Lost Girl: Season 1
The supernatural is all the rage of late. Horrible monsters that once populated the creature features we enjoyed as kids are now taking center stage as sexualized romantic leads. Vampires and werewolves now go shirtless as the dreamy object of teenage girl’s fantasies. This phenomenon has spread cutting a swatch through literature, film and television with absolutely no sign of abating. As with many trends the usage begins with the most familiar subjects expanding to the more esoteric examples. Demonstrating the validity of this hypothesis is a television series originating with our neighbors to the north; ‘Lost Girl’. This Canadian show centers on a mythological creature called a succubus. This supernatural creature seduced men using her heighten sexual prowess to drain the life force from her hapless victims. TV shows of this type produced here in the States have proven to be an incredibly lucrative source of material making it only natural that this sort of show would begin appearing on a global stage. ‘Lost Girl’ relies on themes from several associated genres blending them expertly to create something reasonably fresh for the audience. Due largely to the nature of the creature involved this series has an increased amount of mature subject matter an explicit content. It is not as provocative as similar series on networks occupying the premium tier of you cable lineup but I found it more intense than the traditional broadcast stations. One dominant threads utilized in this show is the infusion of elements from one of the most enduring types of television programing, the crime drama. There are many precedents to establish the supernatural crime thriller as an acceptable type of programming. ‘Forever Knight’ featured a vampire doubling as a police detective and more recently ‘Grimm’ depicts another detective mysteriously aware of a menagerie of supernatural species. The show made its rounds from Canada all the way around the world to Australia but recently found a place here in the States with the SyFy Channel. I know a number of devotees of the genre that were unaware of the presence of the series on the network and missed much of the first season. Thankfully, Funimation, a distributor regularly associated with anime has branched out into a wider selection of entertainment.
The concept of a stranger in a strange land has been a popular device in story telling since mankind first started swapping tales. There is an intrinsically disturbing feeling transmitted by the idea of being separated from the safety and nurturing afforded by being surrounded by your own kind. ‘Lost Girl’ is a case study in this thread as it concentrates on Bo (Anna Silk). Outwardly she appears to me an extremely attractive young woman but that is just part of a deeper, sinister secret. Bo is a demonic creature called a succubus, a sexual predator that survives by literally draining the energy of live from her victims during intimate contact. For some time Bo has been on the run unable to reconcile the fact that her kiss results in the death of her partner. Her origins are a mystery to her as Bo was adopted by a human couple. The series gets it start when one of her deadly encounters proved impossible to conceal. Subsequently, Bo is contacted by Hale (K.C. Collins) and Dyson (Kris Holden-Ried), representatives of a group of similar entities that refer to themselves as ‘The Fae’. They begin to explain to Bo the details of her nature and that there are two tribes encompassing the succubi; ‘The Light’ and ‘The Dark’. Being an exceptionally independent and headstrong personality she decides to remain neutral. When Bo’s life is saved by a young human woman, Kenzi (Ksenia Solo) they decide to form a detective agency that spans the natural and supernatural realms. This does give leave to the writers to be quite innovative in their choice of both clients engaging Bo and Kenzi as well as the villains behind each episode’s dilemma. The creatures encountered in the show are culled from the mythological Parthenon of a myriad of cultures. We meet a vampire like creature called an Aswang derived Filipino folk lore and the Celtic Banshee renowned for its piercing shriek. The vast variety of mythologies tapped here are certain to send the fan base to look things up on the net. An interesting aside of this show is the subtle fashion it infuses a course in global folk lore into the story lines.
This type of series is naturally conducive to the TV format commonly referred to as ‘the freak of the week’ with some new variant of the supernatural species list represented. The series avoids this with a technique that has become common, at least with series with some measure of success. The individual episodes expand the underlying mythos by introducing different aspects of the supernatural world in context with our own. This sets a firm foundation for the show and a handle for the audience to identify with. The broad range of ethnically driven myths is certain to strike a chord with the family lineage of the viewers. When the fundamental context of a series is he supernatural it is best to ground the proceedings with something readily identifiable even if it happens to be culturally driven folk lore. The series moves past this time proven methodology by infusing the plot lines with emotional motivation that would work under any circumstances. Bo’s need to understand her true nature or the urge to find a steadfast friend is inherently human, apparently a trait the fae share with us. The oldest and most visceral plot device known, the perennial battle between good and evil is the core of the story serving nicely as the connective tissue to hold the entire series together. When blended with Bo’s continuing search for her biological mother the show takes on a sufficient familiarity to draw in and hold the attention of the audience. even if you are not a diehard enthusiast of the supernatural themed thriller there is enough in the way of traditional character development and the standard tenants of the television detective series to make it work.