I appreciated the complexity of it's heroine, the evolution of Gabrielle as an individual and their relationship with each other, I was enthralled with the supporting cast. With two exceptions (The Quill is Mightier....and Old Ares Had a Farm) I didn't like their comedies, finding them stupid and juvenile rather than funny. My preferred Xena was a serious drama or action show. And for the first 3 years I thought the show was handled impeccably (some lame special effects aside). I loved the one-offs, and the arcs surrounding Callisto, and The Rift between Xena and Gabrielle. There are only a handful of episodes in those seasons I thought weren't well acted, written and dramatically satisfied.
IMO Season 4 started poorly (with Adventures in the Sin Trade Pt.1 &2) and was their first uneven season, still worth seeing but there were cracks developing in the armor. I think it has been well discussed how utterly junky Season 5 was. Not only did they completely rewrite their mythology, they focused on a wan and boring Christian-lite perspective, bogged down the show with unsympathetic waste of space characters and unengaging plots culminating in the utter rubbish that was The Twilight of the Gods. Every episode was practically a painful experience as Xena and Gabrielle's relationship somehow became more distant and more cloyingly sappy at the same time (by this I mean more grand pronouncements of love yet diminished and stilted interaction between the two leads. Show me the affection between these characters, don't just tack on a mushy two minute coda after they have been apart all episode), the plots became crippled by massive contuinity problems and a general malaise I found appalling.
I do believe they rectified this situation somewhat in the last season, downsizing unpleasant aspects and once again crafting good drama (The Norse Series, Dangerous Prey, To Helicon and Back etc) I am glad they ended on a strong(er) note but it was too little, too late and my perception of the show will always be negatively colored by the undiluted garbage that was season 5.
What is everyone's favorite Xena season? Mine would probaly be Season 3, I think The Deliverer/Gabrielle's Hope, The Debts I&II, Maternal Instincts/The Bitter Suite and Sacrifices I&II were powerful two parters and this season also featured some of my favorite stand-alones (Forget Me Not, One Against An Army)
Edited by TheRomanAmputee, Jan 1, 2004 @ 1:55 AM.