Creator: Tom Kapinos
Cast: Tom Ellis, Lauren German, D.B. Woodside, Lesley-Ann Brandt, Rachael Harris, Kevin Alejandro, Scarlett Estevez
Running Time: 753 minutes
In an age of comic adaptations LUCIFER stands out among the many superhero fronted series that currently grace our screens. The closest genre the first season of LUCIFER fits into is that of the crime/drama, another genre that has its fair share of options. However this has a bit of a twist on the standard setup and instead presents us with good cop, handsome devil cop (to quote Lucifer himself). The basic premise for the series is that Lucifer has become tired of ruling over a hell and decides to take a vacation in Los Angeles, one thing leads to another and he ends up working with Detective Chloe Decker.
For the most part of its 13 episode run LUCIFER uses a typical murder of the week style formula for the basic plots, however it is the overarching narrative of the season itself and the characters that really make the show. Beneath the detective stories the show delves into the consequences of what happens when hell has no devil, and what happens to the devil when he’s among humans. The most interesting part of the first seasons plot is the reexamination of what is known about the devil’s nature. Without going into too much detail to avoid spoilers, it really plays upon the concept of the misinterpretation of who and what the devil is.
The heart and soul of LUCIFER is the title character himself. Written brilliantly and performed perfectly by actor Tom Ellis, Lucifer is devilishly charming (pun absolutely intended). With every scene he draws you into the character, regardless of how smug or self entitled he gets he is simply entertaining to watch. The nature of the character means “human problems” are like a game to him, so no matter how bad things are he’s having fun, and Tom Ellis is clearly having fun playing him.
It isn’t just the devil himself however, LUCIFER has an impressive supporting cast who all play their parts brilliantly. While there’s no denying who the star of the show is, he wouldn’t be as entertaining without the other characters acting off him. Most notably is the shows second main character Detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German), who works as a serious counter point to Lucifer’s care free attitude. The characters relationship with each other and how it progresses is definitely a highlight of the first season and the interactions between the two are always fun.
While a bit slower and more methodical than a lot of other comic adaptations on TV right now, in the moments LUCIFER does decide to include action scenes there well choreographed and entertaining, especially when they include Lucifer’s demon bartender Mazikeen. They are however few and far between, this appears to be the shows format, but there were times where things seemed to happen of screen which may have been included in a show with a bigger budget. This also seems to affect the special effects, that being the lack of. For a show about the devil, angels and the like a lot happens off screen, and when special effects are used they aren’t exactly good, barring a few exceptions.
Rarely do I criticize special effects within a TV series, but I felt that if I had to pick negatives about the season this would be one of them. The other criticism is that of the shows structure, with a 13 episode season LUCIFER rarely feels like it drags, except for maybe two or three episodes. However at times the rinse and repeat murder plot does feel a little dull, while it does add a repetitive nature to the show the murder investigations are mostly there as a backdrop for the main narrative and to spur character development.
Overall LUCIFER is an enjoyable series, I doubt it would win many people over with the crime/drama narratives but ultimately it is the characters that make the show so entertaining. While the murders can be intriguing, it is what comes out of them that make the show worth watching. The series could definitely do with a bigger budget, especially with where season two is going, but season one is a delight to watch. For those interested in shows with supernatural elements I’d highly recommend it, and for those just after a fun series to get into definitely give it a watch.
LUCIFER is out on DVD/Blu-ray today, October 17th.