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‘Xena’ Reboot Will ‘Fully’ Explore Xena-Gabrielle Relationship

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Pretty much since “Xena: Warrior Princess” debuted in 1995, fans have imagined Xena and Gabrielle were more than friends, a belief fueled by jokes and innuendos by the show’s writers and stars. However, when NBC’s reboot of the fantasy-adventure airs, viewers will no longer have to use their imaginations.

Addressing a question on his blog about “The 100,” which recently upset fans with the death of a lesbian character, “Xena” writer/executive producer Javier Grillo-Marxuach revealed the reboot will be a thoroughly modern update.

“‘Xena’ will be a very different show made for very different reasons,” he wrote. “There is no reason to bring back ‘Xena’ if it is not there for the purpose of fully exploring a relationship that could only be shown subtextually in first-run syndication in the 1990s. It will also express my view of the world — which is only further informed by what is happening right now — and is not too difficult to know what that is if you do some digging.”

That will undoubtedly make a lot of “Xena” fans happy, even if they won’t be able to see Lucy Lawless and Renee O’Connor return to their iconic roles.

(via Vanity Fair)

Comments

  • John Plugger Mellencamp

    The thing is: Sometimes leaving things as a “subtext,” and requiring/allowing the audience to use its imagination is a good thing. Not because gay characters have to be/should be kept in a closet but because it can add another layer to the storytelling and keep the audience involved (for example by letting them debate the true nature of the relationship). And, for what it’s worth, I totally thought “House” should have ended with him and Wilson realizing their true feelings for each other and moving to Mass to get married.

  • retepslluerb

    Generally, yes. But I’d say that the benefit of “forcing” people to decide between not watching and accepting that gay couple can exist and can tell the same stories as heterosexual one outweighs the storytelling benefits of ambiguity.

    With Xena it had become so crystal clear that they had changed from friendship to romantic love that it was kinda annoying of the show dancing around.

    Now, Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable, that could have been been handled better.

  • Dormgron

    “Imagined”? Oh come on. Sure, their original relationship was subtextual, but also about as blatantly canon as a subtext-based relationship can be. They kissed multiple times and it was made clear that they were soul mates, for goodness sake. That’s not imagined – that’s literally what happened on the show.
    The reason that it wasn’t maintext was because it was 1995. But the intent was also pretty obviously there from the writers, and they don’t deny it. The way you describe it, you’d think their relationship was more like Rizzoli & Isles (LOTS of teasing but writers don’t believe it to be real).

  • ChaosMcKenzie

    The Xena reboot is an odd duck. What made Xena so popular the first time around is the sheer CHARISMA of Lucy Lawless, her presence on Hercules propelled her to her own successful show. They’re doing it backwards now, they don’t have another Lucy Lawless prepped and ready for a new show, they’re making a new show and then are going to try to replace the magic Lucy and Renee had. It’s going to be a sysiphean task to capture the same magic. Good luck to them.

  • mythic

    Antje Traue & Katee Sackhoff!
    Antje Traue & Katee Sackhoff!
    Antje Traue & Katee Sackhoff!

  • Travis

    If that’s the only reason the writer/producer can think of to do the reboot, that doesn’t say much about the prospects of the reboot being worth watching.

  • SandyIam

    I thought Xena was supposed to be about a Princess Warrior who fought to make wrongs right; to bring justice, to ward off evil and make life better for those she encountered. But now you’re telling us at the end of the day, it’s just another vile promotion of filthy homosexuality. Another waste of time, talent and television. Good luck with those ratings.

  • SandyIam

    Another case of trying to make new money off of old sh*t. No more creative writing talent left in Hollywood, they can’t think outside of the bathroom or the bedroom, so they try to recreate the old magic they once had by wallowing in filth and smut. Like you said, Good luck to them.

  • Agent 86

    I agree. NBC is incredibly stupid for not allowing Lawless and O’Connor to reprise their original and iconic roles as Xena and Gabrielle to pass the torch to whatever new versions of those characters NBC feels they need to headline an ongoing TV series.
    The fact that NBC has openly stated that they’re worried about Lawless “overshadowing” the new actors speaks volumes to her natural charisma. Instead of ignoring that, they should be exploiting it by asking Lawless to reprise her role for a trilogy of pilot episodes or even a limited mini-series which allows Xena and Gabrielle to have one last grand adventure while still introducing new actors as younger / alternate / cloned / whatever versions of Xena and Gabrielle.

  • JBT48

    …or gabrielle learning staff forms from a shaolin monk..

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  • dad123

    do they even have actresses to play the characters yet?

  • Lucia Lola

    Growing up, I loved Xena. I loved the relationship between her and Gabrielle and I loved how females were depicted as being strong in different contexts; one through physical and the other, emotional. When the series was almost over, I noticed the forced allusions to there being a sexual attraction between the two characters and frankly, it turned me off. Yes, literally. Not because lesbians would gross me out (they don’t, thanks for asking), but because in order to keep this great show on the air, they needed to pander to a demographic that this titillated. And no, it wasn’t gay women, FYI. While I can appreciate many lesians (or gay, or whatever) took this as a progressive move, it wasn’t. It was blatant sexualisation for the sake of ratings and I was glad to see it go off the air.

    Any attempt to hold this show up as an example of stellar progression in the miserable record of homosexual representation in media is disingenuous at best, and reconning a fantastic show at worst. By all means, please go forward with a new and improved Xena and Gabrielle and yes, why not have them be romantic partners since we sure are hell need more great characters out there in the mainstream media that are not heteronormative, but don’t pretend this is a “discovery” and “in depth” exploration of what the two characters were since their inception as it clearly is not.

    Carry on and all that. That’s my two pence.

  • Alias Darker

    they gay relationship will kill the show and it’s selfish of the LGBT fans to agree with it . it’s almost as if they were saying ” xena was only about sex” but she wasn’t , her main concern was saving people and redeeming her soul