After several days of being a bit behind in my reviews, I’m looking ahead — to Syfy’s “Lost Girl,” which premieres at 10 p.m. Monday.
In short, I like it.
Syfy provided the first two episodes of the newly acquired show for review. While the show is obviously still finding its footing (it’s on its second season in Canada), it has an interesting premise that makes it a good fit in the new fairy-tale genre with NBC’s “Grimm” (both networks are owned by the same parent company) and ABC’s “Once Upon a Time.”
In this one, the world’s myths were inspired by the Fae, a race that pre-dates the humans and mostly lives in hidden harmony with them. Our heroine, Bo, is a succubus, a demon who feeds on energy and can also seduce humans (of both sexes) with a touch. Her parents abandoned her to human parents when she was born, and she grew up not know what she was and why her kiss killed.
That changes when one of her kills catches the attention of a couple of Fae cops, and they track her down and try to make her choose sides between the Light and Dark Fae, which are perpetually on the brink of war, supposedly.
But since she doesn’t know anything about the Fae world, she chooses humans, thanks to a new friendship with a young human woman, Kenzi, she saved from a nasty guy at a hotel bar and who becomes her sidekick.
The leaders of the two sides let her, for now, on the advice of Trick, a Fae who runs a neutral bar where Fae can hang out and be themselves. Trick thinks they should let her find out who she is before killing her. But he knows something. It sounds like he thinks she’s part of some prophecy that’s vaguely mentioned.
And that’s the pet peeve I have with the show. Obviously, they can’t lay everything out in the first two episodes, but the world they’re setting up could have used a bit more clarity. The show follows an all-to-common trope of not telling the main character what’s going on. And I hate when TV shows, anime series, comic books, etc. do that because it undermines motivation.
Though she clearly doesn’t know what’s going on, everyone acts like she should. When she asks for help, she gets a couple tidbits. You’d think it would be in the best interest of both sides that she goes into this more fully informed. They all have questions about her, and they’d be answered a lot more quickly if she knew what she was doing. That gives the writers the chance to do more interesting things with the character than the same old voyage of self discovery. And the whole point of the first episode is to get her to a side, but they don’t tell her anything about either side.
So why do I like the show? Well, I like the cast. Anna Silk as Bo and Ksenia Solo as Kenzi are a fun pair, not just a couple of mismatched partners. Kris Holden-Ried is Dyson, who too quickly becomes Bo’s love interest (mainly, it seems, because she can be with him without killing him since he’s a werewolf). He sounds like he’s constantly fighting an accent, but maybe they’re just trying to make him a bit endearingly mumbly. His police partner is Hale (K.C. Collins), who, apparently is a siren and adds a bit of lightness to the proceedings.
There’s some snappy dialogue, too. One line in particular that gave me a chuckle: “That was like the Fourth of July in my mouth,” Bo says after first borrowing some of Dyson’s Fae life force.
I also like that it’s not a cut-and-dried, good-vs.-evil story. In these two episodes, neither side of the Fae has much in the way of definition, but they both seem kind of nasty. It’s more an us-vs.-them thing, the little guy vs. the big bullies.
And then there’s the fact that it will be drawing on many world mythologies. It’s not just fairy tale creatures, but a mix of European, Asian and Native American mythologies. So that opens things up to have all sorts of interesting characters come and go. Syfy’s website has a field guide of sorts they’re calling the FaeQ.
An interesting note: There was a surprising amount of swearing for a basic cable show. Even showing at 10, I wonder if the language will be bleeped out somehow. There’s some skin, too, but nothing more than you’ve seen in some 10 p.m. network dramas.
So I’ll definitely stick around for a while. It’s been popular enough in Canada to make it to a second season, which leads me to believe it does, indeed, find its footing and gets over a bit of the awkward clunkiness of the first couple episodes.