Hercules and Xena Banner Exchange
|Top||back to TWO DINARS|
Like Comedy of Eros, (which Warrior... Priestess... Tramp seems more heir to than to Warrior... Princess... Tramp) I love and hate this episode. I ask myself how it is possible that I loath a character with such intensity in a show where I adore a character with as much passion. Or maybe I mis-speak. Maybe it is the actors. Whatever. Lucy good. Raimi BAD. No I don't even think that's true. There is a character that has been created and Ted does the job well. It's just the the writing and the actor's choices combine to make a truly offensive character.
I do not want to tune into Xena to see a sexist recurring character. I want to watch a story about powerful women, NOT endure Joxer belittling the woman he sleeps with as someone who's, "been around the block a couple of times, if ya know what I mean." The thought of Joxer even considering the idea of paying money to fuck Gabrielle twisted my stomach into a fist. That borders on sexual violence to me. She has turned him down repeatedly. He is attached to a friend of hers who he treats like dirt. Men need have no sexual responsibility and several NO's mean try another tack? GAG! I won't 'swallow' that. To have this view portrayed in passing by a character of the week or even more than one occurrance would be at least tolerable, knuckle-whitening, but tolerable. But to have it a constant, in a recurring character we're supposed to view as a lovable bumbler, is just gross.
I liked the Best Little Whorehouse reference and the image of happy hookers even if it is way stereotypical and gawdawfully stale. I thought they managed to add a bit of spice with the juxtaposition of the Church Lady bit. BUT, into the middle of some delicious jibes at the Christian sexual prohibition and denial of reality, walks mister disgusto ego-maniac to be swarmed by women hanging and cooing all over him? I had been enjoying the show so much up to that point that it was a shock. That could not be happening! I tried to shake my vision clear. I plugged my ears and sang 'Everybody Loves Me Baby (What's the Matter with You?)', but it just wouldn't end! I was like a deer in head lights. I couldn't fight so I tried flight. But I couldn't turn the set off; I had been waiting so long for a new episode! Can't someone just make this pig go away? I guess the message is that TPTP standing up can do whatever they want, nah, nah, nah, nah, 'cause we're so hungry we'll just have to eat it.
Why can't women discuss sex without the need to appease the enemy? No I am not saying that men are the enemy. I'm saying that Neanderthal knuckle-draggers are the enemy. Yes I know that Joxer is delusional and will never succeed, but that's not funny. We meet just such delusional jerks who can't understand the word 'no' every fucking day in the fucking real world. So there I was watching a comedy with female characters discussing the variety of sexual choices til... Oops! No I'm not. I was expected to wink and nudge at an ape. Puke.
In a more pleasant frame, Lucy was just marvelous. I LOVED her portrayal of Leah. Kinda... Dietrich meets Emma Thompson. What a blast. I thought Renee was great, as well, though shunted into a cruise director role to make space for junior.
I also enjoyed the wicked, brave satire of Christian fundamentalism. Talk about subversive! Onward Virgin Soldiers! Just Say No To Sex! But if you can't, "You have to be supported by your diaphragm." HA HA HA HA! Sing it Sister Leah. Praise Hestia!
Lucy was just dead on funny. Her vapored martyr as Leah is dragged to the stake. Her, "Do I captuwre hwer esssence," tragi-sexy Meg pose. Her joy at ministering to the heathens, "We'll make virgins of them yet!" And her disillusioned reality check, "Who could expect Meg to play a convincing virgin? Once it's over, it's over!" "Yes. Well. We all have our little excuses, don't we?"
I loved the commentary on the practice of putting anti-woman dogma in the mouths of women with non-representative views and claiming the unassailability of the idea because a woman said it. Just substitute Pat Robertson and most any woman that actually gets press-time today with Baily and Leah/Meg. The opening scene switcheroo was very sharp, as was the scene in which Leah/Meg participates in Jonestown.
I liked the episode alot, even given it's huge puss filled boil on the butt. Lucy cranked and the worst of the Joxer crap could be fast-forwarded through--as long as I don't have to look...
c. 1998 DebR
more by DebR
|Top||back to TWO DINARS|
Someone better check the contents of TVG's office water coolers for "foreign substances";-)!
Geez, couldn't TPTB have just scrapped this script, given everybody the week off and aired 'Dreamworker' or 'The Reckoning' again instead of inflicting this disaster upon us fans?
In case you haven't guessed it by now, I _really_ disliked 'WPT'. But it's not the same sick to my stomach, "this isn't right" feeling that such eps as 'The Deliverer', 'Gabrielle's Hope', and 'The Debt II' generated.
No, this is a case of "If you can't do any better than this, why bother?" dislike.
Before I go any further, I want to say I actually enjoyed the first Xena lookalike ep 'Warrior...Princess'. It was a bit of a kick to see Lucy playing two different characters, and Renee had some really good moments interacting with Lucy when she was playing Diana.
