J and I finished watching season one of the television show Lost Girl last night. The gist of the show is that, in an unnamed Canadian city, the Light and Dark Fey maintain the centuries-old truce while hiding themselves from the human world. Into the city comes Bo, a young woman unaware of her fey nature. It turns out she’s a succubus, which in this universe is a sort of fey and not a demon. Bo then refuses to ally with either the Light or the Dark and remains an independent agent.
The show revolves around Bo and her human friend Kenzie as they operate a private investigatory service for the fey. Being unaligned, they can go places and do things others cannot. Dyson, a light fey werewolf who is a police detective, is an ally and one of Bo’s lovers. Dr. Lauren, a human physician working in the Light court, is a sometimes ally and sometimes lover of Bo’s. Trick is a Light fey barkeep who is far more than he appears. The long-term plot is the mystery of Bo — who IS she, really, where did she come from, who are her parents, why was she abandoned?
Lost Girl does okayish on matters of ethnicity and race. The four leads are all white, but the supporting cast and guest characters are not. (I don’t know where the film is supposedly set in Canada. I’m guessing in the east? There’s a bit where they cross into the U.S., and it seemed like the eastern part. I don’t really know. So I’m not at all sure if the ethnic composition of the show is accurately reflecting some part of Canada, or is just going for Hollywood Bland.)
Matters of sex and sexuality are more … mixed, on the show. Bo is a succubus. She is biologically driven to have sex in order to survive. This takes a certain amount of her agency away. Yet she is by her nature always the aggressor. Bo is, when we meet her, a rapist murderer. This seems like a fairly large hurdle for a show to get over with its protagonist. Yet because we see Bo preying on sexual predators, our audience conscience is assuaged. She is portrayed rather like one of the young, untrained, X-Men — someone with uncontrollable and dangerous powers, who tries to do good with same.
Bo can also heal herself via sex. Her relationship with Dyson takes a quick turn towards the practical. She shows up battered and bleeding on his doorstep, they have sex, she heals and leaves. Yet Dyson is a werewolf. He’s got a possessive pack mentality about mating. His jealous streak becomes a plot point, and that makes sense.
What makes far LESS sense is Bo’s jealous streak. She’s a SUCCUBUS. Sex is like SNACKING. Why on earth should she care if he’s seeing anyone else?
And then we have Dr. Lauren. Dr. Lauren is human, a little bit unethical, lesbian, and totally smitten with Bo. In a Straight-Outta-Fanfic plotline, Dr. Lauren must teach Bo how to not kill her sexual partners, and of course they must practice together. A lot. Because practice makes perfect. And it’s medicinal, you understand. Therapy. Lots and lots of panting therapy.
What Bo doesn’t understand completely is that Dr. Lauren is a slave; she’s the property of the Light fey lord. And he has ordered Lauren to get close to Bo.
The nature of the show dictates that in every episode, there has to be some sex. This isn’t Showtime or HBO sex, though, it’s more like broadcast network sex. Lots of seeing people’s backs, and everyone gets out of bed wrapped in sheets. Yet the sex is …
I don’t know. How would YOU write the sex in a show about a succubus? Would it be dark and gritty? Super-hot and steamy? Would you highlight the non-consensual elements? Would it be angst-ridden and full of regret? Light and inconsequential?
I am somewhat dissatisfied with the sex in Lost Girl, but I don’t know what I want it to be. I think the writers are not interrogating any of their assumptions. But, would I be happy if they did? Okay, I WOULD be happy if they took out some of the monogamy and jealousy plotlines. But as for the rest? How should it be handled?
Overall, I like Lost Girl. I think it’s kinda fluffy, and many of the plots depend on people saying “I don’t have time to explain!” when a two-minute explanation would clear up the plot. (Sort of an update on the classic Three’s Company-style misunderstandings.) But I like seeing a bisexual lead character. I like seeing her juggle male and female love interests. I deeply enjoy how Bo and Kenzie dress, I am shallow that way. Yet the show is … While watching it I feel like the show is missing something, some element that could make it fantastic.
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