XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS:
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE!
IAXS Research Project #240
By Kristi Eaton
Copyright © 1997 held by author
 Why does everyone love Xena? It is because the show has something for everyone. It has action, comedy, and drama which is all portrayed by extremely talented actors.
Xena brandishing a frying pan
in A DAY IN THE LIFE (#39)
 The action in XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS is fantastic and would be enough of a reason to watch the show in and of itself. Each episode we watch has Xena attempting to get out of some hopeless looking encounter or another. What makes each show unique is not that Xena wins her battles against countless opponents, but how she does it. She always finds a unique way to overcome her foes. For example, in A DAY IN THE LIFE (#39), she defeated the bad guys with a frying pan. In ALTARED STATES (#19), she used fish. This woman could make anything a weapon -- even a kite, as she does in GIANT KILLER (#27). Not only is Xena's uniqueness refreshing, but her old stand-by's thrill as well. From the battlecry and flips to her trusty chakram, this lady is always something to behold.
 No one could conclude a discussion on action in XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS without mentioning Gabrielle, an erstwhile Amazon princess/Queen, a full-time bard, and Xena's faithful companion. Gabrielle is armed with a staff and she knows how to use it. Gabrielle's fighting ability has improved since the start of the series and can now hold her own beside the warrior princess.
 The most impressive musing about the action in XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS is even if the feat that one of our stars does seems to be somewhat impossible, the feat still puts a smile on our face when we see it.
Princess Diana as Xena awaiting Xena's opinion of the masquerade
in WARRIOR...PRINCESS (#15)
 It is very unique to have a show that can do comedy equally as well as action and drama, but XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS can easily make that claim. As I am writing this, I am not-so-patiently waiting for the next episode of XENA which is, A COMEDY OF EROS (#46). EROS, from last week's promo and the on-line buzz, looks to be very humorous and in the same vein and quality as previous comedic episodes.
 Two excellent examples of typical XENA comedy episodes are A DAY IN THE LIFE (#39) and WARRIOR...PRINCESS...TRAMP (#30). A DAY IN THE LIFE (#39) shows a different side of Xena and Gabrielle that are not as somber or dramatic as we are used to, from Gabrielle teasing Xena about what she wants for dinner to Xena hitting Gabrielle numerous times with fish (after an eel of course). In WARRIOR...PRINCESS...TRAMP (#30), Xena has to contend with two look-a-likes. The part where Lucy Lawless is portraying Meg who is acting like Xena when she is alone in her room is a moment of pure comedic pleasure. From talking to herself in the mirror, through getting her sword stuck in the ceiling and having it crash down on the table, to those eyes when she looks out the window and sees the love of her life, Joxer, are all great comedic moments which are executed flawlessly.
 WARRIOR...PRINCESS...TRAMP is a monument to the acting ability of Lucy Lawless. Not only does she portray three very different characters in TRAMP, but she also does so in a way that you can actually tell them apart even when they are pretending to be someone else. That takes talent. Lucy Lawless definitely allows her comedic flair to shine in that episode. Although Lucy Lawless has most of the humorous lines in the show, Renee O'Connor's line, "You're trying to drive me insane!" is one of the best in the show, and O'Connor delivers it perfectly.
Xena coping with a dying Gabrielle
in IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE (#24)
 XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS not only gives you action that puts you on the edge of your seat and comedy that has you laughing so hard it hurts, it also has drama that can actually make you feel something and bring tears to your eyes. When talking about the drama in XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS, one show stands above all others: IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE (#24). In this episode Gabrielle dies and we watch in agony as Xena tries frantically to save Gabrielle. Lucy Lawless' performance is so dynamic that you cannot help put feel Xena's pain. Every time Xena yells, "Don't you leave me," it is like an emotion leaping from the screen. When you have acting and writing like this, who needs three dimensions?
Xena and Gabrielle in the netherworld discussing things
in THE QUEST (#37)
 The acting of both Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor is highly praiseworthy. Ms. O'Connor plays Gabrielle's innocence as well as she portrays her wisdom. She plays her fighting ability as well as the compassion both for Xena and others that shines from her face. Ms. Lawless wonderfully portrays a woman who is strong and hides her emotions. But Lawless' eyes convey to us that Xena is not always as uncaring as she appears to be. Her eyes give us the truth about Xena, that Xena does care more than she lets on. That is a great acting accomplishment, in and of itself, to be able to convey such emotions with a mere look and we all know Lucy Lawless can do the look like no other.
Xena and Gabrielle go off together into the sunset at the conclusion of yet another fine adventure
 XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS is popular because we can all see parts of ourselves in each of the characters, and because we have two terrific actors who bring those characters to life and make them seem real. In Gabrielle, we see our innocence and our humanity. In Xena, we see our strength and the desire to make up for our mistakes. I personally love the show, and hope that others will to.