“Xena: Warrior Princess, which ran for six years before it ended in 2001, was a show that charmed even as it taught its audience a thing or two,” American former model and actress Jennifer Sky writes in an opinion piece for The New York Times.
“It never reached too far beyond its kitschy foundations: in one episode, characters were crucified; in another, we did musical numbers. But it managed to bring home thought-provoking story lines about same-sex love, about religion, about soul mates and manifest destiny. Gender was not relevant in the Xenaverse. There, a girl or a boy could be a warlord or a farmer, a bard or a sad sack needing protection.
For me, in my early 20s, still recovering from an adolescence of exploitation at the hands of the fashion industry, it was shout-it-to-the-heavens inspiring. Joining this world of warrior princesses reignited the hope-driven child in me. I crushed so hard on Xena that I wrote Lucy Lawless, the actress who played her, a fan letter — and I worked on the show.
“Xena was special. It was feminism at work, with female lead characters who were unapologetically powerful and sexy.”