Welcome to a new Wildcard Wednesday! It’s been over ten years since I did my first ranking of the sixty best episodes of Xena: Warrior Princess (1995-2001, First-Run Syndication). In evidence of the fact that my opinions are always evolving as I myself evolve as a person (and as a consumer of entertainment), I have done subsequent re-rankings in 2017 and then again in 2020, for the series’ 25th anniversary. Now, prompted by a reader question, I have decided to continue this unintentional tradition of revisiting the show (every three or four years) by once again tweaking my official list. This was meant to “air” in one of my Q&A posts, but I’ve bumped it out into its own entry. Here’s the submission that sparked it…
Brittany Blue wants to know… Will you ever revisit “Xena” again on this website?
It’s been three years since I re-ranked my favorite episodes for the show’s 25th anniversary, and actually, in the last few weeks, I went back and revisited the show again (since getting a handful of episodes on VHS — taped from their original runs). This prompted me to craft an updated list of favorites — my fourth ranking since the blog began in 2013. Interested? Here’s my 2023 list, with color-coding to let you know the changes from 2020: some went up, some went down, some popped in, and some popped out. (The numbers in parentheses indicate where episodes were in my most recent ranking.) Note that I am specifically only picking seven Honorable Mentions, because I want to stop at the series’ halfway mark. That is, 67 episodes constitute half of Xena’s total output (134) and that’s what I aim to represent: the top half.
Most episodes stayed within a few spots of where they were before. “Intimate Stranger” moved the most up this time, while “Old Ares Had A Farm” and “A Friend In Need (I)” moved the most down. Also, “Ties That Bind” and “God Fearing Child” were re-added, replacing “Devi” and “The Quill Is Mightier…,” the latter of which is now among the seven Honorable Mentions that I think round out the series’ better half. “Devi” has fallen below the halfway mark — but I still like it, along with about a dozen others that were in contention for this list.
Anyway, these are my thoughts as of 2023 — you can bet they’ll change again in several years as I continue to grow and change, enjoying Xena, as always, along the way! Battle On!
Come back next week for a new Wildcard! And stay tuned Tuesday for more sitcom fun!