Does Lost Girl appeal mostly to chicks? I mean, I’m a chick, and I dig it. Come to think of it, all my friends who are fans of the Canadian fantasy series, about a young Succubus named Bo (Anna Silk) and her efforts to find her place in the world, are of the lady persuasion.
Early on, Bo discovers she’s part of a secret world of supernatural beings called the Fae, and learns that the reason she accidentally kills her lovers is because her kind feed on the Chi, or life force, of their sexual partners. Her supernatural charm also lets her persuade people with a mere touch. But feeding on fellow Fae doesn’t kill them, and she eventually learns to control her power so she doesn’t kill humans, either.
Since sex is Bo’s raison d’etre, Lost Girl treats us to lots of steamy scenes featuring Bo with Fae or human, man or woman, sometimes more than one … and all refreshingly free of judgments or labeling. This drama created by Michelle Lovretta definitely comes from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer mold: a heroine who is “special,” a vaguely Scooby Gang-esque cast of supporting characters, various monsters of the week and a steady stream of witty banter and timely pop-culture references. Yet it’s more lighthearted: World-bending stuff happens, friends die, hearts break and secrets are revealed, but when the dust settles, Bo and her pals just shake it off and get their drink on.
LG got picked up by Syfy in 2011, and perhaps the U.S. cable channel was thinking about the female factor, since it deliberately pursued and successfully drew in women viewers with Warehouse 13. But here are eight reasons why anyone can love this fun, fashion-friendly genre romp. Catch up on the first two seasons, streaming on Netflix, and watch new episodes Mondays on Syfy.
1. The Succubus
“Life is hard when you don’t know who you are. It’s harder when you don’t know what you are,” says Bo in the opening credits. Her life has been a combination of bewildering and tough, but Bo is no Buffy — she may feel twinges of self-pity, but she never wallows for long.
The Fae demand she choose a side: Light or Dark. But Bo doesn’t even see the point of choosing sides. She goes her own way — even though being unaligned also means being unprotected by any higher power — but works with either side when it suits her (or them). Bo takes on challenges with a wisecrack and a playful flip of her hair, yet she’s serious about following her own path, and determined to solve the mystery of who she is and where she came from.
Fortunately, that path is strewn with hot encounters, including a string of gleeful random hookups in alleyways, nightclub corners and silk-sheeted beds. Beyond all that is the complicated push-and-pull between her thing for Light Fae cop Dyson (Kris Holden-Ried) and her troubled relationship with softhearted blonde human doctor Lauren (Zoie Palmer), who works for the Light Fae.
2. The Human Sidekick
Love may be complicated for a Succubus, but friendship is easy — thanks to Bo’s human best friend/roommate Kenzi (Ksenia Solo), aka Lost Girl’s secret weapon. Tiny, wiry, amazingly brave and quick with the sarcastic one-liners, she livens up every scene she’s in. A (reformed?) professional thief and master of disguise who’s all about shoes, wigs, outfits and attitude, she moves through both human and Fae worlds with a casual moxie that masks a troubled past. Kenzi trusts no one until they give her a good reason. But, since Bo saved her life the first time they met, that’s a pretty good reason.
She’s hugely protective of Bo and listens to all her troubles, but Kenzi doesn’t always share her own problems. In fact, she can be stupidly stubborn about not needing help when she decides to take action. Last season, she confronted a powerful Ancient Fae called the Norn (in a bid to help her beffie), and her determination to keep the consequences to herself, though hilarious at first, only made things worse.
Though often caught in the middle of Bo’s thorny love life, Kenzi hardly ever gets any action herself. She even gave up a potential boyfriend to be there for Bo. This sisters-before-misters stance is admirable, but I’d like Kenzi to get some too, maybe with Hale, a fetching Light Fae with whom she definitely has some sparkage.
3. The Wolf
One of Bo’s early allies in town, Dyson is a centuries-old Light Fae cop who falls hard for her. He’s essentially a werewolf, though he controls his transformations, which aren’t tied to the full moon. He’s also a tall drink of water with a snappy wardrobe and a brooding nature (think Angel with a different set of fangs). And he is hawt — a fact the show underscores by regularly presenting him shirtless. Woof!
Dyson develops a deep, almost sibling-like affection for Kenzi, which is one of LG’s most charming relationships. (Their differences are hilarious played off in the Season 2 episode “Original Skin.”) Like Kenzi, Dyson has secrets. (Actually, I think everybody has secrets on this show.) When Bo faces a daunting enemy in Season 1, Dyson helps her by giving up what matters most to him — which also causes him to lose her. Without explanation, he takes a romantic backseat to Lauren. But after all, Fae live a long time, and Lauren’s only human. Dyson is one dude who really can afford to wait.
