Lost Girl is a 5-season long Canadian-made urban fantasy TV show about a Succubus and her rag-tag gang of friends and lovers. I realize that sentence may have made you either glaze over or become super curious. For those of you glazing; please hear me out… there will be pictures! For the never-even-heard-of-this-show crowd, this piece is going to be as big-plot-line-spoiler-free as possible.
#1 – The Premise
The premise of Lost Girl is the first thing that makes it wonderful. Basically, it’s this: our protagonist Bo doesn’t know what she is when at the age of 18, fooling around in the back of a car somewhere in the mid-west, she accidentally kills her boyfriend. The show picks up 10 years later where she is discovered by local Fae after saving her soon-to-be sidekick Kenzi from a roofie-using creeper (and subsequently killing him – whoops?).
This is when Bo discovers she’s a Succubus and she belongs to this whole secret culture of differently-evolved beings.
Things get interesting when the locals try to make her choose a side – Dark or Light. It’s worth nothing that in this show, these are kind of just labels and don’t wholly represent ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ Think of Demons and Angels a la Supernatural. The Light are still big douche bags who don’t care about humans and the Dark are pretty much the same.
I digress. Bo bucks the system by not choosing a side – and thus begins the recurring theme of not having to be defined by society. All that matters is who you are, and who you choose to be. This is a lovely theme that does not go away in this show. More to come!
#2 – Gender Fluidity
In the show, Bo takes many lovers – but the real sparks are between she, Dyson – (a Fae Werewolf ) and Lauren (a human doctor working for the Light Fae).
What I love most about this love-triangle (and there are oh-so-many things to love), is that Bo never, ever compares Dyson and Lauren from a gender perspective. There’s never angst about what Lauren can’t give her because she’s a woman, or if Dyson being a dude factors into her feelings. Gender is so not an issue here – it’s all about love, trust, loyalty and affection. It’s a fresh, refreshing take on sexuality – in other words, gender is not a big deal. This is an attitude I long for in the ‘real world’. It should be about the person themselves, not their private bits.
#3 – Friendship
The bond between Bo and Kenzi is strong, and anyone who isn’t friend-jealous of them is doing it wrong. Kenzi is a street-smart, con-artist by trade survivalist who originally latches onto Bo because of how strong she is. She figures teaming up with the biggest bad on the block would help her stay alive – Kenzi’s major goal in life until she finds Bo.
While Bo is resistant at first – covered more here shortly – she finally gives into Kenzi’s logic and the evolution from mutual survival to life-long friends is beautiful. Their bond grows and this relationship is the strongest throughout the series – proving that friendship is a hell of a lot stronger than romantic love. They forgive each other easily, can tell each other harsh truths
and support one another – whether it be by powering through a whole gallon of ice cream together or swinging a sword on one another’s behalf.
Kenzi also helps Bo to remain human, and teaches her about important things, like sexual rejection. One more memorable scenes in the series is Kenzi coaching Bo through taking a crowbar to an abandoned car to get out her frustrations about being rejected for the first time in her life. Best friend level 10!
#4 – Vulnerability
This show is not just about a badass Succubus, kicking ass and taking names. Everyone in this show has huge vulnerabilities that all of us – and I mean all of us – can relate to.
Bo was never taught about what she was and, as a result, had to live a lonely life on the run – always craving affection and love because she needed it to survive but never being able to see it fulfilled. When she meets Dyson and Lauren, you can see it is a relief to care about someone for the first time in her life – in the way she needed to care about someone. At the same time, you can see the fear and insecurities in her. You can see how badly the betrayals injure her because for the first time, people are close enough to her to hurt her in that way. Her quest to know her family, to know herself and to make a place for herself in the world is filled with a quiet vulnerability that she struggles with, but becomes a better, stronger person for as a result.
Kenzi grew up on the street – never knowing such a thing as ‘loyalty’ or a ‘home.’ When she finds both of these things with Bo, the hard exterior melts and it’s clear that the front Kenzi puts up is a frail one. She takes shit from no one, but the things Bo, Dyson, Trick and Hale say to her absolutely make an impact. These are relationships she eventually fights for, desperately, and with each meaningful bond, she opens herself up to more potential loss. And loss there is – but she, like Bo, always comes out on the other side.
