GET LOST, GIRL

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Submitted Date 06/24/2019
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Getting involved with any fandom is a slippery slope. Dip your toes into Doctor Who and suddenly you're watching everything David Tennant's ever been in. Watch a few seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and end up cosplaying as Dr. Horrible. Pick up one J.K. Rowling book and end up spending your tax return for the next three years on trips to Universal Studios just so you can ride the Hogwarts Express. It starts out seemingly harmless and ends up snowballing into behaviors totally out of character for the prior "you." (Btw, I've actually done two out of the three things above. Have fun guessing which one I haven't.) Often, one fandom will jump the tracks onto a completely different fandom. Say you were really into the Twilight series. Like, you went to midnight movie releases and had detailed convos with your friends about why you're on Team Jacob. Well, the series ends. So, what do you do now? Probably start reading the Hunger Games.

Part of the reason fandoms are so contagious is also part of the reason we love them: they bring us together. If you saw someone in line at the grocery checkout who had on a t-shirt from that obscure indie comic you love, you'd probably start up a conversation with them. If the new girl at work has a really bitchin' Godzilla tattoo, you might ask her if she's seen the new movie. Thusly, you make friends with people who geek out about the same things. And those people have often seen things we haven't that we'll end up liking too. It's kind of like the Netflix algorithm that makes suggestions based on your viewing history.

This is how I came across the show Lost Girl. Stumbling about on Reddit or browsing some Harry Potter wiki...I forget the precise details, but I know I've read the lament that Lost Girl was canceled before its time more than once. So, since fans of things I'm fans of clearly thought Lost Girl was worth bingeing, I finally caved and added it to my queue. Tonight, I finished the first season, which consists of thirteen episodes. I'm not above a good paranormal romance, as the above Twilight comment indicates. Lost Girl has werewolves, sirens, will-o'-the-wisps, and headless demons. So what's not to love, right? Wrong.

I went into the show knowing next to nothing about it. My first impression was that Lost Girl must have been created for network television by some straight white dude. First off, it had a strong over-produced feel to it. It's the visual equivalent of listening to a boy band instead of some garage punk. Everything is shiny and polished. The directors clearly struggled with the restrictions that come with network broadcasting, such as reigning in the nudity. Not that I need to see another set of naked breasts, but the characters are constantly hovering on the edge of exposure. I'm sure that if they'd been allowed, there would be nipples galore. There is one sex scene in the first season between two female characters. It's pretty terrible. It's not the girl-on-girl action that I object to, it's that no lesbian I know would have sex that way. Both characters fumble around like teenaged virgins. It's directed like a hetero sex scene with a woman pasted in place of a man. It's in no way imaginative or arousing (unless you're the aforementioned teenager). The female-on-male scenes, however, are shot with much more passion and creativity.

When will people learn that leather-clad models with fighting "skills" does not equal female empowerment? What's the main character, Bo's, special power? She's a succubus. Bo essentially uses her powers of supernatural seduction to kill and/or control her victims (and sometimes her friends). Her supposed sexual freedom from a relationship is really just an excuse to show her in as many compromising positions as possible. And then, of course, she does settle into a relationship with a guy who must nearly always come to her rescue. She's not really as fierce and independent as they'd have you believe. Naturally, Bo is a slim, young woman with a series of expensive, revealing dresses when she wants a change from her tight black pants and plunging necklines. I get it though - sex sells. I just wish it wasn't so transparent.

And now that I've said all that, I have to do a 180 and tell you that one of the show's highlights is watching Kris Holden-Reid take off his clothes. Holden-Ried plays Bo's on-again, off-again love interest, Dyson. He's not my usual type and I can't quite pinpoint what it is that makes him so appealing. I think, as cliche as it sounds, that it's his personality. I'm the kind of woman that can look at a perfectly-formed male body and find it as repulsive as his personality. A hideous character will nearly always look gross to me, regardless of his physique. So, if he's a good guy and he looks hot too, well...Of course, it could also be that he's a werewolf, although we don't get to see that side of him often.

Another saving grace Lost Girl has to offer is Bo's sidekick, Kenzi. She may be thin to the point of anorexia but she's an entertaining character, played with enthusiasm by Ksenia Solo. Kenzi is a grifter, always trying to get her side hustle on. She's also a woman of many accents with a different wig for every episode. And thirdly, she's a pretty damn loyal friend. I like her. She's fun, practical, and usually pretty perky. Also, she's not jiggling her boobs in my face all the time. Don't get me wrong - boobs can be nice to look at. I just don't want that to be ALL a character has to offer.

There are a couple of other decent characters - Trick and Hale - in the mix. The acting, for the most part, is not stellar. Although Dyson as a character (and as eye-candy) are not objectionable, Holden-Reid's portrayal is fairly wooden. I liked the acting in Lost Girl much better than in Wynonna Earp (now THAT is a bad show). Trying to play devil's advocate with myself, I reasoned that, surely, the acting in Jessica Jones wasn't much better. Why am I willing to overlook bad acting in that show and not in Lost Girl? So, I took a break from Lost Girl and watched a few episodes of the new season of Jessica Jones. I was wrong. the acting in Jessica Jones is MUCH better. I also just like the main character in that show more.

All of that having been said, I will continue watching Lost Girl. After all, I've only completed the first season and there are four more to go. I remember avoiding Buffy the Vampire Slayer because I didn't like Sarah Michelle Gellar's acting. I can even recall having a dream once where I gave a lecture about just how bad I thought she was. But, some coworkers forced the entire boxed set of Buffy on me and told me not to surface until I'd given it a chance. So that's what I did. I sat and watched episode after episode of Buffy. The first season or two are just awful. But, after gritting my teeth through that handful of episodes, I became a convert. Then, I became a Joss Whedon fan. So, I've learned to give a little leeway on rare occasions.

We'll see what season two has to offer before I write off Lost Girl completely. As of now though, it's teetering on the brink of being removed from the queue. I've certainly watched worse and this show has potential. I'm just not sure how much time I can give it before I move on.

 

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