling, until you think about what “modern” reboot really means. Either a) Xena won’t be set in ancient times with the Greek gods and whatnot, or – and much more likely – b) Xena won’t be played by Lucy Lawless, but a more “modern” (code for “younger”) actress.

Look, I get the need to appeal to new generations of fans and all that. I really do. But I also think if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And there’s nothing broken about Lucy. At 47 she is still plenty primed to play a warrior princess. Yet, by Hollywood standards for women, not so much. Yet at 67 Arnold Schwarzenegger is still considered plenty spry enough to reprise his role as the Terminator. And at 61 Sylvester Stallone is still considered plenty buff enough to play Rambo. Heck, even her male co-stars from the series around the same age – and even older – are still getting major starring roles in film and TV (57-year-old Bruce Campbell in the new “Ash vs. Evil,” 43-year-old Karl Urban in the “Star Trek” franchise, “Almost Human,” “Dredd,” “The Loft”).

Please allow Xena herself to respond to that kind of sexist bullshit.



All these arguments go for the return of Renee O'Connor, as well. Oh, don’t worry, I’d never forget about Gabrielle.

Look, like any respectable lesbian with a television set, I’ve watched my fair share of Xena episodes. I can’t say I’ve seen them all (or loved them all), but I have caught enough to have a true appreciation for all its campy, woman-powery, crazy-pantys glory. The key, always, to this show was it did not take itself too seriously, but it never underestimated the talent (and charisma) of its stars. So it took a special star like Lucy to bring it all together.

And, of course, there was all that glorious nudge-nudge, wink-wink lesbian subtext. So. Much. Subtext. The one modern reboot to the series I would appreciate is a transformation from subtext to maintext. While Ellen’s “Yep, I’m Gay” heard around the world happened during the show’s run, there were no other shows featuring lesbian leading characters. Xena went off the air three years before “The L Word” even started. But now, it’s a whole different time and a far more accepting society. So that kind of modernity, yeah, I’d love to see that. Not that I didn’t appreciate all the recurring “fish” jokes. Happy weekend, all.



p.s. Yes, I’m aware Xena died, or whatever, at the end of the series. Like that ever stopped a fictional character from coming back ever.

10 comments:

bingereader.org said...

Always wondered if I can be the real thing as I've never ever seen one episode of that famous XENA stuff ;)

Tristen said...

I loved Xena. It was a fun show. However, once they got decided Xena would have a baby and the girl would be the new "Eve", the show went downhill from there. You can skip the last season all together. But season 1-3 are gold.

Anonymous said...

I'm not familiar with Xena, but Lawless fans might want to check out season 2 of Salem. It was already awesome in its first season, but Lawless' guest appearance in season 2 was amazing.

Michelle Holmes said...

Xena wasn't even subtext, really. Renee O'Connor admitted by midway through the series that Xena and Gabrielle were lovers. Lucy took longer to come out and say anything definitively, but told her husband, Rob Tapert, during the finale that he had outed Xena.

Anonymous said...

They are planning to launch the show with the original cast but then Lucy has implied the leads would turn it over to a new, younger generation. I think they should keep Lucy and Renee as the mentors to the new generation and allow them to continue the chemistry, comedy, and drama they brought to the original show. No one can replace that.

maya said...

I have all Seasons on DVD AND a Gabrielle action figure, soooo, y'know, I'm pretty gay. I would squee all over the place for more Xena eps--but only with the original cast. Without them...well, I'd give them a chance but I'd keep my hopes in check.

Anonymous said...

I've seen all episodes numerous times. I have two "altars" to Xena in the house thanks to my wife and a Xena action figure. They could never improve on the original or even add to it in anyway if LL is not involved I won't be either.

Carmen SanDiego said...

I have all the episodes on VHS tapes on my mother's house somewhere. That should have been her first clue... She just thought I was really really into Greek mythology

Kristan Hoffman said...

Just saw this on FB and had to share with you: https://instagram.com/p/5vPljEGTuS/

Jimmy H. said...

I am in love with this! You're saying everything the Xena Movie Campaign stands for! Bring back Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor as Xena and Gabrielle!