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Married With Fishsticks Reviewed

A truly dire attempt at comedy that marks the lowest of low points for the show.

I was struck virtually speechless by this episode. I never dreamt that Xena:Warrior Princess could be this bad. This episode makes merely dull-ish ones like Giant Killer, Ulysses or The Titans look like absolute classics. Nothing comes remotely near for the total mess that it is.

Xena and Gabrielle are trying to feed Eve. Joxer turns up acting inexplicably imbecilic(for a change). He and Gab head off to town to buy suppies. Meanwhile Aphrodite and Discord are having a bitch-slap fight. No idea why, surely they should be worrying about the Twilight or something?
Anyway, a stray bolt of god-like power results in Gabrielle hitting her head and falling into the sea. As her head clears, her memory is gone and she is in a strange undersea world and is a mermaid married to a Joxer lookalike! If that isn't bad enough, they have three half fish, half human children. Well, the youngest is basically an octopus. The kids are brats, and the Joxer lookalike is a sleazeball whose wife has actually left him and he TELLS Gab she is his wife, drugging her to keep her memory loss going.

This episode pinches its basic story premise from the Goldie Hawn movie 'Overboard'. Only its not one quarter as good and has NONE of the charm. Also in this land are Aphrodite and Discord lookalikes as New York accented slappers who are after the Joxer lookalike guy. Why? No idea!

Of course eventually, Gabrielle gets to like the family and agrees to re-marry Joxer. Fortunately, at the ceremony she begins to remember who she is(something to do with being drugged by the sleaze I think...I really can't bear to re-watch) and blows him off - although not harshly enough. Gabrielle comes to - as herself and seeing Joxer gives him a big kiss...YUK! Fortunately, she also punches him in the mouth straight afterwards. That's better..

It is hard to know where to start on how awful this episode was. The first problem is with the story. Ted Raimi`s character is a total creep. We are expected to think he is not such a bad guy but he drugs Gabrielle and lies to her and is prepared to con her into marriage so he can get elected town mayor or something. The whole story is just repellent and not at all funny. The script is badly written, there is no consistancy or flow, the director was regular second unit director Paul Grinder - sorry but please, no one let him near the main unit again.

Then there are the other characters. The children are stupid and completely unfunny. And that ridiculous octopus kiddie making baby noises? Please Renee...KICK IT!!!
Alex Tydings and Meighan Desmond just shriek and wear bad wigs for 40 minutes, while Ted Raimi is so horrible and slimy. Yeah, I KNOW he is supposed to be! Ted has defended this ep as being fun to make. Ted, you just don't have a clue!

Another BIG problem is that Lucy is in it for about 2 minutes. While Lucy's lack of availability was inevitable, it lessens the show when we doensn't see much of her. However, with a decent Gabrielle story, we would be OK. If I were Renee O'Connor I would kick up a stink! She is the star in effect yet she gets stuck carrying this pile of trash!

This production designers did a good job I guess (trying to be positive). The sets are impressive and didn't look familiar. What a waste of the creative team's talent! Alex Tydings and Meighan Desmond do their best, but neither can keep their accents going very well (especially Alex) and their characters are poorly developed. Why would they want Ted`s character?

On another halfway positive note, the flashback sequence when Ted tells Gab how they first met to the tune of Saturday Night Fever nearly works. We get Renee O'Connor in Lolita sunglasses sucking a lollypop! So soon after Lyre Lyre though, we really didn't want more pop songs.

A truly positive thing about this episode though is that is was rumoured to be the final straw for Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. They were moved over to 'Jack of All Trades' after this and a big cheer goes up from Xena fans. There have been big changes in the writing and production staff this season. Long term stalwarts Liz Friedman, Steve Sears and RJ Stewart had all left or were concentrating on other things. With Lucy pregnant and Rob Tapert developing two new shows (Cleopatra 2525 and Jack of All Trades) not to mention becoming a parent for the first time it seemed like the show lost its way at times.

This episode was the ultimate low. I really was stunned at its crap-ness. From comments made by Lucy in a recent interview and other sources, it appears that the producers realised things weren't right, so hopefully we won't have to suffer anything like this again. EVER!



By far the very worst XENA episode ever. Truly painful to watch and how this episode ever got made is a complete mystery. Did no one see what a bad idea from start to finish it was?

(Only as high as 3 because I don't have an image for 0 or 1 chakram.)

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