Something different today on the Tale. Normally on Mondays I share a story, but today I want to share some thoughts about Lost Girl, about the series cancellation, and, in a way, what it all means… In a way.
Losing Lost Girl – An Essay
It has been a few weeks since the announcement that the fifth season of Lost Girl will be the final one for the series. I know that many people have commented over this long before I have. The thing is that my initial reactions were, to be honest, a long involved rant which wouldn’t have done a lick of good at all.
The amount of pain that came from the fans of Lost Girl was immense, there really is no other way to explain it, and in that came a lot of truths about the show, about the players in it, and the connections that have been made. It would not be fair to rant about how awful Showcase is, or how this is an example of another show on Syfy that is cancelled when there are more stories to tell. Others have done this. Others have begun grass roots campaigns in an effort to show Showcase there is demand for another season, or a film, or something so that there is more Lost Girl to be seen.
Having thought about things for some time now, I have still a rambling series of thoughts to share. As such, in no particular order:
Emotionally, the series has been something very special to so many people in the Lost Girl fan base that it’s hard to put into words just what that means. What the series has meant to the LBGT community is not something to take lightly, nor should it be. The way that the actors in the series have connected with their fans as the series went on was something that was different to what normally happens. The emotional contact, the words shared, the smiles, the stories told about what the series, the actors, all those involved… mattered. It wasn’t something that Showcase pushed them to do.
Anna Silk didn’t have to share a YouTube with Lost Girl fans and announce the cancellation. She didn’t have to appear at a convention that same weekend and see the emotions of the fans of the show. She didn’t have to, but she did. In doing so she returned the love of the series that the fans gave and we, as the fans, didn’t have to read a canned press release that just would have not gone over well at all.
But it isn’t just about Anna. It’s about Ksenia, Zoie, Kris, Rick, K.C., Rachel, Emmanuelle and Paul. They all aren’t people on the television that we look forward to seeing. They are, in a lot of ways, part of our own families. I can’t count how many times each of them has sent a birthday wish to a fan, or shared something fun on their Twitter feeds. They all connected with the Lost Girl community and in doing so they shared themselves as being a family and part of each of ours. There are so many stories about a fan meeting one of them, whether at a convention or somewhere in Toronto or elsewhere, and the grace of each of them is amazing. One single word of thanks, a smile, the occasional photo with a fan. Little things that matter. It’s nice to know you are appreciated for what you do and it’s nice to have a thank you in reply. Perhaps that’s just being Canadian. Perhaps it is something that others need to understand and get behind as well.
There has been a lot of talk about how the series has performed over the past four years. How some seasons were better than others and I admit that I am one of those. I have to wonder if the last season, how it drifted around, not really finding its way, was a factor in the series being cancelled. Could the fourth season have been better? I think it could have in a lot of ways. One clear path would have been to make the season more focused than it was. From the beginning of the season there seemed to be a story that could have worked well as a overall plot for the season: a hunt for Bo, perhaps having Kenzi be more the focus of the season. The deaths of Kenzi and Hale were, I regret to say… cheap. The way things unfolded seemed slipshod and uneven. The heart of the series, the story about the relationships between the main characters, took a back seat to the story of the Wanderer, which at the end of the season turned out to be… nothing. How many stories were left out because of it? How much character development was tossed aside? In the end, when the story of the Wanderer was finished, there was no emotional connection with that plot for many fans. Looking at the season as a whole, it seemed like the first two and last two episodes were what really mattered and everything in the middle just didn’t account for very much.
The core of the series, looking back to the beginning, is a story about Bo finding herself, finding out about her powers, and, more importantly, finding a family. Looking at the series overall, most of that has happened, side stories, odd paths and diversions aside. The series would have been better served if there had been more focus on the overall core plot of the series and less about the monster of the week or the mystery of the week. When the series didn’t focus on the quick to solve episode format it was a much better series to watch and in the fifth season I hope that there is focus.
