Friday, April 10, 2020

Review: Lost Girl

We've just finished a mammoth rewatch of the TV series Lost Girl ... and if you've never seen it, then you are missing something of a treat.

The show follows the fortunes of a succubus called Bo Dennis (Anna Silk). As we start, Bo doesn't really know who she is, and this is the basis for the entire run: her trying to find out. If you want to watch with no spoilers, then perhaps it's best not to read this piece right now ... as it's hard to talk about the show and its twists and turns without revealing some of the surprises along the way.

Bo befriends a human called Kenzie (Ksenia Solo), and Kenzie is the one you really fall in love with. Solo has a very naturalistic acting style, and you're left wondering how much of Kenzie's asides, face pulling and just attitude was scripted, and which came from the actress. She's the archetypal manic pixie dream girl - something common to many films and TV shows - but she works and is very watchable.

There's also a shape-shifter wolf called Dyson (Kris Holden-Ried) and if you're watching it thinking ... hold on, I've seen him as a werewolf in something else ... then you have as he played a similar part in Underworld: Awakening.

These unlikely characters come together in a neutral bar run by Trick (Rick Howland) and as the series progresses, we learn a lot more about Trick and who and what he is. I really liked him as a character, and Howland is simply superb in the role.

The background to the 'world' in which Lost Girl is set is that there are two 'clans' of Fey present on the Earth, Light and Dark. As might be expected, the Light Fey tend to be kind and nice and use their powers to help humanity, whereas the Dark Fay are nasty and evil and up to all sorts of scheming and nonsense ... The issue is that Bo is neither. She is Unaligned, as she never chose a 'side' and so is able to act apart from all the bickering and malice which both sides get up to when they get together.

The show develops as a series of stand-alone episodes for the most part, with each episode seeing Bo and Kenzie getting involved in some investigation, or helping a fey or a human with whatever issue arises. But there is also a background thread of Bo finding out more about herself.

Bo needs to feed on humans or other fey in order to heal herself, but usually she kills the humans she feeds off, so Fey is always better. She's also bisexual, so it makes no odds to her who she sleeps with and feeds off ... though she is also quite capable of loving and having sex with a partner and not feeding off them.

Into the picture as the series progresses comes, first, Lauren (Zoie Palmer), a human doctor who is, first, working for the leader of the Light Fey - colloquially called the Ash - but who then moves to work for the leader of the Dark - called the Morrigan. The battles between the Ash and the Morrigan form a lot of the series plot arcs, and the electing of new candidates to those roles also forms a significant part of the series.

Bo falls in love with Lauren, much to Dyson's chagrin, but then Dyson also gives up his love for Bo in exchange for the ability to defeat Aife at the end of Season 1, from a character called the Norn. Later on, Bo also falls for a Valkyrie called Tamsin (Rachel Skarsten) who becomes significant in later seasons.

Season two focuses on a battle against a Fey called the Garuda (Raoul Trujillo); season three explores a character called 'The Wanderer' and Bo's relationship with them. Season four sees Bo taken by the Wanderer, and a group of powerful fey called the Una-mens seeking to take ultimate power. Season five focuses on Bo's relationship with her father, Hades (Eric Roberts) leading to a somewhat climactic conclusion!

Overall the series is complex and very watchable, with some great performances and characters, neat ideas of different Fey and their powers, and a fair dose of attractive women and men for everyone to get a little hot under the collar about. The final season is a little disappointing compared with the earlier ones, as it seems to struggle to find stories to tell, and contains a fair few which wander off into more esoteric and whimsical territory. There's also a significant dip mid-way through when Kenzie leaves (although she comes back later, she loses the Goth look, and her personality and snarky quips with it, which is a great shame).

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