I had lost track of the various series on the SyFy channel after several proved disappointing. So, while I had heard of these series, I had never bothered to check them out, especially with the lack of buzz they received from my peers. Recently, though, circumstances has led me to mainline Lost Girl, a series about to begin airing its fourth season on SyFy.
The show about a succubus who is also a bisexual was created back in 2008 for Canadian television and has built up a particularly ferocious fan following. I have managed the first two seasons over a month or so thanks to Netflix and my wife’s travel schedule. It’s certainly entertaining and pretty damn sexy for a basic cable series.
The show’s mythology posits that there are a race of supernatural Fae split along Light and Dark sides. They have the rules and rituals and observances, all brokered in an uneasy peace for the last millennium thanks to the desperate act of the Blood King during a war. The Fae blend into human society although there is a distinct racism displayed by most Fae towards the mortals, who are seen as playthings or food.
The series picks up with Bo (Anna Silk), a woman unaware of her heritage who is constantly on the run because her lovers all wind up dead. When she learns she is a succubus and can master her feeding on souls, she is also plunged into the power politics of both sides. Defiantly, she declares herself neutral and settles into a private eye gig, aided by her human best friend Kenzi (Ksenia Solo). She has loved and lost, fought and battled, learned more of her past and continues to seek the identity of her father.
Overall, it’s not a bad backstory and certainly rich with potential. Yet, after watching 36 episodes so far, I come away with how much potential has been missed. The writing is fairly lightweight despite the dark themes, so the opportunities to really get into the characters’ heads is rarely used. This was clearly evident in the second season’s “Original Skin” where the characters switched bodies and beyond groping themselves, they didn’t take full advantage of how this could illuminate their personalities.
The show is clearly shot on a tight budget so crowds are reduced to three or four extras and sets go for a minimalist approach, the worst offense being the prison in “Caged Fae”.
The show, though, seems to focus entirely on the sexual desires of the characters. As series creator Michelle Lovretta put it, “It’s also rare to have a female lead who is so honestly sexual, without judgment…I think the single element I will remain proudest of is just that we’ve been able to create and put out into the world a sex positive universe where a person’s sexual orientation is unapologetically present and yet neither defines them as a character, nor the show as a whole…I felt it was crucial to also demonstrate that sex and romance aren’t the only ways that Bo measures a relationship’s worth, to give the show balance…” These days, Bo is involved with Lauren (Zoie Palmer), a human doctor who has become the leading expert on Fae medicine. Their ups and downs since the pilot has made them one of the most popular lesbian couples on television.
The acting can also be a problem as Silk is gorgeous but lacks the real range Bo needs to be convincing. She’s well supported by a varied supporting cast, most of who are not terribly challenged by the material. Of particular note are Solo’s Kenzi and Kris Holden-Reid’s lupine Dyson.
I’ll keep watching as things are getting darker and more complex under new showrunner Emily Andras, who took over at the beginning of season three. It’s eminently watchable, despite its shortcomings, and I look forward to further maturation.