What Not to Do
I’m learning how NOT to write a series by watching Lost Girl.
I know, I know. Harsh, but I need some reason to continue watching this show. The only reason I have: the betterment of my craft.
The premise is interesting. At first, I thought this show would be like the Merry Gentry books by Laurel K. Hamilton, but it’s not. There are two factions of fae, the light and the dark, yes, but the main character, Bo, is an unaligned succubus with no memory of her family. When she arrives in town, the light and dark try to force her to choose sides, but she chooses her human companion, Kenzi, and remains unaligned.
The characters are interesting, on paper.
Bo is the true definition of “Lost Girl,” with no memory of her true family, and a path of dead lovers in her wake. She drains humans’ energy during sex, leaving them dead, but with huge smiles on their faces. She doesn’t know what she is, or that the fae exist. As she learns about her power, she becomes more powerful than any succubus should be. I suppose that’s because she’s *SPOILER ALERT* the daughter of Hades, but before we learn this, it just seems she’s another Anita Blake, a character who started out vulnerable and ended up more powerful than the vampires she feared. (Sorry for the LKH references. This is my basis for all comparison for fae, and for female main characters, it seems.)
Dyson is a vacuum. No, not really, but I find it hilarious that there are Dyson commercials during Lost Girl. Good marketing on someone’s part. Dyson is a werewolf. They call him a shifter, but he’s no Sam Merlot. I guess there’s a possibility that his *SPOILER ALERT* son, Mark, is some other kind of shifter? But they’ve never really identified how this type of fae chooses its spirit animal, or whatever. In my opinion, he’s a fucking werewolf, and they decided too late in the game to change it up. Dyson, as a wolf, mates for life. He chose Bo as his mate, and then IMMEDIATELY gave his love away to a mystical force, the Norn. When Dyson had first approached the Norn, hundreds of years past (the fae reach adulthood and then age very, very slowly?), the Norn asked for his wolf in return for a gift. He expected to trade his wolf again, and was willing to give it up. Instead, the Norn took his love for Bo, which means he can’t love anyone. Ever. A wolf without love is an asshole. Just saying. Something happened and he got his love back…I don’t remember. Blah. Anyway, he still/again loves Bo, but she also loves Lauren.
Lauren is human, and Bo’s other love interest. I have nothing against girl-on-girl love. I just…I never believe Lauren. (Tamsin, on the other hand, seems completely taken with Bo, and heartbroken when Bo doesn’t love her back…wtf, Lauren?) I get that Lauren is a little dorky, but she doesn’t come across as smart enough to be a doctor, let alone a mad scientist ballsy enough to create a serum that turns fae human. It’s this world’s answer to Vampire Diaries‘ “The Cure,” and it’s just as hokey.
Kenzi, Bo’s human sidekick, is an adorable street urchin who ran away from her Russian mother and hateful stepfather at a young age. Ksenia Solo made this show for four seasons. She’s feisty and fiery, the little scrapper screaming at the big bad because she knows her baddass friend will back her up. She is the epitome of every sidekick ever, and yet, she is every reason I watch this show (and the main reason I’m HATING it without her). Either the writers give her the best lines, or she’s fantastic at improv. Kenzi is larger than life on a show where she’s supposed to be the plain little human in a world of larger-than-life fae.
The other characters worth mention: Trick, Vex, Tamsin, and Mark. Trick is Bo’s grandfather, and the original Blood King, the one who can write the future in his blood to make things come true. Vex is a dark fae and former cohort of the dark leader, the Morrigan. Tamsin is a Valkyrie. Seriously. Valkyries are fucking awesome. Mark, Dyson’s son, is a fifth season addition. While he’s no replacement for Kenzi, he’s shippable. More on that later.
Notes on Character:
*If I were writing it, Kenzi would be my main character. She has the most in common with the audience. She’s human. She’s a friend, not a love interest. And, try as she might, she will never be one of the fae.
*Variations on a theme are great, but never forget the theme. When I think of shape-shifters, I think of things that can look like other humans, not just other animals. A wolf-shifter is a werewolf with a fancy name.
*I love that Bo is bisexual, but the love interests need to make sense. Bo and Lauren make sense in theory, but on screen, it looks forced and flat. Besides, Tamsin is three times as hot, even when she does the black-eyed Valkyrie thing.
The plot has taken some strange twists and turns over the past two seasons. At the end of season three, Bo was certain she loved both Dyson and Lauren, and at the beginning of season four, she found this stupid fuck named Rainer, on a train in hell, and married him.
*You can only use “Magic made me do it” so many times, if you can use it at all.
The most recent development that had Lemur and me scratching our heads: time-hopping between episodes. When an episode ends, it’s logical to expect the next one to start where the previous one left off. Instead, Lost Girl episodes start in the middle of the next big thing, and unlike CSI, where they give you time designations (e.g. “Twenty-four hours earlier”), they expect you to sort it all out in your head with little asides from Tamsin or Vex that refer to what happened in the previous episode. Either that, or SyFy decided that some episodes were not fit for US consumption. I’m not going to buy it to find out.
*Continuity is important, especially for beginning writers like me.
I want to quit watching, but this is the final season. I don’t really even care how it ends, as long as I am certain it is well and truly dead, like the wicked witch. In the meantime, the one bright spot is the *SPOILER ALERT* possible ship of Vex and Mark:
Even if it was all in Vex’s head, and he really kissed the oracle, Mark won’t leave it alone. “Who did you see, Vex? The Morrigan?” Um…no.
*Don’t be a cocktease like Supernatural. Don’t hint at the possibility of a relationship without bringing it to fruition. Even if they decide they’ll never work, at least let them act on it and see where it goes.
I’ll stick it out, but in the end, I expect a reward.
If Ksenia Solo finds more rewarding work, that would be enough. I’m going to need a new show to watch this fall.