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Fantasy books – don’t you just love them? They’re so deep.
Oh, follow me down to the land of Nerry-Nu,
Where the Bibbug Tree is to be found.
WIth a hey nonny nonny, the twiddle beast sings
And the fairies do dance in the round.
Actually, not that I’m biased, but “meaningless guff with sub-adult characterisation and obvious symbolism designed to tap into the ids of the repressed and introverted” would pretty much sum up 90% of it. I’m looking at you here Vampire Diaries and Twilight in particular. Yes, yes, I know Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Being Human, etc. But 90% of it.
Maybe that’s why I can’t take Lost Girl at all seriously. Obviously “young adult” fare that pretends to be for an older audience, this sees a young woman (she’s really not a girl, despite the title) with strange powers discover that the reason her parents always told her sex was bad was because she’s a succubus and her kiss can kill. So she goes wandering from place to place until she comes across a young street waif and a Chris Martin-alike vampire cop and discovers who she really is, that sex isn’t all bad, she isn’t really alone and that she’s really, really important.
Are you spotting the sub-text yet?
Lost Girl follows supernatural seductress Bo, a Succubus who feeds on the sexual energy of humans. Growing up with human parents, Bo had no reason to believe she was anything other than the girl next door — until she drained her boyfriend to death in their first sexual encounter. Now she has hit the road alone and afraid. She discovers she is one of the Fae, creatures of legend and folklore, who pass as humans while feeding off them secretly and in different ways, as they have for millennia. Relieved yet horrified to find out that she is not alone, Bo decides to take the middle path between the humans and the Fae while embarking on a personal mission to unlock the secrets of her origin.
With the help of her human sidekick, Kenzi, and Dyson, a sexy police detective, Bo takes on a challenge every week helping a Fae or human client who comes to her to solve a mystery, or to right a wrong.
Is it any good?
I have been a little unfair so far. The first ep of Lost Girl was actually relatively surprising at times. There were a few reveals that I wasn’t expecting at all, in some ways it’s surprisingly adult, there are actual deaths and there’s a depth of background and imagination that you don’t normally get in such shows.
All the same, this screams PG-13, all the while it tries to be adult. There’s never any blood even when ‘people’ are having their throats ripped open. Despite Bo being a ‘supernatural seductress’, there’s only a little almost nudity, a few lingering shots of the heroine getting dressed and a little lesbian flirting, but nothing beyond obvious, teenage boy baiting at most.
Having a teenage street sidekick the heroine adopts and looks after is the kind of thing that happens only in novels for teenage girls. The “will they/won’t they” relationship she has with the sexy Chris Martin vampire is pretty much just box-ticking. The fight scenes aren’t even up to Buffy on a bad day (of which there were many towards the end) and are mostly made more interesting by CGI. The “head fae” (including guest star Emmanuelle Vaugier from CSI:NY, Covert Affairs et al) are ludicrously over the top. There’s never any real sense of peril for the main characters whenever the show enters the world of the fae – ironically, you’re more scared for the victim of the attempted date rape at the hands of a man than at any part later in the episode. The central character isn’t desperately engaging – she’s just sort of snarky. The ‘street’ sidekick is in no sense anything like someone who actually lives on the street or is a criminal.
It’s probably the kind of show that should be on during kids hour or on a teen channel, because for that audience, it’s not that bad. Indeed, it’s good to have two strong, central female characters as the focus of a fantasy show. But in the scheme of the things, it’s about on a par with The Listener, I’d say, maybe a little better. It does have a few promises of future developments that might be interesting, and there’s always a chance it will get an edge as time goes on, so I’m not going to write it off totally – yet.