If you’ve never heard of Lost Girl you are already 3 seasons behind. Get yourself over to Netflix or Hulu, the SyFy channel in the U.S. or Showcase in Canada. Make an effort to catch up before season 4 begins in 2014.
The cast, left to right, front row: Richard Howland, Anna Silk, Zoie Palmer. Back row Ksenia Solo, K.C. Collins and Kris Holden-Ried. Photo from SyFy.
The Fae, the Succubus, and the Key Cast Members
I’ll summarize the pilot and try to explain what the show is about in hopes of getting you hooked so we can compare notes on plots and characters.
The show is set in a world where a race of people called Fae share space with humans. Fae feed off humans in various ways while trying to remain hidden from human society. Fae feed off humans by stealing their sexual energy, rage, or grief. They can also feed on human luck, talent, vengeance or actual human corpses.
Once you’ve accepted the basic premise of the show – Fae and human in the same world – you find the Fae world populated with wonderful characters, all based on mythology, such as mesmers, shape shifters, sirens, furies, will-o-the-wisps, blood kings, Baba Yaga, Gorudas, nagas, fairies, brownies and, most importantly, a succubus in the form of the show’s namesake, Lost Girl.
The lost girl is Bo Dennis, played by Anna Silk. She was raised by humans and only discovers at the show’s beginning that she is a succubus – hence, she’s been “lost” for years. A succubus feeds off sexual energy. Bo has been doing that since she went through puberty, but she doesn’t know what she is or how to control her need for sexual chi so she’s left a string of dead lovers behind and considers herself a murderous monster.
In episode one, Bo rescues a street-wise young human, Kenzi, played by Ksenia Solo, who becomes Bo’s sidekick. In the process of saving Kenzi, Bo drains the life out of a predatory asshole who gave a ruffie to Kenzi. The life-draining succubus kill leads to the involvement of two Fae cops who realize the dead guy was killed by a Fae. The cops are Dyson, played by Kris Holden-Ried, and Hale, played by K.C. Collins. The cops catch Bo and take her to see The Ash, the head of one clan of the Fae.
There are two clans of Fae: light and dark. The Ash asks Bo to declare herself as either light or dark. She refuses. This refusal to choose a clan endures throughout future episodes and is an important part of many plot lines and of Bo’s character. (She’s not following anyone’s rules but her own, which are influenced heavily by human values such as loyalty, a sense of justice, and a great capacity for love. These values are not always compatible with Fae life.)
The Ash realizes that Bo doesn’t know she’s Fae. He sends her to Lauren Lewis, played by Zoie Palmer. Lauren is a human doctor who is in service to The Ash and is immediately attracted to Bo. To be fair, everyone is immediately attracted to Bo, but Lauren’s attraction becomes important to the storyline. Lauren explains to Bo that she is a succubus and that she doesn’t have to kill the people with whom she has sex. This is welcome news to Bo; she is more than ready to learn to control her hunger for sexual chi.
As a first step in introducing Bo to the Fae world, Dyson takes her to meet Trick, played by Richard Howland, who at this point seems to be merely the owner of a Fae pub or way station.
Now we’ve met all the key characters in the cast and know that the trajectory of the show will deal with Bo’s journey of self-discovery. We also get the sense that Dyson and Trick were expecting her to show up and there are a lot of secrets involving this particular succubus.
Overarching story lines from season to season involve Bo’s hunt for her biological parents and her efforts to understand herself and her role in the Fae world. Bo and Kenzi declare themselves investigators so plot lines for individual episodes often revolve around Bo solving cases or fighting evil for the Fae, for the cops, or for people she cares about. Plots are also heavy with story lines about Bo’s sex and/or love life. When she discovers she can have sex with Dyson, the Fae cop, without killing him, she goes on a several-episode-long Dyson binge. She’s a succubus, after all. For a while the show promoted the love-triangle aspects of Bo/Dyson/Lauren and people were signing up as Team Dyson or Team Lauren shippers.
Even though Bo and Kenzi have many a conversation about Bo’s love life, this series easily passes the Bechdel Test. To pass the Bechdel Test, a show must at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man. The great majority of movies and TV shows cannot pass this test. Lost Girl has many female characters, not just one who is there as an appendage to a man. Bo and Kenzi do talk about Dyson quite a lot, but they also talk about Lauren a lot, as well as about whose turn it is to fold the laundry, or which weapons to take to a battle to save the world, or the proper pizza toppings, or how easy it would be to get a new leather jacket by using your succubus charms on the sales clerk. There are lots of things to talk about when you’re a fully developed character.
