Hopes and Dreams for a Xena: Warrior Princess Reboot

If you’re a Xena: Warrior Princess fan like myself, then you have probably heard that a reboot is in the works. Sadly, it is a reboot and not a continuation, which means Lucy Lawless and Renée O’Connor will not be reprising their roles as Xena and Gabrielle. That’s a little sad, but I guess I get the direction the Powers That Be are pursuing.

Xena

That being said, if this is going to be a reboot, I have a couple of suggestions and requests for how to make a Xena reboot successful today while still being true to the spirit of the show.

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Throwback Thursdays: Help, It’s 2014 and I’ve Only Just Discovered Xena: Warrior Princess

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.

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

Oh, My Pop Culture Pantheon: Syncretism in Pop Culture

hammerofthegods-550x309We have talked before about shows like Supernatural blending religions together in a way that usually ends up being incredibly offensive to any religion that isn’t Christianity. In Supernatural, the most notable episode depicting this poor blending of religions is “Hammer of the Gods.” In this episode, all the gods from every other religion are not only shown as being less powerful than the Christian God, but also less powerful than even the Christian angels. At the end of the episode, viewers are treated to Lucifer murdering all the other gods. This blending and combining of often dissimilar beliefs into one belief is called syncretism. When shows like Supernatural attempt to blend religions together, they are attempting syncretism, though the writers don’t often do it well.

Syncretism mainly happens in three different ways. In the case of religion, it can be used to recognize your own beliefs and hold them to be true while still recognizing another person’s beliefs to be true. In the ancient world, this was shown in the way that each city and/or country believed in and worshiped its own god(s), but another country could have their own god(s). The people of each country were devoted to their own gods, but they still believed that other countries’ gods existed. It was often believed that if two countries went to war, their gods would fight each other to prove which country was more powerful. In fact, followers of ancient Judaism did not believe their God was the only god until about five hundred years before Jesus was born. This use of syncretism allowed people to keep believing in their own gods while still accepting that others may be devoted to different, but no less real, gods—though ancient people also often believed their god was better than another person’s. So although different people were allowed to believe in different gods, this was not a harmonious system as the various gods and beliefs were often in conflict with each other for supremacy.

The second form of syncretism is the fusion of religions. This is best shown in the spread of Christianity throughout Europe. Christians combined their own beliefs with the beliefs of pagans in order to make Christianity and paganism more compatible and attractive to converts, but also to eventually erase paganism. Christians put holidays like Christmas and Easter during the same times as holidays like Yule and the Spring Equinox. All Saints Day notably almost replaced All Hallows Eve (Halloween) in Europe for a time. Catholic and Orthodox saints were used to replace many pagan pantheons as well. Obviously, Christians didn’t entirely erase paganism by doing this, but after years of syncretism in certain areas, pagan beliefs began to fade away and were replaced by Christianity.

vlcsnap-2010-04-28-19h40m09s86And finally there is the syncretism that is employed by many Wiccans, Pagans, and Neo-Pagans. While some pagans are devoted to one particular pantheon, some believe that all gods and goddesses are different aspects of the God and Goddess. This is more harmonious than the first form of syncretism that I described, because it does not put all the gods in conflict with each other and allows for an easier blending of beliefs. There are also religious pluralists who believe that all religions have some element of the truth, but not the whole truth. In this way, they believe similarly that all gods reflect something of the true god(s).

So what does this have to do pop culture? Well, like in Supernatural, many TV shows, movies, books, and other forms of pop culture try to write about religion by using syncretism, but they don’t really do it right. But boy, do they try.

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Fanfiction Fridays: Persistence by Xie

Hey there fanfiction fans, I’m back and ready to continue my quest for good femslash fanfiction. Last fanfic post I did I asked you, our readers, to suggest some good femslash fanfiction. The fic I ended up reading was suggested by Karla who suggested a Xena/Gabrielle fic by author Xie.

So far I have only read the first of three Xena/Gabrielle fics written by this author, but I am already enjoying the fic immensely.

Persistence explains that there is a conflict happening between the Phliousians and Nemea. Xena is asked by her friend, the ruler of Nemea, to take the regalia of Demeter to Britannia and out of the reach of the Phliousians. Throughout this story another takes place that is meant to parallel the relationship between Xena and Gabrielle. A brown dog begins to follow Gabrielle around, and though at first she tries to shoo the dog away, eventually she begins to grow found of it, and keeps the dog close to her. Xena and Gabrielle simply call the dog Girl and she becomes very much a part of their family.

Girl following Gabrielle mirrors the beginnings of Xena and Gabrielle’s relationship, and as Gabrielle grows more fond of Girl, so does Xena and Gabrielle’s relationship grow.

It’s a great fic that I highly recommend to anyone else looking for some good femslash.