Xena: Warrior Princess Logo

I discovered Xena fairly soon after I started watching Buffy, due to a desire to find more shows with strong female lead characters. For several years during my mid teens they were my two favourite television programmes, and they both still hold a very special place in my heart. I've already explained my love for Buffy, however, so now it's time for Xena. The show follows Xena (the title kind of gives it away :D), who is just beginning to turn her life around and try to do good after spending years as a warlord. She meets a young woman named Gabrielle after saving the inhabitants of Gabrielle's village from slavery and, despite several attempts by Xena to stop her, Gabrielle joins Xena on her journey and they travel the ancient world helping people wherever they can.

It's a simple premise, but it's extremely effective and allows for huge variation in the tone and setting of episodes. The show revolves around Xena and Gabrielle, but there are many other recurring characters as well, my favourite of whom is probably Ares, the Greek God of War (pictured below). Kevin Smith was the perfect choice to play him. He's arrogant, smooth, seductive, and often smart (although he has an unfortunate habit of underestimating people, especially Xena and Gabrielle). He and Xena have an excellent often-enemies-but-sometimes-allies relationship; the talent and presence of both Kevin Smith and Lucy Lawless combined with the chemistry they have creates a fascinating dynamic that's always entertaining to watch.

Xena: Warrior Princess - Ares

Perhaps the most engaging aspect of the show, however, is the relationship between Xena and Gabrielle (pictured below). Along with Willow and Tara from Buffy, these two are one of my other favourite couples on television. They have one of the most well developed relationships of all time thanks to the fact that the show has six whole seasons to let their connection grow at a natural pace. From when the show first aired all the way to the present day there has been an ongoing debate amongst fans of the show as to whether Xena and Gabrielle were just friends or something more. Personally, I firmly believe they were together romantically by the end of the show, but I also don't think it's important whether they were or weren't in a romantic relationship. To me what matters is that they loved each other immensely, not what label defines their relationship.

Xena: Warrior Princess - Xena & Gabrielle

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