Continuing their attempt at world domination via your TV screen, Lucifer is the second show to come from the pages of DC Comics Vertigo line. Like a couple of the other DC shows, Lucifer too has fallen victim to the writers and producers of FOX who seemingly have absolutely no idea what the property they’re adapting for TV is, or how to use it.
• Exhibition: DVD
• Rating: 15
• Run Time: Approx 590 minutes
Lucifer Morningstar is (or was, rather) the ruler of hell, who being tired of his lot decides to leave his domain, forever sealing the gates to hell behind him and set up shop in Los Angels, where he opens a club called Lux and for a time enjoys a life of luxurious L.A. excess.
And that’s where the similarities to the comic end.
You see, Lucifer witnesses a drive by shooting, and would have fallen victim to it; were it not for the whole ‘him being immortal’ thing, and decides to help the L.A.P.D. track down the culprit behind the shooting and bring them punishment.
He is partnered up with a reluctant Detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German), an ex-actor turned cop trying to balance her work and life as a single parent, and together the two solve murders on a case by case basis with the use of Lucifer’s supernatural charm.
The shtick here is that Lucifer is the devil, and he makes no effort to hide it. In fact, he relishes in telling people exactly who and what he is. Being the devil comes with certain perks – Lucifer is so charming that people can’t stop themselves revealing their inner most desires to him, and it is through this power that crimes are often solved.
This is a plot device that could easily become boring quickly, but in fact goes a long way to establishing the shows sense of humour. Many of the gags come from Lucifer explaining who he is to people and no one believing him, instead choosing to explain away or outright deny his abilities, and often looking more the fool for it.
Detective Decker is the only person immune to Lucifer’s charm, and for this reason he is captivated by her. This is basically the main reason he decides to help her solve crimes. She is a mystery to him and he needs to know why she alone if unaffected by him. That and he had a lot of fun tracking down and punishing the first guy.
There are some deeper changes within Lucifer that occur while he is around detective Decker too, but to go into too much detail would plant me firmly within spoiler territory, and there is a special place in hell for people who post spoilers.
If you’re looking for an accurate adaptation of the Lucifer comic series this is not it. At all. What Lucifer is, however, is a highly entertaining police procedural trying to find its own identity in a sea already swarming with CSI copies and spinoffs.
The show is at its strongest when it is away from the crime scenes and instead focussing on the characters and their personal dramas.
Tom Ellis, who is as charming as he is handsome, plays the role with such gusto it’s impossible not to be sucked in by his performance. He completely sells himself as the Lord of Hell, eager to hear and play out your every desire.
His brother Amenadiel, and friend Mazikeen are shaking things up in his world by trying to convince him to return to hell and his hellish duties, creating a conflict with who he is, what he wants to do, and what he should do.
This internal conflict and vulnerability can be seen during his encounters with Doctor Linda Martin, a psychiatrist with whom he exchanges sexual favours for her professional services. He is desperately trying to make sense of what is going on around and within himself, and there are some genuinely touching moments between the two.
This is until Lucifer says something to completely ruin the moment, but these retorts in themselves are an example of him using humour as a defence mechanism and so the cycle continues. Themes of identity are the blood of the show, specifically the question of does your past determine your future?
Scarlett Estevez who plays Detective Decker’s young daughter, Trixie, is a stand out in the show, and her and Lucifer’s relationship is easily one of the highlights. Lucifer’s childish abandon and lack of any social filter resonates, unsurprisingly, with the only child character in the main cast. And their almost love/hate relationship steals the show any time they appear on screen together.
Some of the best stories are focused on these personal moments, and do a great job of making this otherworldly character relatable, and dare I say human.
Being a comic nut I was sceptical going in, but I was surprised by the shows humour and charm. I enjoyed watching Lucifer, and I’d even call myself a fan. The world and characters are fun, and it is seriously funny in places. If you like police dramas with a sense of humour this is definitely a show you should watch.
We were sent the DVD box set, which is sadly lacking in the Special Features department. There’s a Comic Con panel which is short and fun, if not a little bit awkward to watch as the series creators try to explain away why it is so different to the comics.
There are deleted scenes and a handful of short character profiles too, but nothing worth buying the box set for.
Lucifer is well worth a watch if you are looking for something to binge over a rainy weekend, but it’s all available on Amazon instant video to stream, which most people have access to via Prime nowadays. And if not the price for a one-month subscription to watch this season and the ongoing season two is considerable cheaper than buying the box set.
Just don’t waste your time watching Preacher.