Whoosh! Issue 64 - January 2002

XENA: IL TORMENTO E L'ESTASI
2002 CALENDAR INTERVIEWS


Page 2

THE WORST OF TIMES

On to the Fray



Gabrielle stumbles upon a horror beyond imagining: Joxer bathing.

Shockingly, IN SICKNESS AND IN HELL did not make the top 12...


INTERVIEWER:
[186] Now that we have had the best of times, let's talk about the fans' worst of times.

APHRODITE:
[187] Oh, please sweetie, not another homage. Been there, done that...and done it, and done it, and done it...

INTERVIEWER:
[188] You read Dickens?

APHRODITE:
[189] Saw the movie.

GABRIELLE:
[190] Well, I'd certainly agree that at times it did seem like "A Tale of Two Shows". Ours and ... someone else's.

XENA:
[191] I'd have appreciated being guillotined after some of them. Killing me beforehand would have worked just fine, too.

INTERVIEWER:
[192] So, what would be your guesses for the number one, all-time worst episode?

XENA:
[193] There's one where I was sure Gabrielle was gonna snap and kill 'em all. Something to do with fish ****, I think.


MARRIED WITH FISHSTICKS



Queen of the Alabama Grits Festival.

Gabrielle sharing most Xenites' opinion of this episode


APHRODITE:
[194] More like dead fish.

INTERVIEWER:
[195] MARRIED WITH FISH STICKS.

APHRODITE:
[196] STANK LIKE DEAD FISH **** is more like it.

GABRIELLE:
[197] The script cover had our show's logo on it, but that was as close as it got. If you have an idea for a series, then pitch it or throw it or kick it to the studio, whatever it is that you do with it, but I didn't sign on to do pilots. Especially that pilot, not for all the tea in Ch'in. It wasn't funny, it wasn't touching, it wasn't...

INTERVIEWER:
[198] It had ... uh ... colorful sets.

XENA:
[199] Bruises are colorful, doesn't mean I want 'em. Whoever it was who thought I'd be so condescending to Gabrielle about a baby doesn't know me at all. She almost drowns and I don't even notice? Whatever drugs those guys were smokin', I don't want them anywhere near me. I felt bad for Gabrielle, she had to show up every day and film this thing.

GABRIELLE:
[200] I felt sorry for Xena, she had to hear about it every night.

APHRODITE:
[201] Aw, comfort sex. That works, too.

INTERVIEWER:
[202] How did you feel about your portrayal, Aphrodite.

APHRODITE:
[203] I wasn't in it.

INTERVIEWER:
[204] But...

APHRODITE:
[205] It never happened. Never. Nie. Jamais. Mai...

INTERVIEWER:
[206] Okay, I think we've got the idea. On to the second worst episode of the series: FRIEND IN NEED Part 2.


FRIEND IN NEED II



I'm going to make it through this script...I'm going to make it through this script...I'm going to make it...

Gabrielle leaning on nothing


APHRODITE:
[207] Major bummer.

XENA:
[208] You think so? What about me? Since when am I so brain dead that I don't question some manipulative kid telling me I've gotta stay dead? Or anything else that happened, for that matter? I wondered if I was supposed to have a death wish.

INTERVIEWER:
[209] Um, there are fans who describe the fifth season in just that way.

XENA:
[210] That I was brain dead? I can buy that. Pretty easily, actually.

INTERVIEWER:
[211] Well, the more polite describe it as oxygen deprivation during resurrection, but the end result was the same, I guess. Didn't you get your redemption in FRIEND IN NEED II?

XENA:
[212] I didn't think so, although I guess the writers did. The script didn't say a word about it and nobody would tell me anything. I don't see how I found anything except an end to a self-imposed guilt trip. If death is the way to do it, I might just as well cut my throat right now if that's all I've got to look forward to.

INTERVIEWER:
[213] Gabrielle, how did you feel about the scene where you came across Xena's body?

GABRIELLE:
[214] I just...look, I can't talk about...that, I...

XENA:
[215] Give us a minute. C'mere, Gabrielle.

APHRODITE:
[216] You know, if it had been one of those old silent films, it would have made more sense.

INTERVIEWER:
[217] The costumes were nice. It looked good.

