dispatches from Lost Girl land

Jan 06, 2013 13:39

copy-pasting my Lost Girl pitch from tumblr, but with a bit more added, because I'm really excited about this show okay. No specific plot spoilers, but I've seen through episodes 1x5.

I endorsed it based on this handy primer alone but yes now I have seen five episodes and am enjoying the fuck out of this show. And not just because the characters go around saying things like:

DUDE. Your junk could CURE CANCER

in a way that makes perfect sense with the narrative, although they do and it does and WILD THING, YOU MAKE MY THING SWING.

The gist is this: this is a world where a bunch of mythical almost-human creatures (who by and large seem influenced by Irish-type mythology?) move fairly freely in society. A large subset of these creatures, fae, are divided into “light” (lawfully lighter gray) and “dark” (anarchic and so far basically horrible), and all are socialized to expect that they need to choose a side. Bo, the main character, was not raised by her fae birth parents, and has only discovered her identity recently. She doesn’t want to choose a side, and instead answers only to herself.

She’s a succubus, who gets energy from sex. All of her sex partners to date have died, in a hard gender-flip of your average dick-of-death fridgings.* Early in the series, she did, um, something? to be able to have sex with relative safety and now she does it a lot.

It sounds like every horrible misogynist trope ever, right? But NO. Like. Bo, her BFF, and her SO all refer to her succubus sex drive as “hunger” - she has a PHYSICAL NEED, and when she HANDLES IT, she is STRONGER. (Given the world we live in where the reality that women can even experience hunger for food, it’s especially refreshing on some subtler levels as well.)

*[Also, this little orphan lost is much more interested in figuring herself out via her mother than her father, which is still pretty rare.]

OH RIGHT HER BFF. Human Kenzi is snarky, and smart, and says the blunt, crass things that women only get to say publicly in the comments section on Jezebel. She doesn't make any bones about wanting to be able to do things, but she never feels like she's having a big tragic ~self-worth crisis either.

I’m cautiously optimistic about the portrayal of the heroine’s pansexuality. I think the show is reaching for what the Whoniverse did with Captain Jack, in just how normally it treats her attraction to women as well as men. And it’s doing a surprisingly good job. The one concern I have so far is that her serious romantic attachments, in backstory and real time, are mostly (entirely?) with men, which obviously. But it’s just five episodes in, so I hold out hope.

It’s an up story, definitely. It wants us to root for the protagonist. It sets her up to be the individualist special snowflake pulled in a bunch of directions by the world who forges her own path. SHE HELPS THE HELPLESS! Despite the moderate level of lifting it’s doing to push back against the kind of default Western narrative of “positive female sexuality = being the most expensive, desirable object in sight,” it’s a very easy show to watch.

There are a few things which might make it less easy. Bo's being a succubus does mean that she's good at messing with people's heads. It's not like TVD vamp compulsion where it's sexually abusive, the mark's agency is never in question, but idk, things to know. However, this also lets it be easier than a lot of action-fantasy shows in some way - overt violence is not a go-to strategy for Bo. It's not that there's no blood or gore, there is, I just feel like there's a good deal less than I think I anticipate from fantasy shows generally.

Someone else is watching this, right?!

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lost girl, feminism

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