The Wolf of Netflix: Lost Girl

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Lost Girl
First three seasons on Netflix
4.5/5

I’ve been on a herculean quest for you, dear reader. Well, I guess it was partially for my benefit but let’s try not to dwell on that. I’ve been scrolling through reams and reams of shows on Netflix since we last spoke, desperately searching for something original looking to review.

After about half an hour of frantic scrolling, I finally found a likely suspect, Lost Girl. a Canadian Supernatural dramedy which tells the tale of Bo (Anna Silk). The titular ‘Lost Girl’,  Bo is shaken from her rootless existence after discovering she’s a succubus who feeds off sexual energy, (which would explain why she’s been accidentally murdering all of her lovers since her teens) and is dragged into the secret world of the Fae and their millennia old cold war between Light and Dark.

She’s accompanied by charming young cutpurse turned sassy sidekick Kenzi (Ksenia Solo) who Bo saves from being drugged and assaulted by a bar room skeev, and together the duo run a kind of No 1 Ladies Supernatural Detective Agency out of their rundown apartment. Basically it’s the paranormal 2 Broke Girls, only actually funny. The show has several overarching plots including Bo’s quest to find her Fae birth parents, the endlessly murky world of Fae internal politics, and Bo’s love triangle with Dyson, a Light Fae masquerading as a human police detective and Dr Lauren Harris, the human personal physician of The Ash, the local Light Fae kingpin.

It’s been compared to a kind of lighter hearted, lower budget True Blood and I can sort of see why, but I don’t think it’s a perfect comparison. I’d liken it more to something like Vampire: The Masquerade, the RPG mythos which produced a couple of reasonably successful cult PC games. You’ve got an ancient, supernatural race, hiding in plain sight, separated into clans and divided between two main sects, one of whom believe in restraint and control, the other who wish to use their powers to their fullest potential, usually with highly questionable moral implications. The Light and Dark Fae bear more than a passing resemblance to the Camarilla and Sabbat (I don’t care if none of you are even remotely following this by the way, I’m an enormous nerd), and just like in the Masquerade universe, neither is portrayed as being intrinsically right, or good, although one is perhaps empirically worse. Or more honest, depending on which way you choose to look at it.

Whether or not it’s a deliberate rip off, it’s a good choice for one. Already we’ve got a basis for a complex and intriguing world, packed with political nuance and shades of moral grey, and by comparison to other, similar shows, the premise is actually something of a breath of fresh air, purely by the token that it’s not about bloody vampires for a change. Lost Girl’s Fae universe has the opportunity to play with a rich back catalogue of mythology, a world of Kappa’s, Naegi and Furies without having to go the contrived lengths that True Blood did when it wanted to broaden the supernatural gene pool (Were Panthers anyone? Man alive!).

The show also benefits from playing heavy on the fact that its leading lady is, to use the boorish, alehouse parlance of my west country brethren, ‘proper banging’, which it helpfully points out by constantly contriving reasons for her to get her kit off every single episode. Having said that, I’d pick Ksenia Solo doing a stand out turn as the wise cracking, vaguely emo sidekick every time, but I’m properly weird.

As you’ve probably guessed then, Lost Girl draws from that broad tradition amongst supernatural dramas, that dark is sexy, and sexy is sexy, and therefore dark and sexy is super, super sexy. As a result, everyone wears black, usually leather, and Bo, when she’s wearing anything at all, is never seen without knee high boots and her bodacious cleavage constantly threatening to burst out of her shirt.

However, I’m not sure if we can deem all of this simply cynical lechery for ratings purposes. I know I brought it up in my last review, but I can’t get around reviewing Lost Girl without drawing a parallel to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy was, and still is, considered a kind of Feminist superhero, proving that the pretty girl could save the day, and by extension, the boys. Lost Girl takes this concept a step further. Bo is a succubus who quite literally feeds off the sexuality of men. She wears her bisexuality on her sleeve, knows exactly what she wants and by golly gosh, gets it, all whilst repeatedly saving the arses of accomplished and supposedly powerful male Fae, most of whom are portrayed as morose and pig headed, dogged by their assorted personal demons. She’s the second wave of leather clad, kickass supernatural super heroines to Buffy’s prudish, waspy first.

You know what. I actually really like Lost Girl. It’s endearing, intelligently written, and they’ve made the most of their clearly limited budget when compared with those of their Yankee competitors. The show has a kind of irreverent nonchalance that really sets it apart. It’s got a darker, sexier edge to it, but one which doesn’t detract from the shows ultimately good humoured nature, which itself has pulled off the not inconsiderable feat of managing to avoid the realms of risible, Carry On puerility.

So presuming you’re not the kind of person who writes angry letters to broadsheet newspapers or walks out of films at the cinema in indignant huffs, I’d highly recommend Lost Girl. Canada, my Anglosphere brothers and sisters, you’ve done good this time, all is forgiven. Bryan Adams? Never even heard of him.

Tom Davies
Tom Davies is a York Vision columnist and generally unpleasant, self pitying human being.