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Lost Girl

Series Premiere
Cast: Anna Silk, Ksenia Solo, Kris Holden-Ried, K.C. Collins
Regular airtime: Mondays, 10pm ET

(SyFy; US: 16 Jan 2012)

Hunger Pangs

Most people’s first sexual experience is memorable. But few will relate to Bo’s (Anna Silk) first time having sex, which she remembers for all the wrong reasons, primarily because she killed her boyfriend with the intensity of her passion. As it turns out, this was a particularly bad time to discover that she had the supernatural ability to drain the life force out of others by kissing them, and the experience understandably left Bo confused and damaged.


When we meet Bo at the start of Lost Girl, it’s long after this trauma, at a time when she’s using her powers for good, in this case, rescuing the young pickpocket Kenzi (Ksenia Solo) from being raped. After giving the would-be rapist a kiss of death, Bo carries the drugged and unconscious Kenzi off to safety, leaving behind the rapist’s grinning but discolored body in a hotel elevator. This act sets up what is a standard sci-fi scene—cops standing over the victim’s body, baffled by the unusual manner of death.


However, SyFy’s new series tends to avoid the predictable. The cops are not as regular as they look; they’re not even human, but instead, like Bo, are members of “an evolutionary branch that pre-dates humans” known as the Fae. Bo’s introduction to the world of the Fae drives the premiere episode, airing 16 January and showing a surprising sense of humor and originality. Now entering its third season on Canadian television, Lost Girl is just now being introduced to American audiences.


We learn that Bo is considered “lost” because she’s fallen through the cracks in the Fae hierarchy, having been abandoned by her birth parents and raised by humans. She’s oblivious that she has been surrounded by Fae all her life, for they live among us as “normal” people, reserving their supernatural powers for extreme situations and abiding by a code of honor that has prevented a war between the Dark (bad) Fae and Light (good) Fae.


Bo knows nothing about this code or the two factions of Fae until she’s arrested by Detectives Dyson (Kris Holden-Ried) and Hale (K. C. Collins), two members of the Light Fae. After having her Fae credentials verified, Bo is told that she must choose which faction of Fae she will join. As The Morrigan (Emmanuelle Vaugier), leader of the Dark Fae, tells Bo, there are advantages to joining—the Dark Fae will clean up any messes from her kills and find her a good job in the human world. Plus, they “have dental.”


Not surprisingly, Bo chooses neither Light nor Dark, opting to stay in the human world, although her tendency to help others closely aligns her with the goals of the Light. Yet, she can’t yet control her desire to feed on humans, which leads her to seek the help of Lauren (Zoie Palmer), a human doctor who treats the Fae and promises to help teach Bo how to manage her hunger.


Because they’re unsure of what Bo will do next, all the Fae—good or bad—mean to monitor her every move. One of these moves is to accept the help of her self-appointed sidekick Kenzi. Understandably freaked by witnessing Bo suck her rapist’s life away, she comes up with a rationale, noting, “Normal people don’t help strangers. If you were normal, I could be dead.” Serving as cheerleader and moral compass, Kenzi is clearly enamored with Bo, especially when she learns that Bo can control others with a touch and suggestion: “You can freakin’ control people by touch,” she enthuses, “And not in a creepy hand-job way.”


Bo learns more about her powers through her evolving relationship with Dyson. They share a predictable sexual tension, but that doesn’t mean Bo’s Fae alliances are wholly sorted out. Being the hero of a weekly series, she will be helping others, both Fae and human (this for the episodic plots), while also trying to learn about her parents and her birth (the long-form arc). Of less interest is the frankly clichéd story arc concerning the tension between factions of the Fae. While Bo may not join the Light Fae, there is no doubt that she rejects the Dark Fae.


This sort of structural laziness detracts from what’s good about Lost Girl, its witty dialogue and evolving relationships among Bo and her new friends. If it’s not among the SyFy channel’s best series, it is, for now, a pleasant diversion.

Rating:

Michael has been writing for PopMatters since 2000. His primary focus, aside from queer culture, is television reviews and commentary, and his article Male Bashing on TV has been reprinted in two college textbooks. He currently lives in Louisville, KY, and is a Lecturer of Communication Studies at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany, IN. As a teacher, he has an interest in the study of contemporary political rhetoric and argumentation. He and his partner Jim have been living in un-wedded bliss since 1995.


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