"Warrior...Princess...Tramp" I liked less, mainly because of Joxer's presence, but again I thought Lucy was great as Meg, and she effectivelly pulled off playing three distinctly different characters without things getting muddled.
And I also want to add that I enjoy ribald, bawdy humor as much as anyone-as long as it's done with at least a degree of intelligence and wit.
But with 'WPT', TPTB have not only gone back to the well once too often, they've poisoned it, to boot.
Where to begin listing the faults in this ep? Well, let's start with the depiction of the Xena and Gabrielle relationship.
Where exactly does this episode fall into the Xena "timeline"? Is it pre-rift, mid-rift, post-rift? It's almost impossible to tell-but the one thing that struck me was how muted the Lawless/O'Connor dynamic was in this ep.
Xena and Gabrielle acted as if they were barely decent acquaintances, at best, much less "best friends" or something more.
Gabrielle was surly and snappish towards Xena while the Warrior Princess seemed hard pressed/reluctant to even acknowledge the bard's presence.
I was sadly reminded of the feeling of distance between them I first noted in 'The Dirty Half Dozen', which I believe has been speculated upon as being considered a "post-rift" ep.
So if 'WPT' is indeed meant to represent the "new, post-rift" X&G relationship, I think I'd better start taking collections for a nice headstone for the X&G subtext as we knew and loved it:(
Another flaw in this ep: Joxer. Apparently TPTB didn't learn much from Hilary Bader's on target, knowing interpretation of Joxer in 'Been There, Done That', one of the very few depictions of the character that didn't irritate the hell out of me.
Because in 'WPT', we're "treated" to the return of Joxer the deluded sexist, with a nice dash of promiscuity thrown in.
First he enter's Meg's place and goes into that insipid theme song of his-backed up with a chorus yet! What, was this an out-take/clipped scene from 'Bitter Suite' ;-)? And it's just IMHO, but I'd rather listen to an hour of nails on a chalkboard than that song;-)!
Will it become "de rigueur" for the song to be sung every time Joxer appears? If so, thank God for the mute button on my remote:)!
Song finished though still ringing in my ears, we next see that ol' Joxer's ready for a little R&R and B&D and S&M, too:)! At least until he sees Gabrielle, then he shifts from hot & horny to upstanding outrage/horror to find that she's "working" in a house of "ill repute".
And it really gives you an insight into how TPTB perceive Joxer-and by extension Gabrielle-in that the first thing they have him think upon laying eyes on her is that she was obviously "working" there and he had to "save" her.
Talk about sexism, hypocrisy, delusion, and double standards! How dare Gabrielle "ply her trade" in a place that caters to the likes of creeps--like him;-)?
And just what makes Meg and her "working girls" any less worth "saving" and/or deserving of "compassion" than Gabrielle?
But even worse, the oaf actually considers the "upside" of Gabrielle as prostitute-he's just a "business transaction" away from bedding the bard-YUCK:(!!!
The fact that he "catches" and chides himself for that disgusting thought is too little, too late, IMHO. Besides, there aren't enough dinars in the world to compensate Gabrielle for the indignity of bedding down with Joxer!
And put this down under 'Unsolved Mysteries': Exactly _WHY_ were "Meg's girls" so happy to see Joxer in the first place? Unless he's an "easy dinar" type of "client" known for providing a "quick turnover"-perhaps the term "minuteman" originated with him;-)?
Yet after going through all that irritation, and as Joxer once again settled down into his-IMHO-basic purpose on this show, ie "human punching bag", I found his presence became less and less annoying as it got lost in the confusing, muddled plot.
On a more serious note, I was ticked off to see-yet again-a presentation of prostitution that seems to exist solely in the minds of Hollywood scriptwriters-everyone's clean and healthy and happy and sober and smiling-in fact, the prospect of a band of soldiers coming in produces squeals of anticipation and delight amongst "Meg's girls".
Yeah, I just know "Meg's girls" were _really_ looking forward to a long night of drunken abuse, disease, and the chance of an unwanted pregnancy down the road. <sarcasm>
Regarding Gabrielle's "know myself/masturbation" line-in and of itself, I have no problem with it. However, taken in the context of the traumas the bard has suffered from 'The Deliverer' onwards, and taking into account-IMHO-TPTB have yet to show Gabrielle trying to face and recover from those traumas in an adult, responsible manner, I feel that line was jarringly out of place and in poor taste.
It's hard and painful to watch stuff like this from a show that once had a decent rep through design or circumstance as being pro-feminist and showing depictions of strong, independant women.
Then again, it fits in pretty well with the manner and style TPTB have raised/addressed other "adult" issues such as rape, forced/unwanted pregnancy, loss of blood innocence, ect. during this third season.
