Lost Girl Season 1
The gender politics of Hollywood became a hot topic (again) in the run up to this year's Oscars, highlighted by the industry's lack of female filmmakers, not only nominated but also voting in the Academy. This wasn't helped by Seth MacFarlane's musical number, "We Saw Your Boobs", at the opening of the ceremony, which courted further controversy as being demeaning to women. There seems to have been very little reported in the way of response from MacFarlane to these criticism. Apart from, what did people expect from the creator of Family Guy and Ted, maybe his intention was to say in a humorous song, "You are great, Oscar-winning actresses, why did you need to get naked, to appeal to stupid men?"
The role and portrayal of women in cinema, and Hollywood movies in particular, has been ongoing discussion for many years. So much so that a test, known as the Bechdel Test, was developed based on three criteria: (1) it has to have at least two (named) women in it, who (2) talk to each other, about (3) something besides a man. There are very few films that pass this test, and that even goes for films written and directed by women. Sadly, the biggest offenders are the genre filmmakers, with horror and fantasy taking the lead over sci-fi. If anyone has done anything to bolster female role models, and pass the Bechdel Test it is Joss Whedon, from Buffy onwards. However other haven't fared so well. For example, Wonder Woman was originally written as a platform for the early days of the feminist movement, but the character was soon subverted into a more "traditional" female character.
On the surface, Lost Girl's Bo appears to be a strong, independent woman, except she is a succubus, someone who feeds on the sexual energy of humans, and doesn't know it, until it's too late. Having grown up in a normal family, it comes as a shock to discover she is a Fae (basically a faery, like Sookie in True Blood). She becomes something of an outsider, neither living in the world of the Fae nor of the humans, as she tries to found out her origins with the aid of a human friend Kenzi, and a male Fae called Dyson, who also happens to be police detective. She also takes on clients from both worlds who need her help.
The show doesn't really progress the feminist cause, even if the female leads are feisty, they do tend to conform to stereotypical male fantasy characters. Given that it is aimed at that target audience, it does deliver the goods. Being a network show, it is nowhere as explicit as True Blood, but it definitely mixes it up, while still having plenty of action (of a non-sexual nature) and developing its own mythology. Currently in its third season in the US, the formula is clearly popular enough to attract a strong audience.
If you didn't catch it when it aired on SyFy Channel, the first season is out now on DVD. If you want a fantasy series that is more grown up than Once Upon a Time, Vampire Diaries or Secret Circle, but tamer than True Blood, then this should do the trick.
Lost Girl Season One is out now on DVD.