Just a quick reminder, in case you don’t know: I asked NWN readers which series I should view, and this “summer” I’ll be watching Lost Girl for the first time. If you’re new around here, I can sometimes get crude with my diction… and I can be a bit tangental. But you might like that! Or you might hate me! Yay feelings!
Imagine the final day of the semester: All of your finals are behind you. You’ve cut ties with the outside world that you should knot again. There are just so many episodes of television to watch after about two weeks of never turning on your TV. Most importantly, you have eons of sleep to catch up on. Ahh… sleep is going to be so awesome. Hello, good friend.
So why is it that on the last day of the semester, as I was deciding to drift into my hybernation… I instead whipped out Netflix and played the pilot episode of Lost Girl? I can’t explain it either, friends. I mean, I even have The Americans to catch up on! The Americans! I was supposed to wait a couple of weeks, regardless! I guess we’ll chalk this Case Of The Sleep-Deprived Couch Potato to curiosity.
All right, at this point you’re probably like “this tells me NOTHING,” so let’s get into it. Immediately, the first thing I notice about Lost Girl is that EVERYONE wears a popped collar. What is happening here? Is fashion this different from the U.S. during 2010? Okay, so I have to admit that I know zero things about fashion, but the popped collar is definitely not [fashion phrase/pun that means acceptable (are there any of those?)].
This guy was a bit noncommittal when it came to popping the collar. Plus, he was wearing TWO. “That’ll make up for it,” he says. But wait, GET THIS, by the end of the episode:
He goes 100% with the popped collar-ness. Good for you, guy!
So, you know, that happened. If you know me, you know these things are what I superficially notice. It was kind of funny by the end of it here.
On to analysis: I apologize but I am going to make some comparisons to Buffy and Chuck here. A lot of people in the comments were saying that Lost Girl was Buffy’s younger sister and I can sort of see that, but I also saw a lot of Chuck in the series as well (more on that later). Of course, this is just the first episode, and I have no idea how it’s going to develop from hereon out… but that, inherently, is what I thought was one of the bigger weaknesses from the pilot.
It’s a pilot episode; things need to be explained. I get that. But at points, it got either too blatant (“I totally misjudged you… HOW DO I NOT DIE?”) and at others, hackneyed. Why hasn’t Bo realized that she’s a succubus by now?
No, really. I’m assuming the entire audience knew she was a succubus by the time she kissed a man and sucked the soul out of him, which is what succubi do. Lost Girl really bordered the line between competent officers (which is a welcome change from the usual ditzes that occupy police forces) and having Bo being ignorant. Now, I get that there’s a subtext here that perhaps Bo didn’t want to admit to herself that she was anything other than perfectly human, but the way I saw things it was written and acted out kind of straightforward. (UPDATE: Because this may have rubbed people the wrong way, what I’m saying is that… Bo’s lack of knowledge made the pilot feel like it was telling you things more so than showing you these things, and that in turn causes it to feel a bit didactic. The simple choice of having Bo be self-aware, which she was to an extent, could have allowed for a more forward-moving pilot.) I’m on the side of people who don’t think Buffy season one was any good, but there’s something I really admire about its pilot episode, which I guess can be summed up to prior knowledge. Buffy comes into Sunnydale already knowing that she’s a slayer — not quite understanding it, but she knows. It allows us to trust Buffy just enough to let her guide us through the world. In Chuck, Chuck gets his “power” in the first episode; in this scenario, we’re going through the unusual with him, so we’re accepting of big exposition scenes. And, in Chuck, the exposition scene is written to count and in fantastic, heightened context: the night a bomb is set to detonate, on a building top, with a CIA and NSA agent pointing a gun at him.
