Balancing the Best of Both Worlds on Lost Girl

BY Diane Wild
 

“Genre is 100% mainstream,” declares Lost Girl showrunner Emily Andras. “I always joke about that little movie that could, The Avengers. But you still have to find your place in the world and your voice.”

Part of the Lost Girl writing team since season one – allowing for a couple of pregnancies – Andras took over showrunning duties in season three and is currently in the throes of developing season four with her small but mighty writers room, which includes (so far) Alexandra Zarowny, Steve Cochrane and Michael Grass.

Andras does feel the show has had to overcome the “stink eye” provoked by its premise. “The reaction is hilarious. She’s a bisexual succubus who feeds off of sexual energy? So it’s like Red Shoe Diaries but with the CN Tower in the background, right? But it’s such a credit to my writers that I feel like the show is always 25% better than it has any right to be.”

“Because we have this character who’s very based in sexuality but also refuses to play by others’ rules, I think we found our niche and I think that’s critical. Even in genre you can’t be everything to everyone. I think Canada for once is ahead of the curve on this. We do it really well and we don’t have to be imitative.”

Lost Girl has helped fuel the fantasy and science fiction boom in this country but has also spread its vision past these borders and past the Comic-Con crowd. The unique humour and point of view has resonated with two distinct, vocal audience bases in particular (“it’s both delightful and terrifying”): fantasy fans and the LGBT community, who have embraced the three-dimensional characters whose sexuality is both brazen and unlabelled. “We don’t say this character is gay or straight or bisexual or whatever,” says Andras. “They just love who they want and have real relationships, and if we’re doing it right you could swap out the gender of any character and mostly it would still work.”

“We as Canadians may be fairly liberal about putting that on the screen, but what’s been really gratifying is you put it out to the world, places where maybe people are still persecuted for their sexuality or their gender, and the fact that other people are saying this is amazing, this is what it should be, has put Canada on the map. It feels cutting edge for once.”

She tries not to “go down the rabbit hole” of catering to the fans who fill certain corners of the Internet with their opinions. “My number one job is to tell a good story and commit to a vision. Too many voices in your head and too many doubts, and you have a story that doesn’t work. I truly believe that if the viewers fall in love with your characters and they’re compelling enough, even if they’re yelling at the screen, they’ll follow them anywhere, even if it’s not where they think they want to go.”

For the complete article, please see the print edition of Canadian Screenwriter.
 


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NOVEMBER 29, 2018
  • Writers Talking TV

NOVEMBER 29, 2018

Writers Talking TV

Writers Talking TV, presented by the Writers Guild of Canada, is a writer-to-writer interview held at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto.

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