APHRODITE:
[218] Hon, you know what they say when the high point is the cinematography and the costumes.

INTERVIEWER:
[219] Kiss of death.

I don't think you're supposed to slip tongue when doing artificial respiration.  But I could be wrong.

A different kind of kiss


APHRODITE:
[220] Pretty much.

XENA:
[221] Look, Gabrielle had a really tough time with that scene. She threw up her baklava half the night when they shot it because they had my headless carcass strung up like a deer ready for the tanning knife, just to provide motivation for her. What a bunch of bull. Gabrielle loves me, that alone was plenty of motivation without showing that kind of crap. And believe me, she's no kind of warrior if she needs incentive like that. What good would she be to people she doesn't know?

GABRIELLE:
[222] Sorry about that. Xena's death is a reality I live with every day. I don't much like to think about the hows of it, especially like that.

INTERVIEWER:
[223] I can see where it would be unsettling for you.

GABRIELLE:
[224] The idea that I was some sort of Xena in training all along seemed so odd to me. I make one statement to Lila in the very first show and all those episodes later I want to get my Warrior's Union card? I can fight and defend myself and others, but that's a long way from it being a career choice. What's wrong with being a bard? It's not easy, just look at some of those scripts if you think so.

INTERVIEWER:
[225] I think the idea was that you were going to take up the hero business in Xena's memory. Or something. Maybe Warrior Princess Version 2.O?

GABRIELLE:
[226] I guess they saw it as a compliment to me. Maybe they were trying to say something about my abilities as a bard. Those who can't bard, fight?

XENA:
[227] Some compliment. Live by the sword, die by the sword. Now there's a reason to be a warrior. A short hard live and a bloody death. Yeah, just what I'd want for Gabrielle.

INTERVIEWER:
[228] So what do you think should have been your ultimate fate?

That's it, Gabrielle--look this way, hold up the super-chakram and look like you know how to use it!  Work with me!

Gabrielle should have used the chakram on this episode to put it out of its misery


XENA:
[229] Well, the way I heard it, I'm a war criminal who deserved death. They wrote it so I could make some sort of big sacrifice to save those souls instead of just getting gangrene after stubbing my toe or something. And don't get me started on where that came from. I've been to Japa and I sure don't remember anything about that. Anyway, I had to give up what I loved most so that sacrifice would have some meaning.

GABRIELLE:
[230] And don't get me started on whether Xena's life has meaning or if only her death is worth anything. I thought I looked a bit crazy at the end, smiling away and talking to myself. Xena couldn't have been there with me if she had to give me up for the sacrifice thing.

XENA:
[231] The fact is, the greatest sacrifice for me would be not fighting anymore. I could still help people if I traveled as a healer, and Gabrielle traveled as a bard and neither of us had anything other than staffs to defend ourselves. Would I be less of a person for saving lives instead of taking them? Is there something not heroic about saving a sick child's life?

GABRIELLE:
[232] History will probably remember Hector and Ulysses and Paris, thanks to Homer, a bard I might point out, but the world will be changed through the teachings of Hypocrites and his friends, the followers of Eli and the great philosophers already writing and those yet to come.

APHRODITE:
[233] Ohkickme was a little twit.

INTERVIEWER:
[234] Who?

GABRIELLE:
[235] I think she means Akemi. The one who took hours and hours and hours to stick needles in my back, permanently disfigure me, and waste time.

XENA:
[236] Well, she did save your life, I guess.

GABRIELLE:
[237] What makes you think I wanted it saved once you told me you weren't coming back...*old friend*? Thanks for the choice about that, by the way.

XENA:
[238] Now, Gabrielle, we've been over this...I didn't write that.

APHRODITE:
[239] Chill, babes. That was just a story. You can practice your water transfers later.

INTERVIEWER:
[240] Third on the worst list is KING CON.


KING CON



I'll give you both of 'em if you tell everyone I was never in this episode.

Xena gets to dress up and touch herself in this one


XENA:
[241] King Crap, that's what I called it.

GABRIELLE:
[242] An episode in search of something to say and a plot and characters to say it with.

APHRODITE:
[243] I saw the movie.

XENA:
[244] You obviously weren't the only one. I hated it when we were boring. Everybody already knew the plot, where was the surprise? The suspense?

