Whoosh! Issue 26 - 
November 1998
Letters to the Editor


To write to the editor regarding your comments, observations, and questions about Whoosh!, send an e-mail to ktaborn@lightspeed.net and mark the subject "Letter to the Editor". All letters with the subject "Letter to the editor" are subject to publication and may be edited. Due to the volume received, some letters may not be answered individually or receipt acknowledged.




The Fan Fic Issue!
Missed Something In The Fan Fic Issue!
Jay Leno Appearance
Comment On Last Month's Frazier Letter
Response To Stein's Lesbian Gaze Rebuttal
USA Network Airings
Gabrielle Action Figure
Different Intrepretations A Good Thing
Editorial Praise
Shakespeare And The Rift
You Like Us, You Really Like Us


Letters To The Editor



The Fan Fic Issue!

Subject: Letter to the Editor: The 2nd anniversary issue
Sunday, October 04, 1998

I am only halfway through reading the second anniversary issue of Whoosh!, but let me say that it is one of the best single issue editions I have read. I have been bewitched, bothered and sometimes bewildered by the world of fan fiction and have enjoyed the outpourings of the many bards on the 'Net.

I also write Xena fan fiction, started by that horrible "Useless", er, ULYSSES episode. Why did Xena act so out of character? I mulled the question during commute time for several days, then wrote a story to explain it. The next thing I knew, I was developing an entire Xenaverse to explore The Relationship, their pasts, their future, and their decedents' future.

The reason I continue writing? Growing up, I was very much an outsider, the outcast among the more popular types. I found my refuge in Star Trek, identifying with Spock. I did dream up some stories, but never wrote any down. As the great Bat Morda pointed out, writing fiction means that one can control the characters. For once, I feel like I can belong, an insider in an outsider's universe.

Methinks I have rambled much too long. But, writing about issues is much cheaper than therapy and most importantly, I control the outcome.

JSS
JStep64@aol.com
http: //members.aol.com/jstep64/xena.htm




Missed Something In The Fan Fic Issue!


Subject: LoC on October Issue
Friday, October 02, 1998

I was very much impressed by your October issue on Xena fan fiction.

However, it seemed to me there was one piece missing -- I saw no comments, in any of your articles, on traditional 'zines.

Long before the Web, one could read fan fiction in paper 'zines, often full of beautiful artwork as well as stories, poems, and filks.

Although rare these days, there is still paperbound Xena fanfic (or Herk/Xena fanfic) being produced. I know of the following:

The View from Olympus, published by Neon Rainbow press. General fanfic, includes Hercules and Xena stories. (Contact CindaJody1@aol.com for information).

Unicorn Press has published fanzines in many 'universes,' and includes the following:

History Cast in Amber (novella) by Laura Zielinsky April Fools (novella) by E.A. Week By the Sword of Ares (Ares fanzine) Warrior and Bard (Xena/ Gabrielle fanzine) by Wolfrunner

Visit http://members.aol.com/UnicrnPrs/press.htm, or contact UnicrnPrs@aol.com for more information.

Second, I was puzzled by the lack of reference to fan fiction written about other XWP characters besides Xena and Gabrielle. Many of the recurring characters have enthusiastic fan followings, and web sites with fiction based around these players. It would have been nice to see at least one article discussing fan fiction centered around supporting characters in the Xenaverse.

Nancy Hutchins
nhutchins@wheelock.edu



Subject: Letter to the Editor: A Beta Reader's perspective
Friday, October 02, 1998 12:32 PM

Hello everybody,

I did enjoy reading the fanfiction issue of Whoosh! But I noticed that no one wrote about beta reading. I know that you did ask for papers for this issue. Since I didn't respond, well, I have only myself to blame.

The beta reader is the intermediary between the writer and the reader. I work with the writer to find their voice, and then for them to say it clearly. I also react to the story as a reader -- would I read this story and why.

