No, seriously, what IS this show?

 

Okay, there’s a good chance you haven’t heard of Lost Girl, so give me a minute to catch you up to speed. Lost Girl is a supernatural drama that the Syfy channel has been promoting for several months. The ads presented the concept of a young woman named Bo (played by Anna Silk) who had some type of supernatural powers, did not know what she was and discovered what sounded like a civil war between two faction of fae. For the most part, this is an accurate representation of the series, however, there is one important character detail that they played very close to the vest, which doesn’t come to light until about halfway through the pilot; the main character is a succubus.

 

Now I’m going to give you a minute to perform any spit takes, double takes or comedic series of shouting “wha-wha-WHAT!?” that you might feel necessary. Good? Good.

 

I can think of worse ways to die, but then I can think of plenty of worse case scenarios that I'd rather not experience.

"Hey baby, wanna come back to my place so we can have sex, drain your body of life, then dispose of your corpse?" "Heck yeah! You said sex, right?"

Yeah, that’s right, the main character is apparently a succubus. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, succubi (the plural of succubus) are typically demonic figures of women who seduce men and drain their energy via sexual encounter. Said encounters leave the man with deteriorated health if they don’t outright kill him.

 

Even knowing this, you might be wondering why I find this one element of the show so utterly surprising. Well, for one, it seems like a pretty big thing to hide about the show. I don’t remember any indication from the commercials that the show would be rated MA, but it is. Really though, the most unusual part of the succubus angle is the way they portray the heroine, Bo.

 

Essentially a succubus in this world is like a sex vampire; she must drain life force from a human via physical contact or her own health starts to deteriorate. Unlike the “good” vampire trope I touched on while writing about The Vampire Diaries, Bo does not try to control or mitigate her lethal hunger. She’s spent her whole life feeding on and killing men, through mostly casual sexual encounters and really doesn’t seem to show shame or remorse about it.

 

Now I don’t mean to say that this is wrong, or that this type of character shouldn’t be shown on TV, I merely mean to explain my reaction. American Television rarely has characters representing this type of lifestyle or even moral ambiguity. Furthermore, the vast majority of original programming on the Sci Fi Channel…sorry, I mean SyFy is relatively family friendly. SyFy’s been trying to rebrand itself for years, but it’s still far from the established grittiness of a network like FX, and it’s not a premium channel like HBO which has much greater freedom in experimenting with its programming than a basic cable channel like SyFy.

 

It turns out, though, that this isn’t a SyFy original series at all, prompting me to wonder why they’re allowed to bill it as one in the first place. In fact, Lost Girl is a Candian TV series developed and produced by Prodigy Pictures for a Candaian cable channel called Showcase Television. The fact that this show is Canadian-made answers some of my questions about the unconventional nature of the premise, and makes me interested in learning more about Canadian television, but it generates some mystery as to the meaning of the phrase “SyFy Original Series”, particularly the “original” part.

 

I’ve bored you enough with that, let’s get on with the show.

 

Premise:

 

As I’ve touched on already, the show centers around a woman named Bo with supernatural powers whose origins she does not understand. After saving a human girl named Kenzi from a sleazy predator of a man by killing him with her powers, the two become fast friends. Kenzi appreciates Bo’s unique qualities rather than thinking of her as a freak or a monster. A pair of detectives find the body of that sleazy man Bo killed before, and immediately detect foul play (or, if you prefer, fae play).

 

For something called a "Pain-Eater" these guys are pretty monstrous looking. It does prove the point about under fae, though.

"Avada Kedavra! Oh sorry, wrong franchise."

The detectives manage to track the girls down and use their own supernatural abilities to incapacitate them, capturing Bo in the process. She is taken before the leaders of the light and dark factions of fae, which are creatures with a variety of supernatural abilities who can often otherwise pass as humans. They tell her she is one of them and perform a test on her, verifying that she is a succubus. The two factions then put Bo through a life threatening combat trial against two more monstrous breeds of fae, after which she’s meant to choose a side and swear allegiance to them.

 

With the help of Kenzi and one of the detectives from earlier, Bo passes the trial, but declares that she is on the side of humans, effectively neutral. Virtually everyone disapproves of this and views her as a threat to the fae way of life. Bo and Kenzi establish something of a supernatural detective agency, taking on cases that those in the dark about the fae world would probably get killed trying to solve. Bo continues meeting various breeds of fae and learning more about this strange culture while helping others and trying to discover more about her birth parents and her origins as fae.

 

Characters:

You would think the queen of the dark fae would be important...or at least show up from time to time, but not so much. I guess she's a lazy queen.

Also pictured here are Lauren (a fae doctor), Hale (Dyson's partner) and Trick, a leprechaun-esque light fae. They all seem important but I currently know little about them.

 

Ysabeau “Bo” Dennis: The bisexual, super-powered succubus and central protagonist of the show. Born of two fae parents, raised by two humans who knew nothing of the fae Bo has spent most of her life confused by her compulsion to feed on humans, as well as her other abilities. After she gets some answers in the pilot episodes, she is not content to keep living in the dark, and makes it her mission to learn more about her origins and also to learn more about the rest of the fae.

 

From what I know, her abilities include heightened strength and speed, impressive regenerative abilities drawing from sexual energies and the ability to manipulate and sexually attract humans via touch.

 

Kenzi: Kenzi is Bo’s snarky and witty human sidekick. Kenzi is very open to all of the craziness that swept her life when meeting Bo opened the floodgates. She is also very reliable and protective of her newfound fae friend. Kenzi has an unusual habit of spontaneously wearing wigs of various colors, and while this is sometimes motivated as one element of a disguise, she is just as likely to do so on any given day.

 

Dyson: A homicide detective and werewolf-esque fae who has taken a liking to Bo and decides to help her despite his fae allegiance and probably his better judgment. The two have a complicated, sometimes-sexual relationship, partially because his fae powers keep her from killing him. This enables Bo to feed and recover her health without having to kill humans, which always poses some slight risk of exposure to human kind. Dyson also keeps close contact with fae from his side (the light fae), and may be spying on Bo for their agenda.

 

As I said, Dyson’s fae abilities make him something of a werewolf. He has heightened strength, speed and senses, plus he can actually transform into a wolf, which seems to alter the strength and usage of his other abilities.

 

There are a few other characters of importance, but as of now I’ve only seen a few episodes, and none of those characters have been developed enough for me to provide you with any useful information about them.

Granted, I'm only like three episodes in, episode four could be a naked death orgy for all I know.

From what I've seen so far, despite the ideological complexities of the premise, the show doesn't use the MA rating to its fullest extent. This is the most nudity I've really seen on the show, for example.

 

This is definitely an interesting new series, and one I intend to watch more of, at least for it’s unique nature and creative world. I can’t say that I’ve fully made up my mind about my feelings for this show just yet, because on some level I think I’m still reacting to that crazy revelation. Still, if the information I have provided you with didn’t scare you off, or even intrigued you, then Lost Girl is probably a show worth checking out.