From Redditor u/Hausgebrauch:
XENA was way more groundbreaking than it gets credit for.
Yeah, it was a show about sexy women fighting badly computer-animated monsters with unintentionally funny wife fu, BUT the show was also deep, dark and experimental. For such a light hearted show, they spent a lot of time exploring the protagonist's dark side, often with soul crushing results.
At the same time, they really weren't scared of experimenting with storytelling conventions. They had episodes that were meta, before meta was even a thing! They solved one of their darkest storylines with a musical episode a year before BUFFY did theirs! And they even skipped years ahead in one season, which is another thing that TV shows still do today, but was never seen before when this show did it.
It's too bad that the show often gets looked down upon, thanks to its low production values, because that one was underneath its cheese a real trailblazer at times