The big news in the Succubi universe this past week was the announcement by Syfy channel in the US that they were picking up Lost Girl for broadcasting on their channel in the near future.
Now there has been the usual press releases all over the web, as well as the bloggers reblogging the announcements and then gushing over that saying how great that is.
But here’s the thing…
I don’t think that it is honestly good for the series overall.
So I took a few days to marshal my thoughts over this development and now I think I can talk about it without my emotions getting in the way of things.
I have a few issues with Syfy carrying Lost Girl, some are with the channel itself, but a lot of it has to do with the people in the US that have been commenting over the announcement and trashing it without having seen the show.
Let’s start with the tone of the show and how that relates to Syfy’s view of the universe. It is, let’s admit, not in Syfy’s best interests to leave the swearing that happens regularly in the series in place.
Lost Girl is very sexual in nature. As a result there are moments when characters swear or are naked or there are sex scenes that would make the American censors flip out. This means, at least to me, that they will be re-dubbing episodes for the language or taking out scenes that get a little too racy for the broadcaster. Now they will most likely have to cut into the episodes somewhat, the American commercial breaks are different than the Canadian ones which means that we’ll lose about five minutes of episode time per episode. This might not be a bad thing in the eyes of Syfy as they could take out a scene or two that might not make it past the censors, or more likely their owners NBC.
But that will I think remove a lot of what makes the series what it is. It’s supposed to be a little gritty language-wise and, let’s face it, we have a Succubus as the main character of the series. There has to be some sex in it or the fact she is a Succubus means nothing to the series.
Looking at past series that Syfy has rebroadcast, they have a tendency to edit the programs in a heavy-handed way. The edits sometimes remove important character development or we lose an important plot point as a result.
I can only hope that their edits are minor ones and they don’t change the series from what it is into a pale imitation of itself.
Syfy has had an odd relationship with series on its channel over the years. Shows like Invisible Man, which were well written, had a tight cast and a story line that was interesting get cancelled. Now, yes, they did, or were, the home for all of the Stargate series, not to mention Battlestar Galactica as well, but when a series doesn’t perform as they expect they move it around, mostly without any or little notice to the viewers. When that moving doesn’t help, then they cancel the series when the ratings aren’t good enough for them.
Now the press releases indicate that Syfy will air all of both seasons of the series, so this might not be an issue. However, if they hold true to their past, and the ratings aren’t what they expect, I can see a slow slide to oblivion for the series, which would not be fair to it. Still, there is that opportunity to show the series to the American viewers and I think that Syfy has been looking at the demands of fans in the US that want to see it somewhere there and think that it’s a good opportunity for them.
That brings me to the people in the US that are commenting on the series having never seen it. I have read comments about it being a copy of this show or that show. That it is another vampire series. That they want “hard” science fiction and that fantasy has no place on Syfy.
Will you all please get over yourselves?
If you want something other than wrestling on Syfy, then you had better embrace the series that appear on it and support them. That’s why Stargate Universe was cancelled you know. Everyone trashed it, walked away from it, and then, when the series got its footing and the series was amazing it was cancelled. Yes they have brought in other series to replace it, but let’s face it, the quality of what you had doesn’t seem to match what’s coming in to replace it.
I also would like to point out to all of the people that are whining that the series is about vampires. IT ISN’T! Can’t you read what the series is about? Can’t you figure out the difference between a Succubus and a vampire? Are you all that dense?
Get a clue will you all?
And for the record, one episode had one vampire in a minor role in it and that is it for the series. The creator stated very clearly that you will not see another one. Ever.
So how about you all take a chance and watch a few episodes before you make a decision on it? And if you really want to see the series, you must know that there are “other” means of seeing it right?
So have a look and then, if you don’t like it that’s fine.
Getting back to Syfy again…
They haven’t actually said when the series is going to premiere. This could result in a loss of ratings for the series and I’ll explain that. The new season starts on September 11th this year. That means that Syfy would have to start playing the first season episodes really soon in order to mesh the two season together properly and as well allow for the new season to start in the US as it does in Canada.
But here again the Syfy method of programming gets in the way.
They tend to show half-seasons at a time, then pause for six months and then show the latter half of the season’s episodes. If they continue that trend it would mean that in the US it would be well into 2013 before they would show the second season finale.
That would, I think, kill the ratings on the series because anyone really interesting in watching the show would have long before gone online to see it and see what happened. I’ll note that previous episodes are available on iTunes or on the Showcase.ca website or on torrents.
So Syfy can’t honestly run the series as they have in the past. Will they change their programming to match the way Showcase releases episodes? Somehow it seems unlikely, but necessary.
Can Lost Girl work on Syfy?
Given some changes in their methods of programming and assuming that they don’t promote it as “campy” I think it can. But it’s been proven before that Syfy has issues with their programming and more so the way they approach their core audience. I wonder if they can resist trying to promote Lost Girl as “a sexier Vampire Diaries.” That might be a bit much to ask, but it would be a positive change for them.
Let the show stand on its own merits and promote it in that way. There is a lot in the series to like in it, characters, story lines and more, and that should be the focus of their promotions.
I don’t want to see them try to sell it as “the B series flavor of the month.”
Syfy is well known for their B level of weekly movies and it’s possible that they might try to promote Lost Girl that way. It’s not really B-class. I admit it’s not A-class either, but trashy, campy it’s not.
Hope that they remember that.
So after all of that, am I positive or negative on Syfy?
Honestly I still think that Lost Girl would be a better fit on HBO or Showtime in the US because they would leave the series as it is and not have to change it to deal with a ownership that is, honestly, gun shy on sexually explicit series. There is a track record there of allowing series to cross into territory that is a bit racy at time and not worrying about it. Censuring isn’t needed because the point is to allow the series to go places and go things for the sake of the story and the development of the characters.
I just can’t see Syfy doing that. To be honest I’m glad that they aren’t actually producing the Lost Girl series because they would probably have our Succubus Bo be a mouse and not be a Succubus.
Small mercies perhaps, but then you take what you can get.
We’ll see what Syfy brings to the table soon. I hope it is more than I expect of them.