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You Are There Reviewed

Fantastically funny and original comedy that fans of the show will just love - at least they should! Michael Hurst plays Nigel, a modern day TV reporter on the trail of a hot news story - that Xena has returned to the land of the Norse gods to steal the golden apples of immortality. He tries to get the scoop on what Xena is doing, and what her motives are. Is she in love with Ares and keen to return him to power and rule as his queen? And what about the real story of Xena and Gabrielle`s relationship? We follow Nigel to Valhalla, heaven and hell, and listen in on his chats to Eve, archangel Michael, Charon, Lucifer, Odin and more...

Reminiscent of those modern day Hercules episodes featuring the Ren Pics staff in some ways, this anachronistic comedy is an absolute hoot! What could have been a flop succeeds for several reasons. Firstly, Michael Hurst is a wonderful actor, and does a great job in actually starring. It`s not until you rewatch this episode a few times that you realise how LITTLE Xena and Gabrielle are actually onscreen. You don`t realise because the episode moves briskly along, from spoof studio interviews to hilarious photo-journalist sequences.

The real highlight of the on the spot interviews is the one with Eve - whose foul mouthed attack on Nigel is unexpected and therefore very funny. There is an explanation for her odd behaviour, but as drippy Eve has been such a drag this year, the reappearance of vicious Livia f-ing and blinding is just so funny. I bet Adrienne Wilkinson enjoyed it. The bleeps to cover Eve`s tirade are all the more amusing because it is totally obvious what she is saying - hence, some stations in the US edited the scene! NOT suitable for kids! By far the best Eve episode of season 6.

One of the main points of interest for some fans is that the question of Xena and Gabrielle`s relationship is directly addressed too. Nigel frankly asks them if they are lovers. However, it typical RenPics "we`re not telling" fashion, Nigel`s camera battery runs out just as Xena says.."Well, technically......" Make of that what you will, but once again, the writers and producers have managed the delicate job of approaching the issue, avoiding an answer and letting people think what they want to think about the relationship. I am constantly amazed at how well they manage this.

I was also intrigued to see that Xena and Ares relationship is addressed. However, there is much less ambiguity there. Nigel thinks he knows about Ares and Xena's love affair, but Ares soon puts him right. Ares and Aphrodite DO get their godhoods back, but Ares knows Xena will never be his...however, it`s lovely to see him back in the leather and all smooth and smarmy again!

Another main reason I think this episode worked well was that at its core, there was a good plot idea, but we - like Nigel - had to figure it out. Xena doesn`t intend to make herself a god, and most viewers will figure out what her scheme is. Love has gone from the world - with the loss of Aphrodite`s godhood, and Xena knows how important it is. All her actions are for the great good once again.

Lastly, the episode works so well because there are just so many funny moments! Lots and lots of excellent scenes, good ideas, small giggles or belly laughs. OK, so comedy can be a very subjective thing. People probably disagree more about which comedy is the funniest than anything else because we all laugh at different things, but for me, this episode is one of the best comedies for ages! Kudos to writer Chris Black and director John Laing.

Lots of these!



One for the fans, lots of in-jokes, but a very funny episode.

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