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Here`s What I Think About...The Future for Xena Fans

The start of Season 6 this month is a bitter sweet occasion - no, no one will get dragged around behind of horse or sing (hopefully), it is just that it is virtually certain that this is the last time we will anxiously await new XENA episodes, as Season 6 will in all likelihood be the final season. Next spring will see us donning black armbands and long faces as we wave bye-bye to Xena and Gabrielle, Argo and Eve and anyone else not killed off in the 25 year freeze or during the sixth season. I am dreading that moment when the credits will roll for the last time, and once again I will see that Mona Lisa face crack and think "what the hell DOES that daft voice say?"

But, I suppose all good things must come to an end, and six years is a pretty good run. Season 5 was a difficult year for all concerned, and once more year is probably the best thing....NO!! I want a seventh!!! (Cough, sob) Sorry, lost control of myself for a moment there. I was trying to be reasonable. It nearly worked. Rationally, it IS probably the best thing - aside from the fact that the network would probably not renew the show for a seventh season anyway. But what will the future hold for the fans and the stars of the show?

Well, dealing with Lucy and Renee first, I am sure all Xena fans would wish them all the best in their future acting careers. I have just watched Kevin Sorbo in Gene Roddenberry`s Andromeda - if he can get another big gig, surely Lucy and Renee will too. However, the fact is both of them will have a difficult job escaping the typecasting that comes with playing a tv character on a successful show for a long time. I think Lucy even more so than Renee, as she plays the higher profile character. Lucy has always expressed a wish to have more children, but with her husband being a producer, surely a few acting jobs must come her way. I think Lucy would make a terrific villain! Some big action movie - James Bond or something - I could really see Lucy in a small but high profile role as a bad girl. Renee`s directing experience should help her out in the future hopefully. I think Renee has great comic timing, and I would love to see her do comedy. I think both might well shy away from physical roles. The famous Gab Abs may well be semi-retired! Sadly, the majority of roles for actresses are girlfriend type parts, or hookers, nurses, victims of crimes or other submissive roles. Strong women are still the exception, although hopefully that might change.(One day.) I think if Lucy and Renee want to have a decent career, they will have to avoid action roles, and maybe even strong characters. I think Lucy would be great in Sigourney Weaver type roles, but apart from Sigourney, how many actresses get to play strong roles consistently?

But what about all of us? The XENA fans both online and off-line will have to make the big adjustment too. Will the XENA fandom wither and die? Well I don`t think it will. For many of us, getting involved in the XENA world has been a wonderful experience. I know I have met many people, made some great friends, been to events that have been an absolute blast, read some brilliant fanfiction and altogether had a wonderful few years interacting with other fans. Of course, there have been a few negative things too. I have been ripped off a few times by people who I thought were trustworthy, had to be tolerant when what people said or wrote, really annoyed or angered me, and suffered through some really badly written fanfiction! But on the whole I am sure that all of us would say being part of the XENAverse has been a positive and worthwhile, and above all FUN experience!

I think it is probably inevitable, that the next couple of years will see a wane in the activity and interest in the show. A lot depends on what Lucy and Renee do. If they both go into temporary retirement to have babies, I imagine it will not generate a terribly large amount of chat. If one or the other or both get other roles, or maybe even a XENA tv movie gets made, well, the XENAverse could stay buzzing for some years yet.

So ten years from now, when we are all looking at the piles of merchandise, and the stacks of videos of the show, will we think, "what the hell was I doing?" or will we think, "ah, there`ll never be another show like it.." I am pretty sure the obsession will subside a bit, but I am also very sure that we will watch those old tapes or those still crystal clear DVD box sets with the Rob/Lucy/Renee commentary, (well, I can dream!) and admire once again a show that had such wonderful strong characters. Because lets face it, Xena and Gabrielle are why we watch. (OK, you Joxer and Callisto fans calm down..) It`s a show that has characters we have grown to love and admire, and has themes that are timeless: love, good triumphs over evil, friendship, fighting for the underdog, leather and beautiful people!

Of course, I would really REALLY love to be wrong, and next autumn, to be ready for Season 7, but I think I may need to begin my therapy now. Withdrawal is going to be tough... Maybe I can start up a Xena withdrawal support group as my next web site....

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