The introduction of the third Xena lookalike, Priestess Leah, was-IMO-pretty much of a failure. There just didn't seem to be enough of her presented to make a fully rounded character.
Having Lucy lower her voice an octave or so and adopt Elmer Fudd's speech patterns didn't make up for a weakly thought out and poorly written character.
And Meg, who I really like, didn't fare well in this ep, either. We never found out how and why she came to be running a brothel. Her-inexplicable IMO-love for Joxer was shunted aside to keep the new and nausea inducing "Joxer luvs Gabrielle" sub plot going. We never got to see any more of Meg's character than we did before-she was basically in the same situation and going through the same motions she did in 'WPT2', even up to the replay of the scene where she's grabbed by the neck and threatened.
Even Lucy's portrayal of Xena seemed stiff-by the time the "climax" came around, I was having trouble keeping score of who was who. By the time the obligatory, standard issue fight scene began, I was beyond caring.
Armus & Foster didn't exactly "bust a gut" writing this ep!
Renee came out best in this ep, I think, but even her considerable charms couldn't enliven the dull, witless script nor overcome the uninspired direction.
And was it _REALLY_ necessary to keep playing the same piece of music from 'A Day In The Life' over and over and over again?!
I have to rate 'WPT' as an almost total failure-and any hope I had that this was the end of the lookalike eps ended with news from Burbank that at least one more is planned for next season.
Think we can get a pledge from TPTB that Armus & Foster won't have anything to do with it and that Joxer won't be in it;-)?
Nah, I didn't think so:)!
c. 1998 EmperorPenguin
more by EmperorPenguin
|Top||back to TWO DINARS|
The scene with Jerkoff, er, Joxer and the dancing harlot chorus has to be one of the most asinine things I have seen. Leah's Elmer Fudd voice was distracting. At one point when she was addressing the villain, I was surprised not to hear her call him "you wascally wabbit." Maybe next they can do some kind of Loony Tunes homage. Lucy could be Elmer Fudd, Renee could be Porky Pig, and Ted could be Wile E. Coyote.
Oh god, I hope no one associated with the show reads that. It would probably be the one idea TIIC would think sounded good.
I noticed in the preview to Maternal Instincts that whoever it was who speculated that Solon was the one Rosemary...I mean Gabrielle's baby kills was right on. In the preview it sure looked like Solon that Xena was cradling while screaming in anguish. I guess the comedy is over and now we get back to the nastiness of the rift.
c. 1998 jkirk
more by jkirk
|Top||back to TWO DINARS|
Sure it's another lookalike game, but are you really that tired of seeing lucy? I dunno, I thought she handled herself really well.
And I just LOVED the harlot (tabernacle?) choir! And joxer. .Gods. ..You know this was such a character developing ep for him. I mean, he's totally missing out on his calling in life. They practically show us this. He's off being a warrior when he should be running an inn with Meg! This is so apparent.
But he's still in the judgemental stage of his life. He sees Gabrielle and the first thing he thinks is that she's working there and he jugdes her immediately. He calls her the one he loves, yet she treats him like dirt, while he's being adored by these women. .who I guess. .are supposed to have no taste, but what if he just acts totally different around them? It's obvious Meg loves the guy (as much as she can) I dunno. . It was a good ep that way, in my view.
And Gabrielle. .Oh my gosh. Her facial expressions in the ep was hysterical! Her timing was great. The deadpans, the eye rolling, everything. When she introduces Leah to Xena. .Hah!! When she's talking about knowing herself and trying to help Meg out! I guffawing.
And the subtext moments were there. . .just very subtle, like their relationship. They sit like a couple, act like one. One character is reminded that she has no self control when their alone together. .I dunno. .seemed pretty subtexty to me. .
And the priestess. ."Gods protect me from these Wanton women. . ." Heheehehe (not a real quote, but a summation of character). Lucy plays her perfectly. I Laughed and laughed, from the Martyrdom scene to the firelight discussion, to the "Get Your filthy hands off me." (and Joxer's reaction when he found out! LOLOLOL)
And the whip cracking scene and Leah's expression..I was grinning for hours after (between racking coughs from having laughed too hard). I thought Lucy's portrayal of all of these "characters" was fabulous. Somehow, yet again, she managed to keep them all seperate, even the parts where she's acting within acting a part. This seems to be a strong suite (can't remember the spelling) of hers.
The plot. .well okay. . .it was typical, but I thought this one played out really well and our heroines did VEry Very well. IMHO. (I was married at the time. Were You? -- Definitely couple speak)
Okay I'll leave off now. .But I had to put in my two dinars.
c. 1998 Katrina
Katrina's Xena Fanfiction at: http://bearblue.simplenet.com/xenafic.html
more by Katrina
|Top||back to TWO DINARS|