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"Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."

So said Emerson (inserting "A foolish" at the beginning, mind you), and so say I.

And what better study of inconsistencies than Xena: Warrior Princess? The show jumps around in time, is serious one day and slapstick the next. One day they meet Homer, the next day Helen of Troy. One day, Ceaser, the next Ulysses. One day, Biblical figures, the next Hindu, the next day Taoist--all from vastly differing periods of time, of course.

Even the characters, though they visibly develop in the long run, have their inconsistencies. They make peace by fighting. They're in Ancient Greece but bring up or "invent" things from our time. Xena and Gabrielle are the best of friends, and then some betrayal suddenly tears them apart. They can't even stay dead! People are hotly debating whether Xena and Gabrielle prefer to chase men or chase each other. To me, it's another one of the grand inconsistencies that is Xena. Who cares? Any fool can see that the writers are aiming to please both ways. If people need consistency, they can make it themselves! 'tis the test of the show!

If you really want consistency with the time period, Xena and Gabrielle'd be speaking in Ancient Greek, their legs wouldn't be shaved, and they'd pronounce "chakram" the right way. But that wouldn't get very good ratings, would it?

Beyond it all, it's an enjoyable, sometimes very celver and satirical show with good characters and some talented individuals working on it. The difference between X:WP's distorting myths, legends, and the like and Disney's doing that with animated features like Pocahantas or The Hunchback of Notre Dame is that Xena never pretends to be accurate in the first place. Educated people know that they can't take the presentation of history seriously. I think most people can figure out that fast food didn't really exist in Ancient Greece. And idiots probably won't know anything anyway, so who cares?

The bottom line is, if you can't get beyond the inconsistencies, then this show's not for you!

the subversive pomegranate
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Xena: Warrior Princess is MCA/Universal and whoever else legally owns it. This page is 1999 shilpa.