The Modern Need for Mythology

I would like to ask a question of the list: Why is Xena so popular? What is the need for mythology today?


To answer your first question, Xena is so popular because the very foundation of her character runs the gamut of emotional turmoil. Very few people are not effected by the internal struggle she faces; the strength she possesses or the empowerment she emits. Very few...because every human being has faced these challenges in their own lives. Most everyone can relate to this character in one way or another. In short, where there is truth - there is reality.

To answer your second question, I recommend your reading "Bulfinch's Mythology."

"The myths created by the ancient Greeks and Romans, and the tales of the heroes and heroines that emerged during the Age of Chivalry in Europe reflect man's enduring emotions; jealousy and hatred, compassion and devotion. And they deal with the challenges that still confront man - the search for truth, for a deeper understanding of the natural world, and of man's own nature." Gramercy Books.
- Doctor Brette, Dean of Curriculum

Why is Xena so Popular? Well, I have some ideas about that one, but it basically stems from Hercules, please bear with me...

It is the fault of Science Fiction! Now I'm a fan of most things Sci-Fi, Star Wars, Star Trek, Bab 5, the list goes one. But there have been a lot of good sci fi shows on our televisions recently, and a large following for these. Now the link I make is a little abstact but I think it has merit. Now when I was younger I used to play a few Role Playing Games (RPG) with my friends, Star Wars, Battle Tech and eventually I moved into the biggest of them all Dungens and Dragons (D&D). The first two being Sci Fi based and D&D a Fantasty based game. Now I know from my experiencs in RPG's that a lot of the people who play them enjoy the fantasty based ones much more than the Sci Fi ones but they also watch a lot of Sci Fi on TV, read Sci Fi and Fantasty books.. Do you see where I'm going...

You See Sci Fi and Fantasty are somewhat tied to each other.. I don't really know why but if you walk into most any book shop the SCI Fi section is most always next to the Fanansty or they are the same section (sci-fi/fanasty) But in recent years we have had no really fantasty shows on TV, only Sci Fi. So when Hercules came along there was a well made, appealing fantasty show on TV. But Hercules lacked. Depth, Darkness, Relations, and other things, It's not that I don't like Hercules, I love it. But it is Light entertainment. Then along came Xena, We have a character who is a bit Darker, has an evil past, depth to her character and the beginings of a relationship...

Now this is what we were lacking on TV and many people loved Xena from the start, as the show progressed it picked up a lot more fans due to it's well written characters and stories, subtle subtexts and good SFX. That is why I think Xena is so popular.

As for "What is the need for mythology today?" I think it also stems along the same lines, lately there has been no real effort to bring mythology to the masses, the popularity of Xena allowed an avenue for this to happen. Mythology is a very powerful version of story telling and I feel that it is also an important one.
- Batwing

I agree with you but I think there are more reasons.

For years there has not been a convincing female lead in an action series. Xena is convincing, even if she defies gravity and so forth. Xena also has depth that most shows don't because it applies to many different levels of thinking.

The setting is also important. The picturesque views of New Xenaland are breathtaking. I want to move there and just sit in the country side. The constructed sets are also very realistic and work well with the landscape. For the most part it is well directed (exception GJWHF because it was jumpy and gave me motion sickness) They use simple fades, cuts and wipes that make the scenes flow very well. I use directing and editing ideas based on X:WP in my projects [because they are good and I'm obsessive =)].

Most of the shots for my entry level course exam came watching the ep Callisto. They do an excellent job and the show is so wonderfully put together. Most people can relate to the one or more of the characters in one way or another. It maybe Xena's dark past and present redemtion journey, Gabrielle's creativeness and love of life, or even Callisto's pain and jabbing remarks or perhaps some other example.

Whatever reason the show is so popular, I'm happy it is. X;WP has brought me years of entertainment, making me laugh and cry. When the last season comes and goes, Television won't have the same appeal and will be empty with out its presence.

Sorry for the long winded answer =)
- Trish Evans

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