I have found that many new writers and some experienced ones have doubts about their stories. They wonder if their story is good enough for the Xenaverse. Will the readers of fan fiction read their story? The writers feel vulnerable about their work, and often compare it to the established fan fiction writers.

I advise writers to employ more than one beta reader. One beta may find something than another one missed. Also, we have our quirks -- I despise one sentence paragraphs. Moreover, develop a relationship with a beta to ask questions, debate plot points, and to thrash out writing issues.

As a beta reader, I have found myself to be the jack of all trades:

Grammarian and editor: There are a host of resources on grammar and writing. But only when a beginning writer actually goes through the process of drafting and rewriting, do they understand 'the rules of the road'. I often tell beginning writers 'to show, don't tell' and 'avoid talking heads'. I also counsel writers to review the rules about commas and long sentences. Commas are used to allow the reader to take a breath before continuing. Long sentences are fine if you know that your audience expects them. Otherwise, anything over nineteen words will confuse most readers.

Teacher: Besides giving points on good writing, I have found myself giving geography and science lessons. My articles in Whoosh! on volcanoes and eating were to give writers a grounding in the world of Xena and Gabrielle.

Fellow writer: I offer my experience as what worked for me and other writers, who I have encountered in writing workshops.

A comment on the 'Lunacy Factor': If a writer has a burning desire to write a Xena-Joxer romance, I tell them to write it but to expect to be ignored by many readers of fan fiction. Jane Austin and Tom Clancy, both popular authors, are poles apart in their writing. Since Xena fan fiction covers a broad range of stories, there are readers for non-Lunacy type stories.

I will end with a pointer for beginning writers.

Submitting to a fan fiction site is similar to submitting to a print publication:

  1. Do some research. What sorts of stories are on this site? Would your story fit in? Do you want your story on this site? (Barry Marshall covered this in his excellent article.)
  2. Write a cover letter (e-mail) summarizing your story. Give an estimate of how long it is (novel, chapter story). Give a rating for the story (violence, steamy sex).
Keep writing and keep submitting. And remember the beta readers. (Lunacy has a special site for finding beta readers.)

Virginia Carper
carperv@FRB.GOV



Subject: Letter to the Editor
Monday, October 05, 1998

Whoosh! 25 was an excellent survey of the portion of Xena fan fiction that it covered. However, as one would expect, the Xenaverse is always more complex than can be easily depicted.

In particular, the following controversial statement appears in J.C. Wilder's article "Romancing the Fan..."

[Author's Note: The romantic relationships that Xena and Gabrielle have had with men have been too fleeting to consider central to the show or the theme of romance for the purposes of this project.]

I'm sure the entire Gabrielle & Joxer Romantics Society would beg to differ. In fact, there is a growing body of Gabrielle/Joxer romantic fiction on the Net, though someone casually reading Whoosh! 25 would certainly not become aware of it. Joxer's unrequited love for Gabrielle is one of the established themes of the show, and in fact as recently as "Sacrifice II" proved to be important to the development of Hope's character. Just because Gabrielle doesn't feel the same way doesn't mean the Joxer/Gabrielle dynamic isn't related to the theme of romance! I personally regard Wilder's statement as total fallacy, if not actually prejudicial.

By contrast, in her fine article L.N. James did present a nice section mentioning Gabrielle/Joxer romantic stories. I've written a few modest efforts along that line myself, and luckily have received no negative feedback, except from Lunacy. Not that the "Lunacy factor" matters to me. If one doesn't like the idea of romance between Gabrielle and Joxer, that person shouldn't read my stories; I'm not going to stop writing because of that, just as the fact that many people object to any depiction of Xena and Gabrielle as lesbians won't stop others from writing erotic alternative fiction. My favorite romances are screwball comedies involving unlikely couples, such as one currently sees in Meg Ryan movies or the now-defunct "Moonlighting," and that's why I'm drawn to the Gabrielle/Joxer pairing.