APHRODITE:
[245] Not in the first con. Tacky, tacky, it was almost word for word from Ravishing Robert's movie. That's like wearing polyester lounge wear and calling it silk.

GABRIELLE:
[246] I hated it when it took an entire episode to solve a problem that should have taken about 10 minutes. And we were back to the "put a knife to Gabrielle's throat." Oh, please.

XENA:
[247] At least you didn't have to endure the inept fight scene with whathisname.

INTERVIEWER:
[248] Speaking of inept, that brings us to KEY TO THE KINGDOM, fourth worst.


KEY TO THE KINGDOM



Hoping nobody notices the substitution.

Where's Xena and Gabrielle when you need them? Sure as heck not in this episode!


GABRIELLE:
[249] Which one was that?

XENA:
[250] The one you were lucky enough to miss completely. It had 5 minutes of pseudo-plot and unfortunately an entire episode's running time.

APHRODITE:
[251] They didn't even mention your name, sweetie. Trust me, not even you and Xena going at it like weasels could have saved this one.

GABRIELLE:
[252] Aphrodite, please! That's the one Xena called THE THREE STOOGES GO TO GREECE, I think.

XENA:
[253] Let 'em get their own show, just leave me out of it. I didn't sign on to do pilots, either.

APHRODITE:
[254] A reviewer on Whoosh described it as "comedy with pretenses of Human Drama was exquisitely unfunny, painfully banal, and utterly forgettable".

INTERVIEWER:
[255] Uh, the Stooges did have their own show. It was years ago, of course, and I certainly can't see this episode as a possible pilot for anything.

GABRIELLE:
[256] Great, another flashback.

INTERVIEWER:
[257] Then there's the granny of flashback episodes, LIFE BLOOD.


LIFEBLOOD



You're sure that this will keep me from getting a double chin?

Xena, unsuccessfully trying to divert the attention of the audience


XENA:
[258] More pilots for somebody else's show. How much time did we suffer onscreen? About 10 minutes?

GABRIELLE:
[259] This is the one that didn't sell, wasn't it?

APHRODITE:
[260] I can see why.

INTERVIEWER:
[261] Yes, it was the founding of the Amazon Nation.

XENA:
[262] No wonder they died out.

GABRIELLE:
[263] Weren't you waving a leg bone around a lot?

XENA:
[264] Weren't you dancing around in the moonlight and bathing babies in blood?

GABRIELLE:
[265] I'm not sure, I managed to forget most of the details.

APHRODITE:
[266] Trust me, there weren't many to remember. You two weren't around a lot.


ULYSSES



If only we'd known to nip this kind of self-indulgent thing in the bud--many comedies might have been saved.

Gabrielle got to dress up (or down?) in this episode


INTERVIEWER:
[267] What are your thoughts on ULYSSES, the sixth worst episode?

APHRODITE:
[268] Sex.

INTERVIEWER:
[269] Xena and Ulysses didn't have sex.

APHRODITE:
[270] Hon, they didn't have much of anything. Who'd want to, with that guy?

INTERVIEWER:
[271] Apparently Xena did.

XENA:
[272] You've gotta be kidding. Believe me, if I wanted it that bad, I can buy one.

GABRIELLE:
[273] I felt sorry for Penelope. Imagine being faithful all that time, waiting for your husband, and loserboy couldn't care less about her or his kingdom.

XENA:
[274] Just what you want in a King. I think the sirens were smoking something.

APHRODITE:
[275] It worked for me.


BACK IN THE BOTTLE



So then the Mongol warlord says to the mullah, That's not my wife--that's a yak!  Get it?

Don't you wish they would have just kept it in the bottle to begin with?


INTERVIEWER:
[276] So what about BACK IN THE BOTTLE?

XENA:
[277] I had to keep Gabrielle away from one after work every night.

GABRIELLE:
[278] I think the writer went through several of them while he was working on the script.

APHRODITE:
[279] So did I when I watched it.

XENA:
[280] I bet Lao Ma would have had a few if she'd seen how they screwed up her teachings.

GABRIELLE:
[281] They wanted to do something about the stone figures so they wrote this episode. I think it could have made a good Janice and Mel story instead. I wouldn't have minded that at all.

