With True Blood ending its latest season on a decidedly anti-climatic note on Sunday, I grew concerned that I was out of good dark fantasy dramas to watch once again (despite the improving reviews, I’m still holding off on picking up The Vampire Diaries and I’m WAY too far behind to catch up on Supernatural). Fortunately for me, I’ve discovered a little known Canadian production called Lost Girl that promises to satiate my need for hot other-worldly character drama.
Premiering on the same night as True Blood’s season finale, Lost Girl introduces us into a somewhat familiar yet altogether unique protagonist – Bo has always known of her powers, both lethal and influential, and growing up, has developed a sense of guilt over all the harm she’s caused. While preventing a stranger from becoming the latest date rape victim, she attracts the attention of a mysterious organisation and discovers that she is far from being the only non-human with powers.
What’s promising about Lost Girl is ironically how familiar it is – it’s essentially a coming-of-age story of a beautiful and strong woman (played by Anna Silk) who is, for the first time in her life, learning that she can control her powers and that they don’t have to have lethal consequences. What is different this time is that Bo is not a vampire, but a succubus – a supernatural creature that feeds on the sexual energies of human beings. While normally classified as demonesses, in the mythology of Lost Girl, succubi are a “species” of fae, and fae are a “genus” that predates on humans.
Discovered by the rest of her kind, Bo is forced to choose between the two sides – “Light” and “Dark” which as of the first episode, seem to be nothing more then labels and no indication of who’s “good” or the “bad”. To no one’s surprise, Bo chooses neither option, since honestly, both sides need better recruitment tactics and a lot more public relations work. Bo’s decision puts her at odds with both Fae camps, but they are advised to let her live long enough to discover who it was who kept Bo’s identity secret all this while.
Lost Girl is chock-full of different kinds of supernatural creatures too. So far, some of the fae represented include a werewolf cop (some say vampire) played by Kristen Holden-Reid, his siren partner, a hulking troll and a deadly empath. The generalised classification of “fae” makes room for a whole slew of potentially interesting supporting characters and antagonists for Bo, and I foresee them coming from both the “Light” and “Dark” factions.
It’s an ambitious story, yet the danger is always there of falling into the most stereotypical urban fantasy tropes. Most obvious of all, the heroine is strong and sexy – Buffy, Echo and a slew of other similar ass-kicking beauties come to mine. She is also undeniably heroic, because everything she does indicates she’s the protagonist – preventing a date rape, risking her life by choosing humans over fae, she makes out with the hot male lead. So far, they’ve not gone too far into exploiting other stereotypes, and there’s always a chance we might be in for a surprise down the road.
What came across as the weakest part of the episode, was the dialogue – there were parts when they were trying too hard to be funny, and other parts took the whole mythology too seriously. It’s natural for a new show to need time to find its niche, but Lost Girl was trying too hard to be too many things at once. The show needs to decide which one it wants to be first – a straight-up campy riot that pokes good-natured fun at the genre, or a dark, dramatic depiction of what makes urban fantasy more than just vampires that sparkle in the sunlight. Buffy the Vampire Slayer managed to be both, but it was also the exception to the rule, and still remains Joss Whedon’s seminal masterpiece.
Still, I’m probably going to stick with the show for as long as I can – it’s done enough to hook me and I do hope it can only get better from this point onwards.