Related to this is the almost complete lack of mention of stories that focus on a character instead of the Xena/Gabrielle relationship. It sounds like heresy to suggest that a story not focus on the relationship, but there are times when character development is more important to an author. Again, the large and ever-increasing list of Joxer fan fiction is virtually ignored, ditto Amazon stories, and Callisto stories get a bare mention.

There will be those who say that such stories, particularly Joxer stories, are not important to the body of Xena fan fiction. Such people have limited horizons and are to be ignored.

I would like to recommend four websites for those interested in exploring some of these other stories:

Callisto Tales

Miltiades' Joxerverse

Gabrielle & Joxer Romantics Society

The Sacred Archives of Ted

My apologies to those whose main focus is Autolycus, Salmoneus or others; my own survey of Xena fan fiction has barely skimmed the surface of the 2000-plus stories; it should be noted that the authors surveyed in Whoosh! 25 represent about five percent of the total, and most of these 27 write primarily alternative stories.

Despite my quibbles, congratulations on an excellent issue overall!

Phil D. Hernandez
broadway@tvi.cc.nm.us


Editor-in-Chief Responds:
As Ms. Carper mentioned, Whoosh! did send out a call for articles over six months before this issue was published. Since Whoosh! does not pay for its articles it is rare that we can get "commissioned" articles on specific subjects. Generally, we print what our membership submits. In this case, we got many articles which concerned alt fiction and Uber fiction. I warned the reader of this in my editiorial for the October issue. I believe for what we covered we gave an excellent impression of the current state of Xena fan fiction.

I also raise issue with Mr. Hernandez's statement that he found Ms. Wilder's premise as a "total fallacy". Since Ms. Wilder's research was limited to the concept of traditional romance fiction, and she established within her paper why she was limiting it to Xena and Gabrielle, I find his choice of words to be especially harsh since Ms. Wilder was stating an opinion and not trying to set forth a law of nature.

Finally, I appreciate all those who did write to inform us of those topics missing from the Fan Fiction issue for sharing their opinions and reference sources on the neglected topics.




Jay Leno Appearance


Subject: Tonight Show Appearance
Sunday, September 20, 1998

I was so disappointed with Lucy [Lawless]' recent appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. She was unfairly given half the amount of time given to Paul Reiser. Especially since Reiser's material about Bill Clinton stunk. Leno obviously had not researched this interview and was totally unprepared to interview Lucy. He didn't even know who she married or when. Furthermore, he seemed surprised that she was hosting Saturday Night Live due to his lack of knowledge regarding her live stage experience, Broadway, duh! Much of the work on XWP involves comedy which she does extremely well. I believe her appearance on SNL will be a stepping stone for her transition into comedy at a later date. I find her very funny and a natural comedian. It's a shame Jay Leno didn't take the time to view some of the hundreds of websites dedicated to Xena and learn something about Lucy before this interview. I hope Lucy makes another appearance on Rosie where she is treated like royalty. Rosie takes the time to research her guests and speaks from her heart. Just another demonstration of women taking better care of women.

Wendy
xena@san.rr.com
San Diego, Ca




Comment On Last Month's Frazier Letter

Subject: Recent Article
Friday, September 25, 1998

I am writing to let you know that I really enjoyed your recent article in Whoosh ["Empowerment And Xena: Warrior Princess", Michele Frazier, Whoosh! #24 (9809)]. It was very thought provoking. I was troubled by the third season also but for another reason. I am a pagan and find that the growing Christian overtones are just plain uninteresting to me. So your thoughts on how the third season deconstructs previous power issues made me think.

I agree with you very much on the 'THE DELIVERER' issue, clearly this is a case of blaming the victim. As far as Lao Ma is concerned I am not sure what to think. I really liked the character so I guess I am reluctant to delve into the implications of the episode. Lao Ma's sublimated gender role is to me simply a reflection of the culture she was in. The problem is that the show does not see it this way. Xena not only, as you say, tries to adopt this gender role in this episode but in later ones is remorseful that she cannot achieve the purity that allowed her to do the cool magical bring down a building with your mind thing.

