Despite it's nauseating title, I had faith in my nostalgic memories of Xena. It's a show about Greek mythology and heroes, what's not to love? It had Aphrodite and Ares and Caesar, Hades and Athena and Poseidon. How could it possibly be bad?
There's a bit of a story as to how I found myself delving into the series, which ended ten years ago, with high hopes for the quality of a childhood favourite about gods, heroes and emperors. I recently moved into an apartment, subleased from the landlady's daughter for a very short time. 4 months, by my count, but the landlady's daughter said she wanted the place back for February, and they would move me out after a single month. And since I'd only be staying for January, why not leave tons of her crap all over what was supposed to be a spotless and empty new condo? Kitchen supplies, books, photo albums, candles, shoes, purses and - you guessed it - the complete series of Xena: Warrior Princess. All six sevens in a boxed DVD set. I made it a full three weeks fending off my curiosity.
I should have left my fond memories alone. They did not deserve what was coming to them. The show was more horrible than I could have possibly imagined. The acting was awkward and forced, the Greek gods used 90s slang, and the episode I chose (at random) actively resisted character development. It focused on the character of Joxer, the resident fool who thinks he's a brave hero. His heroism gets him into some serious trouble, and he realizes that he is a complete idiot. However, Xena comes in to remind him that she needs his bravery in many situations. The episode ends with a joke from sidekick Gabrielle that maybe now Joxer will be more humble and play to his strengths. But wait, the punchline! In comes Joxer singing "Joxer the mighty hero!" to show that he will never change. Fond laughter from Xena, a shake of the head from Gabrielle - roll credits.
Incredibly disappointing. I wish I could have watched this childhood favourite of mine and say that it has stood up to the test of time, but I now realise that it was never any good to begin with. I was what, six at the time? In this case, you'll have to excuse my bad childhood taste. Don't know what I was thinking. Something along the lines of, "that chick wearing almost nothing can really kick ass!" Ah, simpler times.