I really wasn’t sure whether or not I would like Lucifer the tv series, but given that I love comics and generally try to give adaptations of comics into other media a try, I figured I may as well check it out.
Lucifer, as presented in this series, is based on the version that appeared in The Sandman, written by Neil Gaiman, and then later his own series, by Mike Carey. This incarnation of the devil is not so much evil incarnate as dissatisfied with his relationship with his “father.”
Played wonderfully by Tom Ellis, Lucifer is charming and charismatic, but for a being that has existed since the dawn of time, he is not terribly bright or self-aware. Tired of reigning in Hell and frustrated with the way humanity blames him for all their sins– he likes to point out that we make our own bad choices and he simply provides the punishment– he has abdicated Hell and come to Los Angeles to run a piano bar called Lux, accompanied by his guardian/ assistant, Mazikeen. It is here, following the murder of Delilah, a pop star whose career Lucifer helped launch, that Lucifer encounters police detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German).
The show quickly becomes a typical, old-fashioned cop/ buddy show with Lucifer constantly becoming involved with various police proceedings and using his supernatural ability to have people share their fantasies and deepest secrets in order to further investigations. While some of this stems from a seeming interest in understanding humans, it is primarily because Lucifer is entranced by Chloe, who is for some reason immune to his charms.
While I can’t say that Lucifer does anything terribly new or exciting (we’ve all seen this type of character dynamic several times over the years) I find myself totally enjoying each episode. Much of it is due to Ellis, who possesses a tremendous amount of charm and who manages to make the devil not only charming, but likeable. Yes, as mentioned above, he is a bit slow on the uptake, but he’s fun to watch.
The supernatural side of the story isn’t terribly evident in most of the episodes that I have watched so far, although there is the recurring presence of Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside), one of Heaven’s angels who wants to return Lucifer to Hell and is willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish this goal.
I’m still in the first season, streaming it on Crave TV, so it is entirely possible that the premise will wear thin before too long, but then again perhaps not. There have been several police procedurals over the years that managed to entertain for multiple seasons before going off the air, so Lucifer should be able to manage the same, especially if the show mixes up the action with the occasional “cosmic” story.
Genre TV often faces some difficulty, but Lucifer has been renewed for a full third season, despite protest from groups such as One Million Moms, who want to see the series dropped due to the “glorification of evil” that they believe it represents. How nice it would be if they could turn their attention to the evil that exists in the real world, instead of attacking television shows…
Personally, I hope it continues for another couple of seasons.