As for the root of Xena's evil ways being Caesar, I do not have much of a problem with it. Of course the reason it does not bother me is that with all of the scattered history episodes they have done I see it as a gradual slippery slope, with maybe a kick in the pants from Caesar. If they continue to have her obsessed with getting revenge on him I think I will get bored fast.

It also helps that Callisto's evil was begun by Xena. As you say, Callisto represents a "non-gender-biased notion of good and evil". This is because the reason Callisto is evil is not based on her gender but on events that happened in her life. The fact that Xena and Callisto are both women have nothing to do with it. By this same token I do not think that Caesar's masculine gender was a major factor in Xena's evil turn. [Unless we assume all men are evil;)] The fact that he betrayed her, i.e. his actions was (ahem) the root of all evil :) So this short letter of approval has turned into a treatise, time to go I think!

Nancy
Nap@concentric.net




Response To Stein's Lesbian Gaze Rebuttal

Subject: Response to Stein's Lesbian Gaze Rebuttal
Wednesday, September 30, 1998

It seems as though the entire point of my response has been missed. But seeing as how that's happened... there are a couple of points that I would like clarify:

I also do not believe that Xena's heterosexuality is the main text of the series. Instead, I would argue that the main text is Xena's relationship with Gabrielle. In fact, the series' creators have confirmed in numerous interviews that Xena's relationship with Gabrielle is the focus of the series.

I have never disputed this point. My point was instead that the sexuality of Xena (and, by extension, Gabrielle) is in crisis in the show. As evidenced by the waffling attitudes of both the cast and TPTB, as evidenced by the text (i.e., the show) itself and, metatextually in TPTB and the casts' public statements. The "closeness" of the relationship between Xena and Gabrielle has never been in question. It is the degree of closeness that gets everyone's intellectual underwear in a wad. *g*

What is subtextual is whether that relationship is sexual, and as Ms. Bowers notes, Xena's sexual relationships with men are explicitly portrayed, while sexual relationships with women are only implied. Yet, such episodes as A DAY IN THE LIFE and FINS, FEMMES, AND GEMS introduce a type of sexual innuendo that used to be typical of television shows in which a heterosexual couple had an ambiguously sexual relationship ("Remington Steele" and "Moonlighting" are examples).

I beg to disagree. By the second and third seasons of both "Remington Steele" and "Moonlighting" both male/female couples were explicitly involved in a sexual relationship -- as defined by their actions on screen. The only heterosexual couple that maintains the "subtextual" mystique of Xena and Gabrielle is Mulder and Scully of "The X-Files." And that relationship has been defined as explicitly non-sexual. So there are still some differences. My argument is that Xena and Gabrielle maintain a unique position among all television "couples," and it is because of their gender/chemistry that they occupy such a position. That creates a conflict in and of itself insofar as people are confronting a totally new gender/sexual configuration.

Despite her citations of third season episodes, Ms. Bowers' discussion of the subtext seems to apply primarily to the first season, where it can be argued that subtextual elements were not deliberately inserted into the episodes. By the second season, however, there is nothing unconscious about the subtext.

The explicit admission of "subtext" by TPTB does not indicate that the text is not in crisis with itself. Indeed, it indicates that XWP does not indeed "know" what it is. I'm not arguing that it should. In a strange and wonderful way, XWP demonstrates a wonderful polymorphus perversity that I believe is disturbing to many people on many levels. And that, as I argued in my original reply, is what we should be examining. NOT how Xena is a better feminist icon than Ripley or Sarah Conner. Personally, I think we need all the icons we can get.

Ms. Bowers draws a binary distinction between a heterosexual main text and a lesbian subtext in XWP, but I think it is more accurate that the controversy arises over the nature of Xena and Gabrielle's relationship--are they friends or lovers?

That...is the crux of my whole argument. The text is in crisis. No one knows for certain what their relationship is. Thus, the text is open for multiple reader appropriations. This place is where the queer, the straight, and the utterly confused can enter and enjoy the entire series...

