It takes half the pilot for Lost Girl to explain its own concept to protagonist Bo Jones (Anna Silk), an itinerant barmaid who's blessed/cursed with the ability to siphon sexual energy, by which time you're past caring. This Canadian supernatural TV series is pitched somewhere between True Blood and Buffy The Vampire Slayer -- in that it shamelessly steals elements from both, ultimately leaving it with no unique identity. "It's A Fae, Fae, Fae, Fae World" opens with Bo saving a young woman called Kenzie (Ksenia Solo) from the clutches of a would-be rapist in an elevator, who's already spiked her drink. Bo does this by draining the creep's "life force" with a passionate kiss (shades of Torchwood's "Day One"?), before whisking Kenzie away to recover from her ordeal -- while she treats the camera to the sight of herself zipping on tight leather. Sharp cookie Kenzie realizes Bo has an extraordinary super-power, which stretches to creating feelings of sexual desire in those she touches (shades of Misfits), and is predictably more excited by the possibilities than her reticent saviour. Meanwhile, alerted to the crime scene of a corpse in an elevator, detectives Dyson (Kristen Holden-Reid) and Hale (K.C Collins) swiftly find and capture Bo, revealing she's part of a secret society known as "The Fae"; a genus of supernatural beings divided into two parties -- Light (led by Clé Bennett's baritone The Ash) and Dark (led by Emmanuelle Vaugier's beautiful The Morrigan). Medically diagnosed as being a "succubus" (it takes a doctor to put two and two together?), Bo's ordered to choose a side and live by the Fae's ancient rules, but the fiercely independent barmaid has other plans... It's tough to get excited by Lost Girl, as it's so awfully derivative and failed to get me interested in the characters or concept. When the episode ended I felt unmoved to see more, thus the pilot failed on a very basic level. A cannier show would perhaps have turned this into an erotic thriller, with a clear villain (a rival succubus busily shagging men to death cross-country?), or at least found a way to deal with the inevitable criticism that Bo's just a sexualized superhero. Her character's an odd creation, too, having apparently left a trail of dead bodies behind her (rather than notches on her bed post), and we're supposed to sympathize with a woman who's knowingly sent her lovers to early graves? And even knowing what she can do, Bo always takes jobs at bars where men will flirt with her all night? Why not become a prostitute, and be done with it? There are serious questions to be asked about Bo's history and attitude, but little sense that Lost Girl's even aware of them. Instead, the pilot simply expanded the universe to involve a menagerie of supernatural stereotypes, and that whole angle's so overused it holds zero appeal. The moment when the Fae revealed they're comprised of rival factions, Light and Dark, is when you can't help balking at the creative bankruptcy. Basically, if you're doing a supernatural TV series where the heroine can manipulate libidos and kill people mid-coitus, it almost demands to be adult and sexy. Lost Girl showed no evidence of taking things down an erotic path, meaning Bo's just an overgrown Buffy Summers with a tendency to smooch men to death. If you're really lucky, she may show a buttock, but only in a non-sexual context, and she's grown her hair long to hide her breasts. If you're going to be so coy, why choose to make your lead a succubus -- a creature of folklore that practically demands nudity, sex and erotic seductions? Or maybe we should be grateful she isn't a vampire. Overall, Lost Girl could have been morally knotty and a fascinating psycho-sexual thriller in more inventive hands, but it's instead content to mimic better shows. We've seen all these characters before, the Fae are dull vampires in all but name, the Fae's leaders are outrageous caricatures, and there's the peculiar feeling Lost Girl would have been better with Solo's streetwise sidekick as the lead. That actress has a feisty spark about her, whereas Silk is just a bland beauty. Asides Kristen Holden-Reid's girly name is in addition to the fact he's a dead ringer for Coldplay's Chris Martin, poor sod. You may recognize Emmanuelle Vaugier from her semi-recurring role in season 1 of Fox's Human Target.
WRITER: Michelle Lovretta DIRECTOR: Erik Canuel CAST: Anna Silk, Kristen Holden-Reid, Ksenia Solo, Rick Howlan, Zoie Palmer & Emmanuelle Vaugier TRANSMISSION: 12 September 2010 - SHOWCASE