But this is the final season, sadly, and the announcement of the series coming to a close comes at a point where the season is mostly completed in production. There are a few more episodes given to help to close the loose threads of the series, to try to make the ending something that, for the fans, we hope, can give an ending that is satisfying. The question of Bo/Lauren or Bo/Dyson or Bo/Dyson/Lauren not withstanding. I don’t think that there is any good way to bring that plot to a conclusion that everyone will be happy with. The worst possibility that I can see for the solution to that plot is one that would be the worst thing ever. But I’ll get back to that.
One of the questions that really hasn’t been answered is if Kenzi returns in the last season. We, as fans, expect her to, and if she didn’t that would be a disservice to Kenzi as a character and the fans as a whole. The question if how she returns, if she does, and what Bo has to do in order to make that happen really needs to be the core of the upcoming season. But, and this is the thing that always has bothered me about the series, is that rather than focusing on that story, of the path Bo takes to get Kenzi back, they will have a series of stand alone episodes in which there is one singular moment on that plot before the monster of the week comes back into play.
My one great fear as the conclusion of the series would be that at the end of the series, the last image we have is that of Bo being on her own and alone. Some might say that it brings the series back to the beginning, but as a satisfying conclusion it will not cut it with the fans. We might not have the ending we want, Bo might not be with the person we want her to be with. But having her lose her family again just would be too cruel a turn and it shouldn’t be.
The most difficult thing to accept as a fan of the series is, at this point, the season is essentially finished and ready to be released. Yes there are three episodes to figure out and film, but the way that comes together is a question mark. Can there be changes to the existing episodes? Somehow I think there won’t be, at least for the first part of the season. Perhaps some extra scenes can be written and filmed for the latter half, but in the end the series has only three episodes to close out the series on a bang and not a whimper.
Speaking of a whimper, the final season will be split in half and while we know when the first half of the series will be released, the second half is a question mark. Realistically, there isn’t enough time left in 2014 to write three interconnected episodes and film them before the winter arrives. That means that filming isn’t likely for the latter half of the season until Spring 2015… Which means we might not see the last part of the series until December 2015 and ending sometime in Winter 2016.
I’m not sure this is fair to the fans, but it makes me wonder about that break in the middle of the season and if one of the three episodes will be used to make the split work. I really hope not, that would be a waste, and considering that the series is still filming, I see them often enough to know they are, they should work around that problem somehow.
Setting aside all of my concerns and worries about what might be, the positives of the series, what it has done, shown, and given to the fans and how that has changed the lives of so many cannot be ignored. If the series is only remembered for what promise it showed in how it represented those that really are not well represented on television today, then it was worth every penny that was spent to make it a reality. Giving hope to others is something that cannot be ignored. That in itself is a good legacy to leave behind when the lights are turned out, the cast has moved on, and life continues. But Lost Girl will still be there and that matters. Make of it what you will, cheer for the character you love, and enjoy what is coming. In the end that is the single most important thing that we, as fans, cannot forget.
I’ve said many times that Succubi are the stuff of dreams and that, for me, seeing a Succubus as being a force for good matters. Lost Girl gave us that. No horns mind you, but that’s a fond wish of mine for the last season, though I expect not to see it happen. Yes, on occasion I admit that I rolled my eyes and threw popcorn at my television when things went silly or didn’t make a lot of sense. Yes, sometimes I was frustrated when the series took off in a direction that just didn’t make sense. But I watched every episode, I wanted to see what happened next and the ride was, in the end, worth it. Bo might not have been as much Succubus as I wanted, perhaps she was a bit too “Boffy” a lot of the time, but every so often the Succubus would appear and in those moments I smiled. I think a lot of fans did that regardless of the forays into campiness that happened from time to time because of the connection the characters have with us.
Perhaps we didn’t get the series that we were promised at the beginning. Perhaps there were a lot of moments when we watched the series and wondered if we ever would. Perhaps some of the stories were not all that they could have been. But what we did see was the connection between the cast, the family that formed as the seasons passed us by. We saw the fans take hold of the series and in doing so become connected with the cast and what they gave us in return. That is something that is special and it’s something that I’ll remember long after the last words are spoken and the credits roll.
See you December 7th, 2014.
I’ll bring the popcorn.