What I do wish to argue is her application of Queer Theory and Lacanian psychoanalysis to XWP. First of all, I do not believe that Queer Theory is any more a monolith than feminist theory is, and her attempt at providing a single definition of Queer Theory strikes me as misleading.

I was merely trying to attach an accessible working definition for Queer Theory to those who may not have been exposed to the terminology. I would never imply that any theory is a monolith... simply because, in particular, Queer and Feminist Theory depend so much on the person who is reading the text and what they bring to the text.

Ms. Bowers describes the subtext as an unconscious disruption of the "explicitly heterosexual" maintext, which she locates in Xena's relationships with Borias, Caesar, and Marcus (and I might add, Hercules). I do not believe that the subtext is an unconscious disruption of anything; it has been a deliberate element introduced into the series since the first season, one originally treated as a joke, and then later taken more seriously.

During the first season it was an unconscious introduction. (Or at least as explained by Liz Friedman, et al.) And then they did indeed, "do it deliberately" in the second/third seasons. Where the crisis occurs, where the unconscious comes into play, is that they still don't know what to do with it. Or why they do it. (Other than ratings, that is) One minute they're inserting it "deliberately." The next they're saying "Oh, yeah we did it, but now we've moved on." That indicates a text still in crisis and still ripe for queer appropriation.

The point is not whether they mean to tease gay women, the point is, they don't know what they want to accomplish by doing so. When a show like "Moonlighting" or "Remington Steele" toys with its audience in such a flirtatious manner, then the audience (and TPTB/Networks) KNOW they are working towards an eventual consummation. Whether it be two years, three years, or five. The crisis in Xena is that TPTB don't know what they're trying to accomplish and so they've created in Xena an archetype that transcends traditional appropriation and/or roles. That is her strength. Whether the audience is gay or straight there is a way into her character.

I suppose my point, which we've managed to entirely dismiss here, is that setting up Ripley or Sarah Conner versus Xena is a self-defeating purpose. Studying the Text of XWP is evidence enough....

Sharon Bowers
sbowers@bellsouth.net




USA Network Airings

Subject: USA Network's airing sched & word censorship
Thursday, October 01, 1998

Who is responsible for placing the eps so WAY OUT of sequence? Not only is USA airing One Against an Army, Forget Me Not and Fins Femmes and Gems IN BETWEEN Gabrielle's Hope and the Debt I and II, they're also showing Sacrifice I and II BEFORE the Debt I and II. This doesn't make any sense? Is someone over at USA on drugs or do they simply not care about the stories?

If someone was just getting interested in Xena and wanted to find out what's going on they would be totally lost and ultimately lose interest in the show because they cant' figure out what's going on.

Another thing that I've become aware of as I've watched the USA telecasts of Xena is that the USA Network is censoring Xena. I've noticed myself, twice their total removal of the word "b*st*rd". the most recent being "The Price" I venture to guess they will be censoring out Xena's screaming bastard to Khrafstar in The Deliverer as well.

I don;t know about you but that kind of censorship enrages me. I thought the USA Network was more provacative, more cutting edge than the regular networks. Apparently not if they're trying to control what my choices are AS IF b*st*rd or b*tch are words that need to be censored.

It is so enraging that there are still people out there that have that kind of controlling power over words like b*st*rd and b*tch - - 2 very legitimate, acceptable anglo-saxon words that can be found in the dictionary.

Karon
Rehabateur@aol.com


Editor Responded:
To write to the USA Network and to voice your concerns go to http://www.usanetwork.com/functions/feed.html




Gabrielle Action Figure

Subject: The Gabrielle Action Figure
Thursday, October 01, 1998

I too was suprised, shocked, and a little mad when I got the Gabrielle action figure. I could not believe that Gabrielle had so many weapons with her. However, shortly after I bought the figure, I found out why. (And yes, it does have to do with an episode...)