Why I Love Lost Girl and You Should, Too
There are so many things I love about Lost Girl.
- It’s funny. There’s a joke for everything. Ksenia Solo is brilliantly hilarious as Bo’s sidekick and is the perfect comic relief. Everyone on the show can be funny, but Kenzi gets in the best zingers week after week. Kenzi may be ultra loyal to her favorite seductress, but that doesn’t prevent her from calling Bo names like “wonder snatch.” Kenzi is creative with the insults, for example, “Tell me, your name isn’t Dickface, King of the Douchebags, is it?”
- It’s sexy. Anna Silk is the perfect succubus. She’s voluptuous, with cleavage that should be listed as a cast member. She can really bring the sexy when she needs to, which is often. She dresses in skin tight black leather and vests with low, low, low necklines. She can look stunningly sexy just leaning against a wall. The beautiful thing about the sexy on this show is that it’s not judgmental. Bo might be with a man, or a woman, or a man and a woman and there’s never any discussion about her location on the gender identification scale or any hint that it even needs to be discussed. The characters who land in bed with Bo are equally adept at selling the passionate that the succubus brings out in them.
- Everybody gets to be sexy. Yes, Bo is the succubus, but she’s not the only sex object. Dyson has his shirt off in nearly every episode and his “junk” is a much discussed topic. In one episode, Bo drinks a toast to “Dyson’s wang.” In another, when she’s mad at him, she suggests she should have bitten it off when she had the chance. In another episode, Kenzi and Dyson change bodies via some Fae magic and Kenzi celebrates her new form by checking out Dyson’s package. (Kris Holden-Ried is a superb actor, but when he is being Kenzi inside Dyson’s body he’s absolutely brilliant!) Then there’s the topic of K.C. Collins’ (Hale) abs – all I can say is “Wow.” Richard Howland, who plays Trick, is a little person. In Lost Girl, the little people get to smooch it up as much as their taller friends. This isn’t the kind of show where only the perfectly beautiful people manage to find love.
- It’s kick ass. The women get to kick ass, not just the guys. Bo can toss an evil character up against a wall with a mere flick of the wrist. Kenzi gets in her licks, too. In season 3, a new Fae cop, played by Rachel Skarsten, joins the regular cast. Tamsin is tough and cynical and definitely kick-ass. Many of the recurring cast members are kick-ass awesome as well.
- The acting is superb. This is a Canadian show – most of the actors are Canadians that I had never heard of before I started watching. So I’m getting to know a whole raft of new names and faces. Very talented new faces. None of them ever strike a false note, they all can bring emotional depth to their parts. Anna Silk, in particular, seems able to show everything from fear to pain to regret to vulnerable to tears to joy. She can be drunk, be adolescent, be wise, be tough, be warm, be cold. Everyone in the cast is top-notch and they give us characters we can care about. Ksenia Solo won a Canadian award for best supporting role on Lost Girl.
- The writing is terrific. I’ve already mentioned that it’s funny, but it’s more than that. The dialog is smart. The plot lines and character arcs hang together from week to week – something you cannot say about many shows. Character development makes sense, people don’t just completely switch personalities from one season to the next as I’ve seen happen on other shows. Foreshadowing isn’t a false lead, it really means something. If you’re going to buy in to a supernatural world populated by pixies and werewolves, the writing better be convincing and true. This is.
- The lead character is female. There is more than one important female character: Bo, Kenzi, Lauren, Tamsin and some of the recurring characters are female. The men are there, too: Dyson, Hale, Trick and some recurring male parts. But there’s a balance, an equality between male and female. This is a rare and wonderful quality in a TV show.
- The costumes, effects, and sets rock! Anne Dixon is the main costume designers. She’s created a wonderful world here with just clothing and it looks so right. There’s a kind of steampunk fairyland quality to some of the sets and props that looks very convincing and makes the world of the Fae more believable. At other times it looks like early Bilbo Baggins. The special effects include everything from flaming eagles to shape shifting. It all works together to create an authentic world for the Fae.
Yep, I love Bo. I love Kenzi. I love Bo with Dyson. I love Bo with Lauren. Go watch Bo in action and see if you don’t love her too. If you’ve watched Lost Girl, tell me what you think of the show.
When season 4 begins, I’ll be in Bo’s thrall on Lost Girl once again.