TV: Lighten up with Lexx

From: Michael Wiik (
Date: Wed Sep 19 2001 - 10:27:19 MDT

In this time of troubles it's reassuring to know that one can turn off
the disturbing network news and catch lighthearted shows like Lexx on
the scifi channel. Lexx might be classified as a sci-fi comedy-drama,
though it is such a strange show that it defies conventional
categorizing. Lexx is a giant spaceship made from a mutated insect and
crewed by some plucky stowaways. Let's tune into the psyche of this
Canadian-German production via this quick synopsis:

Just in this season (we're in season 4, about halfway thru 'Lexx comes
to Earth') we've seen a) the destruction of Pluto (target practice), b)
the obliteration of Orlando (a mistaken shot from the Lexx, despite the
target practice), c) the nuclear obliteration of Cuba (blamed for
Orlando for political reasons), d) possibly the most utterly tasteless
re-creation of the JFK assassination ever -- by the ATF, the instrument
of evil in this show -- (this time, the president's obese wife was
killed, flailing around in the back seat screaming for her life as
bullet after bullet slammed into her), e) the nuclear obliteration of
Newfoundland (the U.S. president's girlfriend fellated someone there,
and he got pissed), and f) the destruction of several other nearby
planets just for fun. I suppose I could add g) there's a minor
background plot with
the Earth under invasion by some sort of small life-form that seems to
prefer attacking by ramming itself into a victim's anus, in this way
giving freedom to a teenage girl who drove away laughing in glee after
both her parents were killed. (The first thing the aliens killed was an
old lady's cat).

At this rate I wouldn't be surprised if they nova'd the sun by the end
of the season. BTW it's just a coincidence that the Lexx crew is on
Earth, the show is not about Earth; usually everyone is an alien.

Many, many of the guest stars on this show are killed, often quickly and
all at once (or in a fast sequence), frequently in the final few minutes
of an episode. Sometimes with blade weapons that pass at high speed thru
multiple bodies. Even sympathetic characters are often killed, singly
and in large groups. Often casually, for no real purpose. In the 3rd
season, one of the most beautiful female characters was strapped to an
iron chair, covered head to toe with thick oil, and set afire. Her
character was quite reserved and fatalistic, but she died screaming

Of course even these scenes of horror pale before the 1st season's
killing of all humanity among a league of 20,000 planets to feed a giant
insect called the Gigashadow, or the 2nd season's destruction of an
entire universe. Fortunately no one had to experience that as all matter
in that universe had already been converted to replicating
death-machines under the command of an evil uploaded intelligence. The
3rd season was comparatively mild as only two populated planets were
obliterated. Of course, these were the only planets seen during this
season. (The people's souls though were reborn on Earth, and several
have already met bloody deaths).

The characters are Xev, the love slave, who's frequent attempts to have
sex with anybody typically end in disaster (she ate her last potential
lover, leaving a bloody pile of grease and hair), Stan, the cowardly
security guard who's traitorous actions had already resulted in the
deaths of millions as 92 planets were obliterated based on data he
leaked, and Kai, the dead guy, who frequently kills people to protect
Xev and Stan
(and as a former assassin, has killed thousands). And a robot head
fixated on the dead guy. It's killed people too. Sometimes they cut away
from the main action to let the robot head say a love poem.

Lexx (the ship) is a character too, and far from innocent, as in the
very first show where a prisoner is shown executed via
robotically-controlled bone saws, his guts and body parts plopping into
a clear plastic bag, which is then released to merge with hundreds of
others of similar fate on a conveyor belt, the camera then pulling back
to reveal a huge array of parallel conveyor belts, feeding thousands of
bodies a minute into this voracious meat-eating spaceship. Bon appetit!
And of course Lexx has a planet-destroying ray weapon which has seen
frequent use.

Unlike most shows, Lexx frequently shows people falling from great
heights all the way till the splat at the end. Sometimes they bounce off
obstructions on the way down, with a wet sound and splotch of blood.
Early on this season, a bright young kid was more or less crucified on a
wall at a great height, till he escaped, machine-gunned several guards
(including some who helped him, at gunpoint, then killed just for
convenience), eventually carrying a sack of machine guns with him till
he tried to escape in a moth (Lexx auxillary craft) and fell out,
falling a couple hundred feet till the inevitable splat, while we

Note that the Canadian and/or German sensibilities appear to allow
exposed female breasts on television, which appear on occassion in Lexx
and are of course fuzzed out for the american audience. Can't expose
people to that, no sir.

The thing is, it's actually a pretty good show, often hilarious. And the
characters have kind hearts. Or at least Xev does. It's not their fault
death and destruction seem to follow them around wherever they go.



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