By Brian Kennedy
fter only a few seasons, the swords-and-sorcery fest "Xena: Warrior Princess" has established itself as one of the top-rated syndicated shows on television.
Produced in New Zealand by cult hero Sam Raimi and starring Lucy Lawless as Xena, Reneé O'Connor as Gabrielle, Hudson Leick as Callisto (as well as B-movie vet Bruce Campbell as Autolycus), the show's attracted some of the most devoted fans around.
And it's not hard to see why -- Xena's got something for everyone, from youthful fantasy fans to middle-age men with leather fetishes to women who enjoy simply watching a heroine who stands up for herself.
And there are literally hundreds of Web sites devoted to the leather-clad, sexually ambivalent Amazon swordswoman -- that's more than Teri Hatcher and Winona Ryder combined.
MCA's Official site (http://www.mca.com/tv/xena/) isn't bad (and features excellent photos of the cast in action), but pales compared to the online tributes created by devoted fans.
A few of the best include the award-winning Tom's Xena Page, with literally thousands of photos, a giant sound archive and even fan fiction (http://www.xenafan.com), and the surprisingly sophisticated The Bubba's Guide to Xena (http://rampages.onramp.net/~ccgddos/txm/), which features a detailed episode guide and a collection of trading cards.
For heated discussion about Xena (including the age-old question, "So is she sleeping with Gabrielle, or what?") try the newsgroup alt.tv.xena.
And if you want to laugh yourself silly, there's a brilliant Gilbert and Sullivan-style parody devoted to her (at http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~valkyrie/parody/xena.html) -- more proof, if any was needed, that the show's hit the big time.
Long may she swing her chakram.