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Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Reviewed

Xena and Gabrielle go up against the evil god Bacchus(Although the Greeks named him Dionysus and he wasn`t so evil) in this wild and campy vampire romp that went out around Halloween in America. Totally different in visual style than anything before, this is still one of the more outrageously whacky episodes. Joxer arrives with a headless Orpheus to ask for Xena`s help. Orpheus` singing tames the Bacchae - female followers of Bacchus, but Orpheus` lyre has been stolen, and the Bacchae are recruiting young local girls. Gabrielle goes to a groovy girls disco while Xena searches for the lyre. After an encounter with strange flying beasts in a graveyard, Gabrielle turns into a bacchae. Xena must save her and kill Bacchus.

This action packed episode is quite rare in that Xena rarely fights monsters - that is usually Hercules` job. The flying Driads SFX are very good, as is the headless Orpheus. (Although according to Greek myths, the driads were beautiful nymphs rather than rotting flying skeletons. I think they mixed driads with harpies!)

The vampire-like Bacchae are very seductive, and the bit where Gabrielle bites Xena to turn HER into a Bacchae is quite a suggestive one. Indeed this is quite a subtext heavy episode. Gabrielle goes dancing with some girls who may or may not be Bacchae, and that bite scene was certainly very memorable. There has been some discussion as to when Gabrielle was actually bitten- we don`t see any bite marks on her as opposed to Xena who DOES get nipped.

Joxer appears, but is used well. He is the comic relief as always, but at least his character has a proper purpose. However, the most notable thing about this episode is the style injected by director TJ Scott. The dazzling camera work, especially in the climactic battle with Bacchus is dizzyingly stylish. Special mention should also go to the music - although I am not sure if the Bacchae Rap was written by Joseph LoDuca as it has never featured on the soundtrack CDs - although is rumoured to be on the new one due out in June 2000.

Matthew Chamberlain who plays Orpheus is completely unrecognizable from his previous appearence is the wicked Darphus in The Gauntlet and Unchained Heart. I really liked the tone of this episode- very modern, with rap music and vampires, but then who bothers about chronological authenticity!

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