XENA:
[282] You just wanna play with my whip again.

GABRIELLE:
[283] And that would be a bad thing?

XENA:
[284] We'll talk later.

APHRODITE:
[285] Alright, kinky sex! You go, girls!

XENA:
[286] Pretty little power shields, I felt like a pregnant Barbie badly accessorized.

APHRODITE:
[287] Xena, a fashion conscience, I'd never have guessed.

XENA:
[288] I'd never have guessed anybody would write me sucking air out of a tent and creating a vacuum. I don't think I was the only walking brain dead that season.


FRIEND IN NEED I



Irritatingly submissive warrior-destroyer.

Let's just blame Akemi for EVERYTHING!


INTERVIEWER:
[289] FRIEND IN NEED, PART 1 is the eighth worst episode. How did you two feel about it?

GABRIELLE:
[290] Aside from the fact that they hauled out yet another old girlfriend in yet another flashback episode?

XENA:
[291] 'Girl' being the most important part. At least it was a flashback, otherwise I'd have looked like I was hanging around with jailbait.

GABRIELLE:
[292] I didn't have much to do. I usually didn't in the "Evil Xena" episodes.

XENA:
[293] Count your blessings. There's only so many ways I can look like a whacked-out teenager.

APHRODITE:
[294] Hey, if you're, like, a war criminal, wouldn't they all be Evil Xena episodes? Eventually you get your parole revoked and it's Marie Antoinette time?

GABRIELLE:
[295] How do you know about Marie Antoinette?

APHRODITE:
[296] Saw the movie, of course.

XENA:
[297] I still don't get that 'teaching Gabrielle all I know' thing. A couple episodes before that, she couldn't handle a centaur birth.

GABRIELLE:
[298] I think it was supposed to have something to do with the warrior stuff. Funny how I managed to just pick up all those aerial moves, because I don't remember working on those, either.

XENA:
[299] Well, that's how they saw my life ending. Me, I've got a different picture in my mind.


PURITY



Akemi could learn from this woman.

Or maybe we should blame Lao Ma...


INTERVIEWER:
[300] What do you remember about PURITY, the ninth worst episode?

XENA:
[301] PURE BOREDOM, you mean. Did the scriptwriter ever watch our show? Lao Ma is my honorary mother? I'm a lotta things but I am definitely not that kinky.

GABRIELLE:
[302] At least you got something to do. I was either off doing something utterly stupid, or I was fighting.

XENA:
[303] And you looked great doing it, too. The costumes looked wonderful on you.

APHRODITE:
[304] Tell her about the little surprise in your saddlebag, Gabby.

GABRIELLE:
[305] Be quiet, Aphrodite.

XENA:
[306] They might just as well have filmed an entire episode of explosions for all the sense it made. Was it too much to ask that somebody writing for us actually either watch the backstory episodes or at least read the backstory scripts?

APHRODITE:
[307] Yep.

GABRIELLE:
[308] And more stupid captures for me. Why put me in the episode at all? I could have stayed home and finished reading The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

XENA:
[309] One of my favorites. Gabrielle reads to me every night before bed.

GABRIELLE:
[310] The episode had no heart, no story to tell. It didn't seem to be about anything except stupid jokes and lots of explosions.


LYRE LYRE HEARTS ON FIRE



Draco was the only hot thing in this episode.

Even Draco couldn't save this turkey


INTERVIEWER:
[311] The fans voted LYRE, LYRE, HEARTS ON FIRE as tenth worst episode.

GABRIELLE:
[312] My brain was on fire, trying to figure this episode out.

XENA:
[313] It had nothing to do with the show or us, that's all I can come up with.

GABRIELLE:
[314] Some sort of alternate world?

APHRODITE:
[315] More like a nightmare. Those were fashion statements you *didn't* need to be making. Tall, dark and deadly should *never* rap. Never. Promise me, Xena.

XENA:

[316] No problem. I was bad, I know it.

GABRIELLE:
[317] Was it supposed to be funny? I can't really remember.

XENA:

[318] I think there were supposed to be some poignant moments, and maybe some kinda moral of the story, but I can't remember either. There wasn't much of anything to care about.

