Xena Warrior Princess
Fifteen years ago, the world was introduced to a television treasure: 'Xena: Warrior Princess.' Yes, 'Xena' is a treasure, because despite what some people may think, despite its over-the-top cheesecake factor and despite its blatant disregard for history, it was a gem of a TV show. Plus, it introduced us to Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor.
'Xena' was a trailblazer. 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer,' 'Alias' and even newer shows such as 'Covert Affairs' and the new 'Nikita' remake owe a certain something to the beloved Warrior Princess. The series helped reshape the leading lady on TV for good, and for that reason alone, we as an audience should be eternally grateful.
Lawless reported that she was not actually pinched by any men: "I was there for gay pride; it didn't happen." She did express her disappointment that there was not an equivalent march in Italy for gay women. "All this for fabulousness for gay men ... but nothing for the women," she said.
If 'Glee' has you yearning for more song-and-dance routines on TV, hold onto your (top) hats! From April 29 to May 5, Fox is turning several of its shows into musicals, including 'Bones,' 'House,' 'The Simpsons,' even 'Fringe.' On May 2, 'Family Guy' will celebrate its 150th episode with an extended episode featuring new and familiar musical numbers. Suffice to say the shows should be a blast, for both us and the actors.
Of course, TV aficionados know this is nothing new. Shows like 'Ally McBeal,' 'Eli Stone,' and 'SpongeBob SquarePants' have featured musical numbers regularly, and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention 'Viva Laughlin' and 'Cop Rock' (even though the latter was declared by TV Guide to be one of the worst shows ever, ouch!). In fact, we can trace the trend back to classic episodes like Bugs Bunny's 'The Rabbit of Seville' and 'What's Opera, Doc?'
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It's taken a couple years, as we first posted about the series in August 2006, but Sam Raimi's adaptation of the Terry Goodkind books will finally be beaming into our televisions the weekend of November 1, 2008. That's about as specific as anyone can be, because this is a syndicated series. We'll all have to check our local listings. The good news though, is that Disney-ABC says they have cleared the show in 95% of the country.
The press release mentions that Raimi and his partners, Rob Tapert, Joshua Donen, Ned Nalle, and Kenneth Biller are the team behind Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. Why they continue to excise Cleopatra 2525 from that list remains a mystery to me.
The series will kick off with a two-hour premiere and Raimi describes it by saying, "The amazing characters and heartfelt story, combined with the captivating backdrop of New Zealand, will have viewers on the edge of their seats." I'm pretty much in the bag for anything Raimi is involved in, so I'll be watching. Wizard's First Rule could be that something to watch on Saturday night we're all looking for.
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