Remember in "Hooves and Harlots" when Gabrielle saved Tereis? Tereis gave Gabrielle her Right of Caste, resulting in Gabrielle receiving Tereis' royal position, clothes, and yes, her weapons (A bow, a sword -- Why they turned it into a dagger I'll never know - - and a staff; we all know the one she chose).

So, yes, the weapons do belong to Gabrielle. But, with what we know about her character, she won't use them. With what we all know about the show, it would have been MORE faithful (and more appropriate) if the accessories Cathy suggested were included [last month's letters].

Orville "Djinni" Eastland
orville_third@yahoo.com




Different Intrepretations A Good Thing

Subject: Letter to the Editor
Thursday, October 01, 1998

Quoting from SPC1636@aol.com's letter to Whoosh! #25 about 'subtext':

"i think the powers that be at XWP are divided as to how they see the characters.(i.e. liz friedman, josh becker, steven sears, rob tapert). if they are divided, no wonder there is so much controversy amongst us viewers! i think controversy is what they wanted. they wanted to tease the audience and some how it got out of hand. i think the one responsible for all this is the head man, rob tapert."

Controversy? Please, try having some fun instead. SPC1636@aol.com assumes that the differing interpretations of XWP are a bad thing; but the show's broad appeal is one of its strengths. Appreciation of drama, art, and literature is an interpretative process, as is its creation in the first place. If we all interpreted the same, things would get pretty boring.

SPC1636@aol.com also asks:

"i do wonder how many men the lead characters have to sleep with before people realize they are friends and not lovers"

(x + g) - (perd =F6 cally) x (lao ma + borias) = ?
I'm sure there's an equation in there somewhere...

Since when did one exclude the other? XWP isn't some gospel for which its writers and audience must identify the 'one true word' and then label all else as heresy. It's entertaining, thought- provoking fiction. Think of it in those terms and lose the urge to blame and preach so.

Cathy
purple.logic@virgin.net
http://freespace.virgin.net/purple.logic/cocoon/




Editorial Praise

Subject: Whoosh Editorial
Friday, October 02, 1998

Wow! Great addendum Kym [Editorial to Whoosh! #25]. I loved the fact that you -- the originator of [the use of the term] "uber" [in Xena fan fiction] -- go public with your discovery and give us all an inside explanation/journey into the discovery. As Lunacy wrote: "Applause, Applause, Whoorf, Whoorf!!!!!!!" One of the gifts you give to others is sharing ideas with enthusiasm that really is tremendously inspiring. You are the consummate editor/publisher in my book. You're a darn good writer, too.

It is true that the edition is biased toward altfic and uber but you can only publish what you have after all, and "the others" have not put-out this time around.

Kristo
Sychtech@email.msn.com




Shakespeare And The Rift

Subject: Letters to the Editor
Saturday, October 03, 1998

Shakespeare, Violence and The Rift

In response to Inga, who feels obliged to defend (her word) Shakespeare against my limited comparison with the 'violence' in XWP, I have to point out that I wasn't attacking Shakespeare. I was using him as an example only, to point out that much (possibly most) drama deals with conflict, often between friends. Inga says Shakespeare "never encourages his audience to admire and cheer on butchery...". I don't know about encouragement, but there's plenty of violence in most Shakespeare plays, such as Macbeth or Lear or even Julius Caesar. Nor do I think Xenastaff presented the Gabdrag for example as something to be "admired".

Inga says "And when horrible things happen to his [Shakespeare's] characters (and they do, usually to the defenceless, and often as a consequence of the flawed nature of the "hero" of the play concerned), ... " Now that sounds remarkably like a description of XWP!

"... then the horror and the harm are fully acknowledged and not swept aside with a song and dance". Well, the notorious Gabdrag lasted just under a minute (at least as aired here), and the remaining 40 minutes of the episode was devoted exclusively to resolving the issue. It can be argued whether a musical was the best way to do it, but I doubt whether forty minutes of conflict resolution counseling between Xena and Gabby on the beach would have silenced the critics either. The writers certainly didn't (as Coldwave59 claims in another letter) just ignore the issue.