APHRODITE:
[319] 'Poignant'? Oo, Xena, I'm impressed.

XENA:

[320] Spend 24/7 with a bard, you pick up a few things.


KING OF ASSASSINS



Let's blame this episode on our evil twins, okay?

At least Xena and Gabrielle were in this episode...at least


INTERVIEWER:
[321] KING OF ASSASSINS goes back to third season, and it's number 11 on the list.

GABRIELLE:
[322] KING OF ASSES. And I was the ass. Why is it that the number of my functioning brain cells suddenly gets a lot lower when these script writers turn up?

XENA:

[323] Cause they think looking brain-damaged is funny?

GABRIELLE:
[324] Must be, although it's not my brain cells that should be the ones dying off.

XENA:

[325] I wasn't in most of it.

GABRIELLE:
[326] Gloating is an unattractive quality, Xena.

XENA:

[327] Hey, I got stuck with that Three Stooges thing.

GABRIELLE:

[328] At least you didn't look stupid.

XENA:
[329] I made it up to you.

GABRIELLE:

[330] The airing schedule was so totally out of step with the dramatic episodes. We were rifting, as I remember, and we'd just come back from Ch'in and the Green Dragon thing. Not a word about that, though. Just a hint that Xena had lobotomized me in paybacks, or something equally distasteful.

XENA:
[331] Better be careful, they might hear you.

GABRIELLE:

[332] Who cares, contract's over.

APHRODITE:
[333] Whoa, Gabby...sink those teeth, girl!

XENA:
[334] Every night.

INTERVIEWER:
[335] Sorry, I didn't catch that.

XENA:
[336] Lucky for you.


PUNCHLINES



An understandably mortified Argo tries to shrink into nothingness rather than appear in the episode.

Argo didn't like this episode either


INTERVIEWER:
[337] Um, how about the 12th worst episode on the list, PUNCHLINES.

XENA:
[338] Another bloody mess. Wasn't this the one where I pretty much totally ignored Gabrielle except to sneer at her?

GABRIELLE:

[339] Yeah, that's the one. And it had that stupid pie fight. And I was suffering rapid brain cell loss again, and I had to be rescued. Again.

APHRODITE:

[340] Did your writers block ever clear up?

GABRIELLE:
[341] Aphrodite, you know perfectly well I never suffered from writers block.

APHRODITE:

[342] In the episode, sweetie.

GABRIELLE:
[343] Oh, right.

XENA:
[344] No more slumber parties, Aphrodite. You got that?

APHRODITE:

[345] Do I detect a twinge of the Big Green Nasty?

XENA:
[346] Detect whatever you want, but no more nighties and definitely no more bubble baths.

GABRIELLE:
[347] I never understood what the fascination is with all the sight gags. It's easy enough to be funny with sharp dialogue. Pratfalls and passing gas isn't my idea of humor. And pie fights? Aren't those classified as old groaners?

XENA:
[348] I was doing plenty of groaning already. It was yet another episode where Gabrielle and I didn't work much together. A script that held some interest would have made the time go by faster. Tossing a pie at the writer would have been fun.


CONCLUSION



See?  It *doesn't* smell like fish!

Aphrodite is always fun at parties.


INTERVIEWER:
[349] I'd like to thank you both, and you, too, Aphrodite, for taking the time to speak with me. Now that the show is over and you have your lives to return to, I know the fans join with me in wishing you all the best in the future. We'd like to thank you for the good times and the bad times, always remembering that we could always turn the sound off and just watch the two of you when we couldn't take it anymore. The show was truly the best of times and the worst of times.

GABRIELLE:
[350] Thank you, and we'd like to thank all the fans that watched every week, with or without sound.

XENA:
[351] I hope we were able to show you at least the flavour of our lives, if not the reality of it. And now, if you'll excuse us, there's a sunrise that we're gonna walk into. Gabrielle would call it symbolism. I call it the turn of a page and the start of a new chapter in our lives.

GABRIELLE:
[352] Come and visit sometime. Aphrodite will be able to find us. We can sit down over something to drink and you can read the real scrolls.

APHRODITE:
[353] Catch you later, babes. Safe travelling.


NEBULA! NEBULA! NEBULA!



