"Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
" is the fourth episode
of the second season
of the TV series Xena: Warrior Princess
. This is also the title of a multipath adventure
game by Slingshot Entertainment which is based upon this episode. In this episode, Xena
join forces with Joxer
to defeat Bacchus
, who is transforming innocent girls into bloodsucking bacchae
. The episode features a disco music theme and a lesbian subtext.
"Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" opens with Xena
running into Joxer. Joxer
has a package for Xena. It contains the talking head of Orpheus
. Orpheus's head informs Xena that Bacchus
has decapitated him, and that he must be stopped. They arrive at a nearby town, and Gabrielle goes to a party and dances with a group of Bacchus's bacchae: female vampires created by Bacchus. Meanwhile, Xena defeats two bacchae. Elsewhere, Bacchus plots to turn Xena into an "eternal bacchae."
The next day the protagonists go to the cemetery next to Bacchus's catacombs to collect dryad bones. These bones are the only thing capable of piercing a bacchae's heart and killing them. Xena kills one of the skeletal, winged dryads and procures a sharp bone. Gabrielle then turns into a bacchae; she had been bitten the previous day at the party. Gabrielle escapes into the catacombs and the group gives chase.
They find Gabrielle, Bacchus, and a large group of bacchae in the middle of a ceremony. Gabrielle is about to drink Bacchus' blood from a cup and become a permanent bacchae, but Xena knocks the cup to the ground with her chakram. A fight ensues and Xena attempts to kill Bacchus, but he informs her that only a bacchae can kill him. Xena lets Gabrielle bite her, becoming a bacchae, and then kills Bacchus.
"Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" has a lesbian subtext
. According to The Audience Studies Reader
by Will Brooker and Deborah Jermyn, while in some episodes a lesbian subtext is implied, in "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" the lesbianism is so strongly suggested that it could be considered "maintext. Andrew Leonard of Salon
described the episode as the "disco lesbian vampire" episode and stated that it provided "tacit consent to a lesbian reading of the Xena-Gabrielle relationship. A DVD Town reviewer felt that the general lesbian eroticism in "Xena:Warrior Princess" was "amped up" in this episode, noting Gabrielle's "sexy clothes" and her looking at Xena with "hungry eyes. Heather Findlay of Girlfriends
magazine itemized several scenes with a lesbian subtext. Gabrielle wandering into an all-female bar ("wink-wink"), becoming a vampire ("apparently Friedman studied that topos
in her [sic] woments studies classes"), and "kissing" Xena ("oh, wait, that was a bite"). The book Queer
by Simon Gage, et al
. stated that although the series is now canceled, the "lesbian vampire
disco" episode lives on in "lesbian video player everywhere.
Rob Lineberger of DVDVerdict.com felt that "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" was "innovative" and "strange." He felt several aspects were notable including Orpheus's head being "paraded" around on a scare crow
body, the use of a techno
soundtrack, and Gabrielle being seduced by the Bacchae. Ilya of DVDFuture.com gave the episode a grade of B. "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" received a 5.5 rating
when it first aired on October 21 1996
, and a 5.2 on its second airing on June 9 1997
. A Play.com review deemed the episode a "classic" Xena
Two technical aspects of the episode were singled out for praise. First, a Hollywood Reporter article cited the winged skeletons in "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" as one of the television show's special effects highlights. Second, the supervising sound editor Jason Schmid won the one-hour series sound editing award at the Motion Picture Sound Editors' Golden Reel Awards for "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. At the Burbank XenaCon II, Robert Field, film editor for Xena: Warrior Princess, mentioned that there were several bloopers brought to his attention by fans. Most were continuity errors and Field showed some clips of some of them. They included a propane tank from Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, and Brad Carpenter, the outgoing Director of Merchandising at RenPic, mentioned that they were Still Trying to get the dancemix CD made. This CD would hopefully contain the Rave music played in the episode .