helloladies: Gray icon with a horseshoe open side facing down with pink text underneath that says Xena Recaps (xena recaps)
[personal profile] helloladies posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
Clare & Renay's Adventures in: Xena


In a time without a Black Widow movie on the horizon, two fans in turmoil cried out for a heroine. She was Xena, a mighty female protagonist forged in the fires of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. The action, the camp, the queer subtext. Her adventures will rock their worlds.


Clare: Okay, kittens, let’s talk about vampires. Specifically, lesbian vampires. As we all know, vampires are a remarkably potent sexual metaphor (thus Interview with the Vampire), but Carmilla, the ur-gay lady of the night, actually predates Dracula by over twenty years. The lady vampire as subtextual queer predator has a long and storied history.

And then there’s Xena, whose approach to subtext can best be described as a shrug. Or, better yet, a scene where Gabrielle wanders into the dance party from The Matrix: Reloaded and begins "innocently" dancing with two women who may or may not be Bacchae.

Renay: Oh my god, I did not expect this episode. I was not warned and I was not prepared and I spent the entire thing going, "What!" and "That makeup!" and "Oh, it's Joxer again."

But Joxer at least delivers us this episode's quest via Orpheus's decapitated head, which tells them that Bacchus is kidnapping local girls to build his vampire harem. There's some other stuff: a lyre, music, etc, but whatever. The important part is Gabrielle and Xena. There's a lot of plot for what amounts to an episode that feels like the first 10 minutes of low-key lesbian porn. On the plus side, I found Orpheus's head to be 100% out of fucks and pretty funny, so bonus!

Clare: I knew that I was going to enjoy "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" when all-around awesome writer and current Xena: Warrior Princess comic writer Genevieve Valentine pointed out its queer subtext in a TV Club 10 column. I mean, Xena and Gabrielle fight vampires before Gabrielle becomes one and must turn Xena? Bring it on! Xena: a show so great it writes its own AUs.

Of course, this being Xena, it wouldn’t be appropriate if their version of vampires didn’t completely warp Greco-Roman myth. The Bacchae, those merry, limb-rending worshippers of Bacchus, are turned into straight-up vampires here, complete with yellow-red contacts, gaudy jewelry, and powdery pallor. These goth chicks are in thrall to Bacchus, who looks like a slumming Tim Curry from Legend. Oh, and they turn into wolves when they hunt, for some reason? Honestly, I wasn’t that weirded out by that change. Their basic function in mythology is retained and the riff adds a fun element to the episode.

Renay: I actually liked that they could turn into wolves! I thought it was a nice addition and made a certain amount of sense they would do that to establish them as tough predators on multiple levels to raise the tension of the episode: multi-purpose transformation powers! Stay true to yourself, Xena Writers! Good work!

Clare: What I was weirded out by was the show claiming that dryads are flying skeletons, complete with hysterically nineties special effects. I wonder if there are any nineties kids who were astonished when they found out dryads were just… wood nymphs?

Renay: No, even I know enough about mythology to be super weirded out when they became Flying Death Skeletons with a Grudge. I mean, obviously it probably sucks to be woken up by people constantly wanting your bones to kill people with, so I feel like I would also get annoyed after awhile. But I read the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire and there's a dryad character there (...sort of) and I was picturing, like, asking a nice tree for a favor. Don't underestimate the Xena Writing Room, is also a thing I learned from this episode.

Clare: I do have a question: why does Joxer exist? Follow-up question: will I ever stop hating him? I just don’t find Joxer all that funny, despite generally being a good audience for dumb jokes ("Heehee… that’s dumb and I love it" might actually be my laugh in its entirely), and I just generally see him as an obstacle towards Xena and Gabrielle kicking ass, taking names, and staring longingly into each other’s eyes.

Bowie above us, is this my first ship where I see any and all potential non-disposable love interests as competition?

Renay: I'm assuming there's a reason he's around and keeps coming around and keeps being super awkward. I'm assuming there's a purpose and he'll have a longer arc, per statements by other fans watching us watching him and being cynical and jaded about the future of his character. But I'm also not finding him that interesting or funny at all. Right now he feels largely like a placeholder and a black hole of narrative energy.

I'm afraid we'll be seeing him to the bitter end, though. The every bitter end.

Femslash Alert: Clare: UH, THIS ENTIRE EPISODE? Suffice it to say, there’s a scene where Gabrielle must turn Xena briefly into a Bacchae, so there is ~sexy~ neck-biting. Good heavens.

Renay: HECK YEAH, the climax (ha ha ha) of this episode was basically some explicit AU fanfic. I felt like I needed to hit "Proceed" before watching Gabrielle sink her teeth into Xena's neck. I need a fanvid of this episode set to Type O Negative's Love You To Death ASAP.

Supplemental Material


Much like Xena herself, Renay and Clare have powerful allies in their quest.

From:
Anonymous
OpenID
Identity URL: 
User
Account name:
Password:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
Subject:
HTML doesn't work in the subject.

Message:

If you are unable to use this captcha for any reason, please contact us by email at support@dreamwidth.org


 
Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of people who comment anonymously.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.

Welcome!

Welcome to Lady Business!

Profile
About
Review Policy
Comment Policy
Writers We Like!
Contact Us
Archive

tumblr icon twitter icon syndication icon

a horseshoe, addition sign, the patreon logo, an equal sign, and a heart in a row

Who We Are


Queer lady geek Clare was raised by French wolves in the American South. more? » twitter icon webpage icon

Ira is an illustrator and gamer who decided that disagreeing with everyone would be a good way to spend their time on the internet. more? » twitter icon tumblr icon AO3 icon

By day Jodie is currently living the dream as a bookseller for a major British chain of book shops. She has no desire to go back to working in the real world. more? » tumblr icon last.fm icon

KJ KJ is an underemployed librarian, lifelong reader, and more recently an avid gamer. more? » twitter icon tumblr icon AO3 icon

Renay writes for Lady Business and B&N. She's the co-host of Fangirl Happy Hour, a pop culture media show that includes a lot yelling about the love lives of fictional characters. Enjoys puns. more? » twitter icon pinboard icon tumblr icon

Susan is a library assistant who uses her insider access to keep her shelves and to-read list permanently over-flowing. more? » twitter icon pinboard icon AO3 icon

Content


Book Review Index
Film Review Index
Television Review Index
Game Review Index
Non-Review Index
Sidetracks
We Want It!
Fanwork Recs
all content by tags

Our Projects


Aikonia: A Webcomic




Short Fiction Surveys


Criticism & Debate


Yes! We welcome criticism and debate and seek to become better people and better critics through the process. However, we do have a comment policy.

Hugo Recs


worldcon 75 logo


What's with your subtitle?


It's a riff off an extremely obscure meme only Tom Hardy and Myspace fans will appreciate.

Powered by Dreamwidth Studios