It’s worth going back to the original—a soaring Roland Emmerich thriller about how no force in the universe could take down the United States: not when the president, a famous rapper, and a scientist all get together in a fighter jet to kick alien ass.
It’s the polar opposite of The Matrix. Rather than admitting even the slightest unease below the surface of American life, it barrels forward as a jingoistic romp, giving us America as a crotch-grabbing, trash-talking, hyperpower without a care in the world.
To all of you who grew up getting a forty-five minute weekly dose of Lucy Lawless crushing men’s skulls with her perfectly sculpted thighs, you have no idea how lucky you are. You, in your starry-eyed youth, were exposed to Xena long before anyone really grasped how bad the sets or the production value were, allowing you to absorb the show’s badassery and high potential for lesbian relationships without distraction. I grew up with non-geek parents who hated television, so my first experience with Xena was just a few weeks ago, as a tangential but awesome adventure on my personal quest for Karl Urban’s fine Kiwi ass.
Carry me away with you, oh 90’s goddess.
For those of you who have forgotten (or have, by some great misfortune, never seen the show at all), Xena: Warrior Princess follows the loosely connected episodic adventures of the title character (played by Lucy Lawless) and her totally-not-girlfriend Gabrielle (played by Renee O’Connor) as they adventure around doing good and fighting evil against canvas scenery backdrops painted by interns. Apparently Xena killed a lot of people and destroyed a bunch of stuff at some point and is on a quest for atonement. Many episodes are based loosely on Greek mythology, but some other artistically interpreted cultural influences show up as well. Continue reading →