Cleansing the doors of cinematic perception since 1987

Friday, June 22, 2012

LGBT Special: LOST GIRL


"You back off, or I will drop kick you into a women's studies conference."

Few things are more beautiful to me than someone 'coming out' - especially in our progress- reversing media; there's almost inevitably blowback and angst before the healing and ultimate triumph. But you can't go wrong when you reveal your true soul and that's why this parade coming this weekend is so beautiful, also AA conferences, and Psychic Kids and LOST GIRL, an adult-ish cultish show on Syfy and... wait, don't get your Boa-contagions and Arachnoquakes and Piranhacondas in an uproar, Syfy didn't make it; they imported it from Canada. And it's a reasonable-sized hit thar. As far as lesbain action chic, XENA set the bar, becoming a big lesbian favorite. (Read my analysis of the treasured Gabrielle-Xena bond here) and proving a loyal gay audience is worth risking alienating the rabidly Christian south for. And we all benefit when you take the chance.


We've come a long way since the days when if Xena and Gabrielle wanted to kiss it could only be through mouth-to-mouth resuscitation or bringing a mouthful of water to one or the other dying of thirst. For LOST GIRL among other things we have an ancient creature rather like a gay art collector exhuming a gay Asian guy's ballet dancing husband to add to his collection. And Kenzie is the Gabrielle but human and straight and 'belongs' to Bo, the Succubus - as humans can only fraternize with the fae if they belong to one, like a pet. That's another of my first grade S/M fantasies come true. They all congregate at a bar (no drinking age in Canada) and big empty warehouses... "a world hidden from humans" where they play pool and flourish 'outside' the mainstream with no judgments. All you need to do is hear the opening credits voiceover from Bo: "I won't hide anymore. I will live the life I choose," to realize she's out of the closet and proud, and in refusing to pick a side, verifying the right to be bisexual in a world where both the gay and straight world often demand an either/or, but she's also verifying the credo so many of us writers and artists adopt when we realize that we're never meant to embrace either the good or the bad, or hate them, since it means the art suffers. It's a pact we all make in the dead of night when we can't sleep and suddenly find true peace in ourselves through our craft, and everything else becomes just grist for the mill, as Ram Dass would say.


What's refreshing in LOST GIRL is that the romanticizing of marriage and children is altered in a gay mythic arc which is about family-building with fellow oddballs and misfits, such as the lesbian thing where everyone has to stay friends with all their exes, so that it becomes a big chain of longing as past, present, and future girlfriends or in Bo's case girlfriends and boyfriends, such as lycanthrope cop Dyson. The casual sex indulgences of her character are explained as necessary for her to heal herself from wounds (her succubus DNA). In one episode everyone switches bodies so we have a scene of two sensitive girls bonding in the bodies of burly dudes! It don't get no better/gayer. And best of all, no children, and no biological clocks and rants about how 'ready' they are to adopt or conceive.


Overall there's a feeling of TV threadbare minimalism that I like: there's the bar, the apartment and a warehouse interior which seems to host a lot of fae functions. It all looks like those late night Cinemax action erotica movies, with mobsters and bad CGI, but you just need to look closer: listen to the clever writing; tune in to the mellow gold sense of tolerance and belonging you can grasp onto; the way all the actors have mastered their 'out' pronunciation so you can't tell their not con de estados Unidos. Knowing references abound to the sci fi canon, so if you know BLADE RUNNER by heart, you'll know when characters reference Roy Batty's death monologue or when the door to a witch's oven subliminally nods to art nouveau door in SUSPIRIA.


10 PM Saturdays on Syfy. It's not on DVD except from Canada and even then only season one (we're on season two and season three is already locked in). So ignore the dubious phrasing from Syfy that makes it seem like they made this, and ignore the occasional ill-advised forays into Diablo Cody-ish phrasemaking... and I'll see you at the parade, unless it's too hot, or I decide not to go, cuz whatever, I live in Park Slope now and hate the subways on the weekends. And I won't hide anymore.

And I will live the life I choose... I mean, can deal with...

3 comments:

  1. Okay, not trying to self-promote here (I think I post enough on here for you to know I don't do that), but the entire realm of "lesbianism" or female bisexuality is something that can for whatever reason rub people the wrong way (no pun intended). In my "Nothing Men," a horror novel with truly horrific moments, I had a reader actually complain that I hinted at female bisexuality in a young female character. No complaints about anything else, just that. It was insane. I'm sure someone, somewhere, has tuned into "Lost Girl" and freaked out. Time will tell.

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  2. No you're right of course, Doug. And people have complained about Lost Girl, which is all the more reason to stick to your guns. As long as there are artists who don't mention this stuff because they're afraid of negative responses there will be people who think they're right and the prejudice will go one and GLBT kids will suffer. Every show, every book, every song, every film owes it to those kids to not bend one iota in their intent to portray out gay lifestyles. Saturation and familiarity and inescapability are the only ways forward.

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  3. Very true. Once it becomes "the norm" in art and entertainment, it will be more like "the norm" in real life. (Used in quotes not because it's a bad thing but because it has always been the norm, just not seen or talked about -- as if it would disappear if you ignored it long enough.)

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