Nebula, Nubian goddess

Nebula, she likes to be noticed


NEBULA:
[354] Hey, what about me? Do I have to do something violent, gory, or gratuitously stupid to get some attention around here?

INTERVIEWER:
[355] I wondered when you'd turn up. How've you been?

NEBULA:
[356] Never mind the sweet talk. Why aren't I mentioned anywhere?

INTERVIEWER:
[357] Because you were on Herc's show? Didn't the fans do something for best and worst after the series ended?

NEBULA:
[358] Watch those tangents. So interview me.

INTERVIEWER:
[359] What tangent? Your name isn't Xena, it isn't Gabrielle, it isn't Aphrodite, you were never in an episode.

NEBULA:
[360] See this? It's sharp and pointy.

INTERVIEWER:
[361] Erm, so what's your opinion of the best episode?

NEBULA:
[362] The one where I save the world, get the girl and give Xena tips on strategy. It rocked. Big time.

INTERVIEWER:
[363] And the name of this...episode? And I mean the word "episode" in the nicest of ways.

NEBULA:
[364] NEBULA KICKS ASS AND TAKES NAMES, of course.

INTERVIEWER:
[365] Of course. And you were splendid. Could you move that thing away from me?

NEBULA:
[366] Now that you've seen the light, I guess so.

INTERVIEWER:
[367] You didn't happen to run into Najara anywhere, did you?

NEBULA:
[368] For the worst episode, I'd have to go with the one where I got stuck with some loser guy while Xena and Blond Babe went off and saved the world using the incredibly intelligent strategy of getting me out of the way.

INTERVIEWER:
[369] How inconsiderate of them.

NEBULA:
[370] D*mn right. Did you get my email about the pitch I made for my own series?

INTERVIEWER:
[371] No, I must have missed that one. Talk to Kym, she's the head honcho.

NEBULA:
[372] Is she the one who didn't count the votes I sent in for my episodes?

INTERVIEWER:
[373] Could be.

NEBULA:
[374] Point me in the right direction. It's time we had a "discussion".

Okay, so you're taller...But my breasts are bigger!

Nebula always gets the last word



Articles

Shelley Sullivan. Gabrielle Scrolls, Scroll 1, The.
WHOOSH #10 (9707).

Shelley Sullivan. Gabrielle Scrolls, Scroll 2, The.
WHOOSH #11 (9708).

Shelley Sullivan, Tamara Poirier, Bret Ryan Rudnick, Dinah Malone, Katrina Blau, Mary Draganis, Darise Error, Beth Gaynor, Onita@netcom.com, Kym Masera Taborn.
When Titles Collide: A Title Wave. WHOOSH #20 (9805)

Shelley Sullivan. Gabrielle and the Joxer Syndrome.
WHOOSH #21 (9806).

Shelley Sullivan and Kym Masera Taborn. Grrlfriends Of XENA Calendar Interviews.
WHOOSH #28 (9901).

Shelley Sullivan and Kym Masera Taborn. Dead in the Xenaverse Calendar Interviews.
WHOOSH! #40 (2000/01).

Shelley Sullivan and Kym Masera Taborn. Recurring in the XenaVerse Calendar Interviews.
WHOOSH #52 (2001/01)


Biography

a woman of mystery Shelley Sullivan
When I'm not fly-fishing, I'm on a baseball field. When it's raining and I can't do either, I'm forced to work. Unfortunately, only one of the foregoing actually pays.


Favorite episodes: DREAMWORKER (03/103), THE GREATER GOOD (21/121), THE QUEST (37/213), IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE (24/124), REMEMBER NOTHING (26/202), A NECESSARY EVIL (38/214), THE PRICE (44/220), the rift episodes, and ONE AGAINST AN ARMY (59/313).
Favorite line: Xena about the villagers: "Kill 'em all!" TIES THAT BIND (20/120)
First episode seen: SINS OF THE PAST (01/101)
Least favorite episode: FOR HIM THE BELL TOLLS (40/216), ULYSSES (43/219), KING OF ASSASSINS (54/308), THE QUILL IS MIGHTIER... (56/310), KING CON (61/315), FORGET ME NOT (63/317), FINS FEMMES AND GEMS (64/318), IN SICKNESS AND IN HELL

 

 


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