The Best Live-Action TV Shows of the 90s
Xena: Warrior Princess is a rollicking, ridiculous B-Movie transformed into an engaging quest for redemption for the titular warlord turned hero, and there’s a good reason it’s become an enduring cult series. Packed with all the over-the-top action, slapstick comedy, and scenery chewing you’d expect from a midnight movie, Xena holds up surprisingly well, thanks in no small part to creator Rob Tapert of Evil Dead fame, whose Renaissance Pictures (founded alongside none other than Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell) backed the series along with its sibling show, Hercules. With the strength of that behind-the-scenes creative support and a star-making lead performance from the ever-fabulous Lucy Lawless, Xena was able to back up a rich mythology and sometimes rather dark narrative with impressive production value and consistency.
Xena also holds a special place in this writer’s heart as a pioneering piece of queer and feminist television, with lesbian subtext so thinly veiled it was basically just text. Casually groundbreaking and always entertaining, Xena is a funny, sexy, campy romp that regularly surprises with moments of resonant drama and moral teachings.