“In the beginning … the angel Lucifer was cast out of Heaven and condemned to rule Hell for all eternity. Until he decided to take a vacation….”
That’s the opening title cards for the new Fox series Lucifer, a clever show that combines the drama procedural with elements of comedy, psychology and a dash of the supernatural and religious themes. From Tom Kapinos (Californication, Dawson’s Creek) and some help from blockbuster film director Jerry Bruckheimer, the show is adapted from the Lucifer Morningstar character that featured in the Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg comic series The Sandman who later went on to become the protagonist in his own comic series Lucifer written by Mike Carey; both of which are published by DC Comics Vertigo. However this new TV series has been getting up to some devilisih mischief of its own and fast building a new fanbase.
In light of reaching the (sort of) halfway mark for the first season, we take a look at our top 6 (because 666 would be excessive) reasons that you should catch up and watch Lucifer…. PSA: Some spoilers ahead!
1) Sassy Rule Breaking Devil + By The Book Cop = awkward hilarity
Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis) is the sassy rule breaking devil incarnate in human form. He runs a club, drinks a lot, sleeps around with women and men and likes to have a good time.
Chloe Decker (Lauren German) is the by the book cop who trusts her gut to get the job done but is considered a black sheep on the force after an incident that’s ruined her reputation.
When you put this “odd couple” pair together you’re of course going to get some initial headbutting and stubbornness from both parties. Lucifer repeatedly tells Chloe he’s the Devil, Chloe repeatedly doesn’t believe him and thinks he’s crazy. Then of course throw into the mix the fact that normally Lucifer has the ability to charm and seduce all women, that is of course except Chloe who seems oddly immune to his devilish allure. Lucifer purposefully ingratiates himself with Chloe (and later her boss Lieutenant Olivia Munroe) so that he can find the people responsible for the crime and punish them, since he believes it’s his duty to punish the guilty (a hangover from his time in Hell). The fact that Lucifer constantly gets all up in Chloe’s face and she begrudgingly puts up with it makes for half the fun. Add to the fact the mystery surrounding Chloe’s immunity to Lucifer’s powers, it will be interesting to see where this relationship goes in the latter half of Season One.
2) Actor diversity
It’s a fairly common TV trope to have male/female pair leads, especially in procedural shows. However of late there are a number of TV shows that are taking their casting to a new level by adding in more women, and people of various ethnicity’s. Lucifer is one of those shows, not only casting multiple women, but also strong, smart, independent female characters who kick ass. Three of the main cast members are all played by exceptional ladies – Lauren German, Lesley-Ann Brandt and Rachael Harris whose characters tick any and all of the aforementioned boxes. Not only do we have the ladies, but the show also features a number of actors of various ethnicity’s including Kevin Alejandro (Mexican), D.B Woodside (African-American), Lesley-Ann Brandt (South African) and of course our lead Tom Ellis (Welsh). While the film industry may be copping flack for white-washing the same definitely can’t be said for the small screen and it’s refreshing diversity in casting.
3) Engaging and interesting character arcs
Unlike films, television series generally have the ability to build interesting character arcs due to the extended running time. That being said, most shows will tend to focus on its two leads, particularly in its first season, to build their character arcs. This can be due to a combination of reasons some including wanting to retain focus on the leads, and uncertainty surrounding renewal. But interestingly Lucifer’s executive producer Erik Holmberg and the many writers involved in the show have opted to give each of our ensemble the opportunity to have some character growth. Whether it’s learning more about Chloe’s past issues with the Palmetto Street case, or Mazikeen’s spiritually demonic connection with Lucifer, or Amenadiel’s future plans for Lucifer, all of these arcs, past, present and future, are tiny little sub-plots within the overarching season’s story. This is definitely quite surprising for a TV show considering that we’re only 6 episodes in and the first season is slated to have 13 episodes and we’re quietly waiting (and hoping) for a Season 2 pick up.
4) Killer ‘devil themed’ soundtrack
From the opening song “Aint No Rest For The Wicked” by Cage The Elephant, the show is littered with some amazingly wicked songs. They range from tracks that are overtly titled like Beck’s “Devil’s Haircut”, Elle King’s “Where The Devil Don’t Go”, and Say Hi’s “Devils” to the more subtle ones like “Sinister Kid” by The Black Keys, “Monster” by Colours, and “Fame” by David Bowie. Whether the music is used as part of the scene, such as when they’re in Lux as backing “club” music, or to use as transitional to move from scene to scene, music directors Marco Beltrami and Dennis Smith have done an A+ job of selecting music that perfectly nails the “devil theme” but also fits the mood and atmosphere of the show. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for them making use of Tom Ellis’ singing & piano skills like “King Of Pain” by The Police or an epic cover of “Sinnerman” by Nina Simone. For those who enjoy the show’s music, you can check out the Lucifer On Fox account on Spotify for an Episode Music Playlist and also Tom Ellis’ Playlist.
5) An interesting spin on the religious and supernatural
Lucifer may be the devil but the show takes a clever approach in gently laying on the religious and supernatural themes. Lucifer has the ability to ask people what their deepest desires are, and their divulging honesty becomes his bargaining chips. He makes deals or offers favours and over time cashes them in, in a form of long term manipulation. But when he becomes involved with Chloe and the police he soon realises that he can have more fun crime-fighting and that his “power” enables him to get the right answers they need to solve their cases. As their work together progresses though, Lucifer becomes aware that his power also has consequences; particularly in Episode 5 “Sweet Kicks” where the result of a deal he’d made years earlier ends in a woman’s death and potential gang war fare. There has been plenty of procedural shows over the years but few that incorporate some of the moral and ethical dilemmas that surround the use of messing with supernatural power. Then of course there’s the “religion” side of things, which they take in a very self-aware tongue-in-cheek manner. The amount of times they casually use the phrase “Oh God” or “What in God’s name ..” and Lucifer without missing a beat retorts “Not him” or “Not in his name”. The show incorporates God as an absent off-screen character, rather than as a deity and in so doing makes it less about religion and more about a relationship conflict – that between Lucifer and his Father.
6) The Devil has an existential crisis and gets therapy
In the pilot episode Lucifer meets Dr Martin and she asks him a few initially probing questions and you can see his mind ticking over as he mulls what she has asked. By the end of that episode, he’s realised that he’s questioning not only his own existence but the things that are happening to him and why. As the series progresses we delve deeper into some of the things that are troubling him as he goes for his sessions. By episode 6 though we get a big breakthrough as Lucifer finally reveals some of the things have irked him for so long. The fact he was cast out by God, made to torture souls (even though he didn’t want to), and blamed for all the bad deeds and things in the world are just a few of his lingering resentments. It’s an interesting spin on the Devil mythology, since to be honest nobody has ever heard it from Satan’s point of view. What if all the bad things we believed the Devil to do weren’t actually true? What if everything we believed the Devil was, is a lie? Over the course of the season so far, there’s been hints at Lucifer’s redemption, his ability to not only punish the bad but to help the good. As we start heading towards the Season finale, we can only speculate what lays in store for Lucifer and how his relationship with Chloe will play out in changing his character.
Australian audiences are still awaiting an announcement from FOX8 regarding when it will air the series.