Also I have to take issue with Pamela Marino, who earlier (Whoosh 23) compared incidents in XWP with a number of real-life crimes and asked, rhetorically, "coincidence?". Now that this has been challenged, by Beth Gaynor and others (including me), Ms Marino first repeats the implication, then says we're missing the point. If that was not the point of the comparison, what was?

I would also challenge the implication that Season 3 has been more violent than Seasons 1 and 2. My impression is that there hasn't been much change in the overall amount of violence in XWP. It's apparent that, for some, violence against Gabrielle is all that counts. The average viewer (including any psychopathic teenage Rambos) won't make that distinction. Compared with other incidents in the series (and other TV programs and video movies) the Gabdrag was not particularly spectacular nor did it go on for very long. (In fact the most spectacular versions of the Gabdrag are to be found in Letters to the Editor in Whoosh!). I know someone will yell "domestic violence" but only a subtexter would see it as 'domestic'. I've noticed no letters of complaint about the violence in 'One Against an Army', for example.

I certainly wouldn't claim that television, as a whole, has no effect on society. However, just because XWP (and/or the subtext) is extremely important to a group of fans, it doesn't follow that it's more than a very small drop in the ocean of 'TV culture' (if 'culture' is the right word!).

Back to the Rift... I can understand that some Gabfans and subtexters could be upset at Xenastaff for damaging a beautiful friendship, just as others, like me, regard the Rift as an interesting plot development. As Roger Duarte points out, some who loved Seasons 1/2 will quite legitimately hate Season 3. This is inevitable whenever a show heads off in a new direction. I don't think Xenastaff could ever have done just 'more of the same' without losing interest. Whether they could have found some other direction or style that would have made all Xenafans happier, is a matter of conjecture and personal opinion - obviously many like Season 3, many others don't.

In fact I do feel Gabby was not well treated by the writers at times - mainly in regard to her just plain dumb behaviour in The Debt, and her equally dumb efforts in getting Solan killed. But I don't think the Gabdrag itself, and her subsequent attack on Xena, partly in anger, partly in self-defence, did her prestige any harm at all. In my view she's more interesting now she's a force to be reckoned with rather than just the Irritating Blonde of Season 1 - the equivalent, if you like, of the Hollywood 'heroine' who just used to stand around admiringly while Superman/Xena did the hero things.

As for Bitter Suite, the 'musical' seemed incongruous at first, particularly the bright jazzy colours. The complete change of tone was a shock. It got better as it went on. And it did have a moral message (watch the whole thing, Coldwave59!) I like it better on a second viewing, but it was always going to be one of those episodes that people either loved or hated (and I can understand why some might hate it). Xenastaff took a big risk with the format. I think it came off, just; others obviously don't. But that's one of the things that makes XWP such an interesting series.

Chris
cR@clear.net.nz


Editor-in-Chief Responds:
I am of the camp that found a change in the use of violence in XWP during the third season. In the first two seasons, the violence portrayed was parody. By watching, the viewer was laughing at the antics and was in "on the joke" about its use. In the third season, the violence went beyond parody and became more graphic and consequently more voyeuristic. Whereas the earlier use of violence I found at most annoying, but tolerated because of the parody and humor, the later use of violence was offensive and I resented having to feel like a voyeur in watching it. I could no longer laugh at some of the depictions. It felt gratuitous. This is, of course, highly subjective. But I share it in order to offer an alternative view on the difference between the violence depicted on XWP during the first three seasons.




You Like Us, You Really Like Us

Subject: Whoosh
Saturday, October 03, 1998

I love the site. I asked my husband if he thought there was a Xena webring and when he did a search he came up with over 300 devoted to Xena. I started surfing and this is the one I like the best. Not overly laden with graphics and presented in a simple style. I especially like the episode synopsis since I only got into Xena last season. A girl has to catch up on the story. Thank you for this wonderful site.

Darla McClure
dmcclure@vol.com



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