4. Serious Smackdowns
A Succubus may be built for sex, but that doesn’t mean Bo’s not up for some violence when the situation calls for it. The Light and Dark Fae are technically at peace, but there are still plenty of opportunities to skirmish. Would-be date rapists, freakish UnderFae creatures, monsters from the Id, a pack of Amazon prison guards or a coven of suburban witches — Bo and her pals take them all on with swords, maces, guns, magical staffs, strange potions, baseball bats or whatever else they can get their hands on.
5. Sexy Shenanigans
But after Bo gets done beating her opponents, she feels the need to feed. For one thing, absorbing Chi helps her heal from sometimes horrific injuries in record time. Cue the undulating abdomens, intertwining body parts, throbbing purple music and satisfied soft sighs. Aaah.
Lost Girl consciously refuses to pass judgment on Bo’s activities. After all, she is a sexual being. Although the show never shames Bo for her appetites, that doesn’t mean her hookups don’t cause problems sometimes. At one point, she tries to stay completely faithful to Lauren, not even feeding off others for purely practical reasons, which exhausts the poor doctor and leaves Bo naturally unsatisfied. After Bo feeds off Dyson strictly because she must heal, Lauren accepts that her lover has to feed off others sometimes. But she’s still human enough to declare Dyson off-limits.
6. Therapeutic Drinking
“How are we having this conversation without booze?” asks Trick (Richard Howland), owner of local Fae bar the Dal Riata, when Dyson reveals his painful secret in this season’s “There’s Bo Place Like Home.” (Did I forget to mention the cheesy, pun-laden episode titles?) A few eps later, Kenzi suggests that an unfortunate Fae “go have a beer or five” with her while she breaks some bad news.
At the end of any given grueling day, Bo and her friends turn to their version of Cheers to dull the effects with drink. Any drunken shenanigans are played mostly for comic effect, as alcohol consumption on Lost Girl is treated with the same amount of nonchalance as Bo’s sexual appetites. I don’t know if it’s a Canadian thing or what, but recreational drinking is rarely celebrated so lustily on American TV. Bottoms up!
7. Cool Supporting Characters
By necessity, Bo gets most of the attention, but the people around her are a big reason Lost Girl is so much fun to watch.
Trick may seem like your average amiable, if slightly grumpy, pub proprietor, but in reality he’s the Blood King, a powerful old Fae who brokered the ancient, if uneasy, peace between Dark and Light. He’s a respected elder whose bar is also a Waypoint, neutral ground where both sides can peacefully come together (or stay on opposite ends of the room), and a station for traveling Fae to check in with local authorities. But the big thing about Trick is that he’s Bo’s grandfather — a revelation that explains his paternal protectiveness of her. He’s always willing to help her, but that doesn’t mean he’s an open book.
Hale (K.C. Collins), Dyson’s former cop partner, comes from a noble family that is seriously stuck-up. They don’t much approve of his choices, which so far have taken him to some unexpected places. No wonder he likes Kenzi so much.
Vex (Paul Amos) is a scrappy Mesmer, who can force people to do anything he wants. At first he’s Dark to the bone, but a few clashes with Bo, and the ensuing fallout with his people, turn his head around somewhat. Maybe. For a while, Vex and Kenzi become Goth BFFs. The scene where they talk about the secrets of eyeliner is classic.
Tamsin (Rachel Skarsten, pictured at left) is Dyson’s new partner — a Dark Fae who injects a welcome new flavor of blonde into the show. Though initially suspicious of Bo, the Valkyrie develops a grudging respect for the Succubus that may be rooted in her own rebellious personality. That’s good, because given recent developments, she may hold the key to Bo’s future survival.
8. Fun Fashion
Part of the fun of Lost Girl is the fashion, especially early on when Kenzi rocks more wigs than we’ve seen since Alias. When she’s not in disguise, Kenzi favors a Goth-flavored look replete with studded belts, ruffled miniskirts, fishnet everything, loads of eye makeup, zippered skinny pants and chunky high-heeled footwear that could double as weapons in a pinch (except it would take her forever to get those lace-up beauties off).
Though less extreme, Bo also favors smoky eyes, corset tops, tight pants and boots, while Dyson seems to own a closet full of eye-catching leather vests (many of which are custom-made by costume designer Anne Dixon). Likewise, Hale and Trick go for collared shirts, ties and vests, giving them a timelessness that reflects their long lives.
By contrast, Lauren favors a softer look that underscores her compassion and vulnerability. Since so many characters seem to dress the part straight-up, I’ve lately been intrigued by the wardrobe of Tamsin, whom you’d expect to be drawn to lots of leather, probably with spikes on it. Instead, she telegraphs her insurgent attitude by wearing thoroughly modern brights, such as a spring green tank top or a sky blue leather jacket.