Lauren – little is known about her for much of the series. We eventually learn her story but in the beginning, she is a human out of her own world, relying on nothing but her wit and intelligence to keep her place among the Fae. Her fascination drives much of her behavior, but at the end of the day, someone always seems to be in control of the things that she wants and needs. Her vulnerability is the lack of control she has over her own life – and yet she remains strong and defiant, resourceful and clever.
#5 – Girl Power
It is not uncommon for Bo and Kenzi to kick down doors, interrogate leads, save the damsel, etc. all on their own. Bo pools her resources – calling in Dyson or Lauren or Trick as needed for the respective expertise – but her first instinct is to march into danger without a second thought. She fights her own fights, she often saves many of the lead men on the show, and does it all with a balance of compassion and ‘I-don’t-give-a-shit-what-you-think.’
Lauren is frequently the brains for major capers, often reminding Bo to use her head instead of her heart.
Kenzi always sees between the lines, and while she’s not much of a fighter, she often finds the solutions to problems with cleverness and snappy one-liners.
#6 – Sexuality is NOT shameful
Bo uses her sexuality in a way that is empowering – and not demeaning to women. Her sexuality is often playing second fiddle to her overall smarts and attitude. Because being a Succubus gives her a leg up – har – when it comes to persuading people through their more base instincts, she often uses it to her advantage. When confronted with another Succubus in Season 1, the fact that Bo ‘works for a living’ is beyond astounding to the other woman – who originally asks Bo if she’s an escort or stripper. Bo is genuinely confused by this – she doesn’t see herself as only a sexual being, living off others. She is her own person, and sexuality is a part of her, not the only thing that she is. This continues the theme of not having to be something because it is expected of you – or because you were ‘born’ into it. Bo accepts her sexuality, embraces the beauty of it, and uses it in a way any lady could be proud of.
#7 – It is very LGBT friendly
As someone who identifies as not-exactly-straight, this show was a godsend. I alluded to it before in terms of gender not being an issue. That’s wonderful. What is even more wonderful is we get to see portrayals of non-straight relationships and they are normal. Well, as normal as you can get in a super-charged urban fantasy setting. What I mean is, the relationships are taken at face value. There is no drama, or stereotypes that prop up Lauren and Bo, or even Lauren and Nadia’s relationship. It’s not the L Word – it’s just two people trying to make it work. There is no stigma or angst over being gay. There is nothing better I could say about this show, other than it makes who you love not a big deal.
And, you know, hot lesbian scenes. That’s a plus. For everyone. I assume.
Ahem. Please know that last section could probably go on forever. But I stopped. You’re welcome. I think.
#8 – Respect
There is a lot of mutual respect in Lost Girl – and to keep with the theme, I want to focus on Dyson’s respect for Bo. He doesn’t treat her like a frail princess in need of protection. He recognizes her strength and respects it – I think even envies it at times. Bo had the balls to not choose a side and still survive. This is a concept that is very foreign to Dyson – having always been part of a pack – but he continues to support and care for her. Similarly, Lauren enjoys unfettered respect for her brilliance as a doctor and somewhat know-it-all (just imagine Hermione in a lab coat), her gender factoring in none.
#9 – Acceptance
Remember the whole rag-tag comment from before? This is what Lost Girl is all about. This show puts together a motley crew of outcasts – Fae, human, rich, poor, young, ancient, good, evil –and makes it work. This show makes you see the grey area no one wants to operate in. It flaunts the teachings of togetherness, strength in numbers and unfailing loyalty. In other words, this is a show only Canadians could have created.
In all seriousness, Anna Silk – who plays our main gal Bo – was recently asked what she hopes the legacy of Lost Girl will be years from now. Her answer was that she hopes the most prevailing memory of the show is the concept of acceptance for who you are and those you care about.
That’s pretty deep for a 5 season long Canadian-produced urban fantasy show about a Succubus.
And that is why I love Lost Girl.
Check Lost Girl out the first four seasons on NetFlix, or pick up the DVD sets and join the rest of the misfits!
Eve is the founder of Some Nerd Girl and the author of urban fantasy novel Children of the Fallen. She has been writing since the age of 13 and has been flying her nerd flag for the past 16 years. You can visit her website at www.somenerdgirl.com and look up her works of fiction on Amazon.