Series first run: 2010-2015
Created: Michelle Lovretta
I'll start this review with the following: supernatural creatures, magical powers, dark forces, friends, foes, sexy escapades, murder and mayhem, S&M, mysteries, more sexy people, outlandish plots, people having sex with literally anything that moves, low(ish) budget, hilariously bad special effects, more sex, twisted beyond belief mythology, made in Canada.
OK, if any of the above doesn't really appeal to you, then you're not going to like Lost Girl. Are you still with me? Good.
OMG HOW COOL IS LOST GIRL?? Ahem. Sorry. Fangirl moment. I'm good.
Lost Girl follows the adventures of Bo Dennis (Anna Silk) who is a Succubus. For those not up on your mythology, different cultures have a legend about a demon woman who derives her power from seduction. (Succubi are female, Incubus is the male equivalent). Probably the closest pop culture equivalent I can think of is literary vampire-hunter Anita Blake. In Lost Girl our Succubus isn't a demon or vampire, she's Fae (a concept loosely based around Faerie Folk from Celtic mythology). Fae, until now, have had two clans it is compulsory to choose between - light or dark. These clans exist in a semi-peaceful but strained truce imposed upon them by ancient laws, but they have different philosophies regarding humans and how to exercise their powers.
Bo has other ideas. She doesn't choose light or dark and remains unaligned, which means she is beholden to neither, but is protected by no one. She relies on her plucky group of friends and lovers, both Fae and human, to give her friendship, love, guidance, help, sanity, and healing. There's Kenzi the sexy, human, reformed (ahem) criminal who becomes her roommate and best friend. There's Lauren the sexy human doctor who works for the Light Fae. There's Dyson, the sexy werewolf who is a cop in his "human" life, and his sexy partner Hale, who in the Fae world is a Siren. (Are we spotting the theme here?)
Lost Girl is above all else, tonnes of fun. Bo doesn't pretend to be somebody who thinks they are going to save the world, but she does have her own sense of morality, and this combined with phenomenal superhuman powers leads her to get into scrapes from time to time. Eventually though, we find out that Bo really is part of a prophecy to save or destroy the world, which very much reflects her inability to choose between light and dark. Will she make the choices needed to save the world, or destroy it? Or is there a third option?
As the series progresses, it gets a lot darker and convoluted, the bad guys and family Fae dramas get more outlandish and cruel, and Bo struggles to find peace and real love in the chaos. Above all, Bo wants to live her life as herself, but be loved for that too. She yearns for real connections, with just about anyone.
Over and above being a ripping yarn with some cool characters, Lost Girl is an interesting exploration of female power and sexuality. Bo isn't even bisexual - she's just walking sex. Her life force (or "chi") is derived from it, she would die without it. This isn't new territory in itself, what is vampire mythology but a giant metaphor for sex? But it does mean that the writers have given themselves a whole lot of room here to flip some well-worn tropes on their heads that have become tired over the years.
For instance, Bo has spent her life being afraid of her sexuality because every time she has sex people end up dead. She drains their life force to feed her own, and can't control it. With Lauren's help she learns to feed safely, a gigantic metaphor for a woman taking back her sexual power, and shedding her guilt for liking sex. It's not subtle, but it works.
Bo also needs to call on others for help, and she calls on men and women equally, as everyone has a unique power only they can use. For Lauren, it's science. For Dyson, strength and his shape-shifting abilities. For Kenzie, it's street smarts. Everyone has something they can offer Bo, and she takes from them in abundance. Bo also engenders a loyalty in those who surround her that she doesn't even recognise, mainly because her own loyalty to them is unshakeable.
Bo has two significant sexual relationships with women across the course of series, the most noteworthy is her on again, off again romance with Lauren. The other is with Tamsin, a Dark Fae Valkyrie who changes dramatically across the seasons, with a storyline that culminates tragically in the season finale. Bo's other important relationship is with Dyson, and the Lauren v Dyson camps warred in the fan community for years. I won't tell you who Bo ends up with, that'd be giving away major plot lines, but suffice to say I think in the end both camps were reasonably satisfied with the outcome.
Let's put it out there though. I've never seen a genre show that shows this much skin, and it's not limited to a gender. The major body parts are skillfully covered during sex scenes, but it's equal opportunity raunchiness here, with equal amounts of boy and girl candy. However, the series lives and dies with Bo, and Anna Silk. Silk must have a seriously awesome relationship with her body, she exudes confidence in every frame, and even if she's not your type, you can't help appreciating her sheer audacity.
There isn't a whole bunch of new thematic ground being trodden here. Particularly in the first 2 seasons, it's low budget monster of the week Canadian genre fare, with a larger story arc that kicks in intriguingly in later seasons, though season four had some serious head-scratching moments, particularly in the front half of the season. There is a real spirit of freedom and originality here. The writing is surprisingly good, and the cast are great at not taking themselves too seriously, with a good smattering of witty and slapsticky humour that Buffy fans should find familiar and interesting.
And did I mention it's sexy? This cast is beyond hot. That's the key here. Prudish people should stay away, this series revels in bumping body parts, women on women, men on men, men on women, it doesn't matter. Every time Bo enters a room, she's keenly aware of the people in it and her impact upon them, they usually want to either sleep with her or kill her, sometimes interchangeably. Silk has the time of her life with this, never holding back on the sex, the melodrama, or just any opportunity to look smouldering hot in leather pants or a floor-length gown. (Vegans beware - I don't even want to know how many cows died to provide this girl with her wardrobe.)
It might sound shallow, and maybe it is, but its just fun, and these genre shows continue to set the bar for pushing the boundaries of sexuality on TV ever forward, more than any other types of shows out there.
I thought I'd skip the usual trailer - this clip was released as the teaser for Season 3, and it's just... [speechless].
BTW - looking for pictures to accompany this review was not at all fun. At all. The things I do for my art. Seriously. Here's more. You're welcome.