November 20, 2014 by Drinks at The Dal
We have previously discussed the similarities and influences of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Lost Girl, but Xena: Warrior Princess also played an important part in laying the foundation for female-led fantasy shows. We discuss the similarities between Lost Girl and Xena, including their redemption story arcs, strong female friendships, and importance to the LGBT community.
Flawed Heroine on a Path of Redemption
- Bo and Xena are both heroines that believe they are “a monster.” Similar themes of the heroine believing they will never redeem themselves for their past mistakes or the people they’ve killed.
- Xena’s guilt over the all the people she’s killed as a warlord, the enemies she’s created because of her past (Callisto, Alti, Caesar)
- Bo’s guilt over Kyle and her ten year killing spree
- In “Raging Fae,” Bo says, “For a long time, I’d forgotten what I am to humans: a monster.”
- In “There’s Bo Place Like Home,” Bo says, “I’m not changing into a monster. I’ve always been one. I’ve done so many terrible things and that is why the Dawning is happening to me so soon.”
Best Friend/Girlfriend as that Redemption
- In “Callisto,” Gabrielle says, “If something happens to me, you will not become a monster. There’s only one way to end the cycle of hatred, and it’s through love and forgiveness.”
- In “Chakram,” Xena and Gabrielle have this exchange:
Xena: “I can’t help wondering if we’re doing the right thing. Restoring this darkness, my violence. Can that really be good?”
Gabrielle: “I think it’s vital. I know that sounds strange coming from me. I think you have to know the darkest part of yourself to be whole.”
Xena: “But this way I harm no one.”
Gabrielle: “But Xena, what about the people who harm others? Xena, you have this balance of lightness and darkness. Without both of those, the very best in you is defenseless.”
- In “Raging Fae,” Lauren says, “You’re a different person than you were then and the person that you are now, I absolutely love.”
- In “Faes Wide Shut,” Lauren talks Bo down from her dark place.
- Stephanie points out that Kenzi also brings Bo back from her dark place, especially at the beginning of the series.
Heroine & Her Sidekick
- Even though Lost Girl is much more of an ensemble piece, at its core is Bo and Kenzi’s relationship just as Xena and Gabrielle’s relationship is the backbone of Xena.
- Much like Kenzi is Bo’s heart, Gabrielle seems to be Xena’s conscious, keeping her on her path to fight for the greater good.
Balance of Drama and Comedy
- Episodes range from dramatic with high stakes to slapstick comedy. Both shows can have completely different tones from episode to episode.
- Xena is very aware of being a campy, tongue-in-cheek show, even in its fight scenes. Xena’s comedic episodes include “A Day in the Life” and “Old Ares Had A Farm.”
- Lost Girl‘s high comedy episodes include “Original Skin,” “Confaegion,” and “Groundhog Fae.”
- Kenzi provides most of the witty one-liners in Lost Girl, while Joxer provides the physical, bumbling comedic relief in Xena.
- Dramatic episodes like Xena’s “Ides of March” and Lost Girl’s “Dark Horse” with major character deaths.
- Both shows draw heavily from mythology.
- Xena’s tagline: “In a time of ancient gods, warlords and kings, a land in turmoil cried out for a hero.” Gods such as Ares, Aphrodite, and Hades make appearances casting spells, enchanting scrolls, and throwing up obstacles for the heroine.
- Lost Girl has the world of the Fae, the Light and Dark sides and Underfae. Fae that appear regularly that are seen in mythology include a succubus, shape shifter, siren, and ogre.
- Mystical weapons: Xena’s chakram, the Siracon Trick gives to Bo
- Body switching episodes: Xena has “Intimate Stranger,” “Ten Little Warlords” and “The Quest,” while Lost Girl has “Original Skin”
Death Has Loopholes
- Xena and Gabrielle died multiple times and came back to life.
- The sacrifices of Gabrielle for Xena and Kenzi for Bo
- Search/quest by the heroine in the following season, will do anything to get them back
- Xena and Ares
- Is Ares Xena’s father? Xena makes a pretty convincing argument in “The Furies.”
- Where does Xena get her superhuman abilities from?
- Bo and the Pyrippus
- Bo’s mysterious origins have been a theme throughout Lost Girl
- Bo has hybrid blood
- Bo as “the one” and “the queen”
- Bo and Kenzi as besties, Xena and Gabrielle as best friends (and more??)
- In “Ties That Bind,” Xena says, “We both have families we were born into. But sometimes families change, and we have to build our own. For me, our friendship binds us closer than blood ever could.”
- In “Legacy,” Xena says, “Gabrielle, in everyone’s life there’s something that goes beyond the greater good. That’s what you are in my life. I wasn’t about to let you die out there if there was something I could do about it.”
- In “There’s Bo Place Like Home,” Bo says, “I have a family, mama. And they love and protect me without question. That girl that I came here with, she’s like my sister. When I’m with her, I know that everything’s gonna be okay.”
- In “Destiny’s Child” Dyson and Lauren tell Bo that, “We’re your family.” “Your weird, complicated, completely dysfunctional family.” “But we are your family, nonetheless.”
- In “Dark Horse,” Bo says, “See, it’s not just sucking chi that makes me special. It’s that I learned how to stop. For ten years, I went on a killing spree. Then I found my friends.”
Significance to the LGBT Community
- Xena’s subtext was a precursor to Bo and Lauren’s relationship.
- Xena almost showed kisses between Xena and Gabrielle. The show got around it with body switching episodes (“The Quest”) or using the excuse of transferring water (“A Friend in Need”).
- Xena is what syndicated TV could get away with in the 1990s. By comparison in Lost Girl, there’s Bo and Lauren’s TV-MA sex scenes.
- Xena and Lost Girl resonate with a wide variety of demographics.
- Xena and Lost Girl have a strong LGBT fanbase because of the shows’ characters and pairings that an LGBT audience can relate to.
- Xena continues to have a strong online presence and fandom after almost 20 years. Xena’s outreach in fandom also correlated with the rise of the internet.
- Lost Girl has a dedicated fandom to give the show legs even after it goes off the air. Fans continue to discover it due to streaming.
- Both shows have are the type of genre shows that give rise to fan creativity — such as fanfic, fan art, fan sites, podcasts, etc. — and draw audiences to conventions and fan events.
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