Reviews: Lucifer 2016
Not just a witty face.
All right, let's get first impressions out of the way. Yes, the show takes a DC comic about angels and devils and adapts it into an In-Name-Only Detective Drama. It's an unfortunate compromise between letting the show go full-out supernatural and giving the show a broader demographic. But! The risk paid off, and come season 2, Lucifer has had the freedom to spread its wings. Pros:
- The writing is skillful and clever. Each episode manages to cater to not only the Urban Fantasy and Detective Drama elements but also the episodic storyline and the seasonal arc. The plot is enjoyable to watch unfold; you'll keep guessing where it will go next while reveling in the antics between members of the main cast. As the series progresses, the episodes focus less on the Body of the Week and more on the supernatural elements. You notice the writers introduce a Chekhov's Gun or in-universe logic, and you'll see them reappear to satisfying effect by the end of the season. The execution of the show's storytelling is very tight and consistent.
- The characterization of the core cast is solid. The main characters start with a healthy mix of tropes and nuances. The writers then interweave character dynamics seamlessly into each week's story, and the characters evolve into complex figures. For instance. do you dislike how lecherous and quippy Season 1 Lucifer is? Well, I'm in that same boat, and I appreciate his transformation into a more sympathetic character.
- The Detective Drama part of the show is a crutch. The show falls back onto this genre as a safety net and out of necessity, but it can make episodes frustrating to watch. I find that it gets in the way of character dynamics and Urban Fantasy elements. The show has been weaning off that part, however, which is for the better.
Between the Devil and the Dumb Bland Show
I've mentioned before how obnoxious I find it when a series tries to pilfer the Doctor Who/House audiences with their own quirky, eccentric British actors. Lucifer is especially obnoxious for how far it bends over backwards to work its own British live wire into the plot. Lucifer is tired of hell and back on earth, where he owns a "stylish" nightclub. He ends up partnering with a perfunctory, attractive cop to solve murder mysteries for reasons not worth going into. He's not actually a police detective himself, but these things need an amateur consultant sleuth and the Murder She Wrote lady isn't around to help. You'd think Lu' would be a man of means, but the story needs him to have an officer of the law permit him to wander on to crime scenes each week. The most striking thing about this show is how bloodless and unimaginative it is in depicting Satan. Here he is just an obnoxiously smug guy in tacky suits in a tacky club who doesn't take anything seriously (until he inevitably does). They are free to envision Satan however they like of course, but it seems weird to me that The Devil in this day and age would be anything other than openly bisexual. Here he runs a strictly no-homo strip club, full of ladies who never take their clothes off. He peppers his dialogue with threats of deviance, violence and innuendo, but we are never actually shown him doing anything risqué. Mysteries aren't so much solved as let to run their natural course, with the heroes eventually stumbling on the villain as he is about to openly shoot another victim. It is the laziest, most contrived way to resolve a mystery plot, and shows the writing team really isn't up to the task. Meanwhile, the heaven vs hell elements are limited to Lucifer occasionally shaking his fist at the sky, whinging about his "dad". It's hardly Milton. There is nothing to recommend about Lucifer. It stands out as the single most uncompelling detective/magical realism hybrid I have ever seen.
Because this show needs a positive review
I think whether or not you like this show all comes down to a matter of taste. The first season is admittedly slow, but then again, so was Buffy's first season. In that way, they're both the same: the first season is more an introductory season, before the story really begins to pick up in season two. There are other similarities, too; a few familiar faces, the two leads remind me of Buffy and Spike but in the best possible way… Speaking of our two leads, they're fantastic. Cleary the best part of the show. Their chemistry is the best I've seen on a show in years, and I have absolutely no trouble believing in their friendship, which is slowly growing into something more. The idea of Chloe being immune to Lucifer's charms is something that's been done before elsewhere, but the execution of the idea is what makes it work. I look forwards to their relationship developing into a romance, because honestly, with the amount of Twilight-esque teen romance around, young adults need a healthy, positive couple to look up to, and these two fit the bill. Both actors do an amazing job, especially Tom Ellis, who deserves an Emmy for his performance as Lucifer. The emotion he can convey in one look alone is spectacular. One thing about the show that people complain about is the "generic cop drama", but I think it works. Lucifer is portrayed as a punisher of evil instead of evil incarnate, so it makes sense that he'd be solving crime. Because what do cops do? Punish evil-doers, which is exactly what Lucifer did in Hell. And while some of the episodes can be a little predictable, others really do leave you guessing, and they all tie into the character arcs – which are very well done. Another complaint is that it's nothing like the comic. So yes, comic fans are going to be disappointed. But kind of like with Thor, you have to accept that diving right into the weird stuff would be hard to do mainstream. It's why the first Thor film spent a lot of time on Earth; it gave viewers a chance to get to know him and his world through familiar eyes, and once we accepted that, they were free to add more of the weird. It's the same thing here; the first season introduced us to Lucifer and his world, and now we have an understanding of that world, they're free to introduce us to more. The second season has a lot more supernatural elements (Lucifer's mother, Azrael's blade, Uriel); if all of that had been introduced to us right off the bat, there would have been a lot of confusion and I doubt the show would have done as well. But this is all opinion based. If you were looking for weird and wonderful like the comics, you won't get that here, and that's fair enough. Is it as good as The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones? No, but it's not supposed to be. If you just want an urban fantasy like Buffy, and want to watch good character interactions with superb acting, then you'll probably like the show fine.
No sympathy for the devil
Meet your new protagonist; The Devil. Lucifer Morningstar as he likes to be called. He's tired of hell and decided to settle into the the City of Angels; Los Angeles. Here he is a glitzy owner of a stylish nightclub, brushing elbows with Hollywood nightlife. Then one day he and a starlet he sponsored are caught in a hail of gunfire. The gunman swerves into a bus. The beautiful blond starlet is killed. And The Devil rises from death, mad as all hell and looking for answers.... ....Now turn off the tv, bash your head against drywall for forty minutes and the resulting trauma-induced fever dream will be a better pilot than this. 10 minutes of intrigue and then subpar cop show garbage from then on. The downward spiral begins with Detective Wet B. Lanket's introduction, questioning the only witness; Lucifer. Lucifer's Interest in her begins when his powers fail to work on her. Her interest in him is irrelevant for she is a slave to the plot. He has a suspicion that she was sent by god to F with him...In actuality it's because his power only works on people and she is just a carboard cutout to bounce Lucifer 's personality off of. So they team up. The Devil and a mannequin dressed as a police officer; together They Fight Crime...Kinda. Its more like Manufactured stupidity disguised as "police work". Eventually they find the real killer. The breakthrough that led to his guilt...A news channel reporting the dead starlet's album sales going skyhigh...Making the killer; her producer, rich. Which is not actual proof of guilt. Detective Lanket came to arrest him with no proof, while bringing an unauthorized citizen in as her partner on a murder case, that ended with a dead suspect, her in the hospital and nothing admissible in court....Case closed...See you next week. The actor playing Lucifer is the only thing done right. He'd be great in a real adaption, but instead he's in a half-assed obligatory cop show with a co-star simulating a dead fish. Honestly, I liked this show better when it was called Constantine. Whatever happened to that show?...Oh right!