As others have said, Lost Girl‘s budget may not be able to meet that of Buffy‘s or Chuck‘s, so some leeway is definitely afforded. I just think that the opening scene of the series works well, given their resources, that I was let down with their exposition-heavy stuff. Though, I concede this really only happened during Lauren’s scene, so it’s a good thing that during the exposition, they established Lauren is attracted to Bo which added another element to it
Well, anyway, after Bo and her new friend Kenzi start to begin hitting it off, Dyson and Hale knock them out with their breath. Ah ha ha no, I’m totally kidding. But they do knock them out with what I’m guessing is some sonic power. Then they take Bo to some warehouse and have her tested, while these two people talk at each other about how evil they are:
They basically tell Bo that she is “fae” (which I’m going to assume is short for faerie, yes? no?) and that she has to battle older fae creatures to the death (why wouldn’t they want to keep both faes?) to determine whether she can be in their clans. Watching this, especially during Bo’s second battle, it does feel a bit Buffy-y. Could Bo’s “Gift” also be death? But also tell me that this isn’t
I mean RIGHT? RIGHT GUYS? C’mon! This is totally The Master from Buffy. He even has Bo IN A TRANCE. Next, we just need Bo to drown in a puddle.
Anyway, she defeats him and decides to not choose any, one clan — which is labeled as “light” and “dark,” which… WHY would you choose “dark?” I don’t want to get ahead of myself with this, but could Lost Girl be commenting on our nature to institutionalize our peoples and enforce our rules upon society? The set up for the episode felt very much like that to me; it was like a commentary on how we try to segregate demographics into their own circles, and once we do that we divide them by their beliefs. Except in this case it’s humans and supernatural beings… but still. Or I could just be reading too much into it.
The episode ends with Bo and Kenzi moving in and being besties 4 EVA. And that’s that.
I certainly can’t say that the Lost Girl pilot is the best I’ve ever seen. But I will say that it piqued my interest. As the credits rolled, I wanted to click on through to the next one. Like I really really wanted to, but I stopped myself so that I could write about the pilot with no knowledge of what comes next. Overall, I think that it could have been tweaked to give a bit more to the audience. I’m not saying that they had to reveal everything. Just sort of point us in the direction you’re going. However, the pilot was definitely entertaining; I was laughing out loud during several scenes. I think Silk and Solo work off extremely well off each other. (“Okay that’s just stupid. Why would I save you?”)
So, basically, I just want to watch episode two now. After The Americans. Or maybe before it.
Favorite character: Kenzi. Like, how could you not love Kenzi? She’s hilarious, self-aware, and a go-getter. Plus, you can just tell that Solo is having a much better time in this gig than sulking and whining during Life Unexpected (which I loved, but).
Cons: The necessary evil that is exposition. Lack of subtext.
Pros: Sheer hilarity! I’m really glad that Lost Girl decided to tackle its story this way. More Bo and Kenzi scenes please okay thanks!
Amount of things that reminded me about Buffy: Uh, let’s see. There was The Master (who totally is the same person). There was The Gift part. But I think that is about it, really. I like that Bo possesses an ability that could be tackled much more differently than Buffy’s. Buffy had a problem with having to protect everyone. Lost Girl could go in many directions by having Bo’s power be something that kills people as just that. We could see Bo confront what she can do with her ability, the war between using it for “good” and how it controls her. We’ll see. Or I guess only I will see.
Amount of things that reminded me about Chuck: Two things. One of them was “Don’t freak out!” Oh, c’mon, I’m predisposed to like anything that says “Don’t freak out!” in a pilot episode now. The second was the tone. In fact, if you’re a fan of Lost Girl and don’t know what to watch between seasons, I’d urge you to get your hands on Chuck and watch that. Really. I’d loan you my DVDs if I could.
Things I won’t comment on yet: The obvious love triangle. I’m told it’s handled with care, but we haven’t gotten into it enough yet.
And so that was the first episode. I hope I didn’t forget anything! Oh, I didn’t say anything about Trick. Um, he was… interesting? I don’t know. He had like three lines! Hopefully there’s more of him next time. Until then! (The next time one of these posts appears, I’ll try to follow an actual schedule.)