Lucifer in one way or another is the most fun show on Netflix. It combines some great writing with some solid talent. This little gem is stacked with hilarious word-play, interesting characters, solid sub-plots, and a pretty good “who done it?” every episode.
If you’re unfamiliar with the show, here’s the pitch. The Prince of Darkness (Tom Ellis) tires of ruling hell, and takes up a permanent vacation in a high-dollar Los Angeles nightclub. When one of the patrons is murdered, Lucifer becomes interested in punishing criminals with a tough-as-nails female detective (Laura German) who is remarkably immune to his devilish charms. Meanwhile Lucifer is protected by a sexy demon, (Leslie-Anne Brant) hounded by his Angelic brother, (D.B. Woodside) and gets a little too involved with his Therapist. (Rachel Martin)
Seems a little over the top? Well, yeah. But Lucifer, Maziken and Lux have their fictional origins with Neil Gaiman’s epic, Sandman. This isn’t just a wild bit of T.V., instead it a snippet of some of the greatest Graphic Literature ever written. The characters are listed as the creations of Neil Gaiman, (Sandman, American Gods, and everything else cool. ) Sam Keith, (The Maxx) and Sandman artist Mike Dringenberg. The observant eye notices those names don’t start appearing in the title credits until the third season. Possibly due to WB being unsure if the comic market was too saturated. Possibly because they had no idea how to market a character who was at best a background villain in a much larger story.
In the comics, Lucifer is depicted as the late Renaissance ideal. A fair haired man with rippling muscles similar to the sculpture “The Genius of Evil or Lucifer of the Liege by Guillaume Geefs. A massively important edition to the look of Lucifer is the edition of his angelic wings which survived the fall.
Gaiman writes the character with a dark sense of humor similar to that of a slowly aging frat boy. Gaiman’s Lucifer is bored, privileged and easy going. But is still caustic enough to frighten even one of the Endless.
Outside of Lucifer, Lux and Mazzikeen the series doesn’t directly connect to the Sandman Universe and doesn’t seem to connect to the DCU or the Arrow-verse in any recognizable ways. (Thank God.) Unlike other D.C./Vertigo productions, (Doom Patrol, the canceled Constantine and the very-recently-cancelled Swamp Thing ) Lucifer drifts in a world of it’s own. There are guest appearances by biblical figures including multiple Angels, Cain, Able, and Eve, but these characters don’t have any direct relation to Neil Gaiman’s character creations of the same names. This may be a massive strength to the series and it may be a drawback. On the one hand let’s hope that we’re spared a Lucifer/Supergirl team up, but on the other it would be cool for one of the Endless or some of the mystic heroes to make an appearance.
Also Comic book purists looking for a visual retelling of Mike Carey’s spin-off (D.C./Vertigo) Lucifer, will be very let down. All the action is on single plane of reality. Lucifer is hardly dark or foreboding and instead seems on a personal quest to better understand his own personal nature. There aren’t any gore-dripping daemons or half insect hell monsters from the nightmares of H. P. Lovecraft.
Still, when the show is taken for what it is, It’s a solid genre defying work on it’s own. Part cop show, part comedy, part fallen angel love story, Lucifer delivers some incredible talent along with snappy banter to be a near perfect binge watch series. Four seasons are currently available on Netflix, and a fifth season is in need of fan support to keep going.
As a crime show it delivers a good mystery with every episode. While there are occasional “magical” solutions where Sherlock Morningstar pulls the answer from his horned cap, those moments are rare and actually spice up what could be a very predictable series. Detective Decker is no fumbling Watson and instead is a better detective and a dynamic female lead in most episodes.
Lucifer is driven by the dynamic chemistry between Tom Ellis (Lucifer) and Lauren German (Detective Chloe Decker). Their banter filled with sexual innuendos, lame biblical jokes and a large amount of gallows humor. The fast paced dialogue is reminiscent of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The X-Files, or Law and Order.
This show doesn’t bench the rest of the troupe either. A fantastic chemistry exists between all members of the regular cast, and one notices that at some point each supporting character teams up to solve their own mysteries and problems. Sometimes characters swap out with Detective Decker and Lucifer to be the one who solves the case.
The developer, show runner and occasional writer Tom Kapinos steers the show in it’s own unique ways. Kapinos seems determined thread a personal story arch for each cast member woven through the season. Considering the massive differences between each character’s situation this can prove difficult at times, but the writers room pulls it off surprisingly well. Kapinos’ previous claim to fame was the show Californacation which was a bit of writing dexterity, but never quite got past star David Duchovny’s previous role of Fox Moulder.
At first it feels as though the series really skimped on the FX budget, both in terms of practical and visual effects. Eventually it becomes clear that the effects are simply well chosen, which the typical audience member is not used to in our world of over the top Special Effects.
The Bottom Line:
Overall, Lucifer is really a hidden gem, and the first successful T.V. semi-adaptation of a Vertigo comic. D.C. continues to fumble with projects such as Swamp Thing being canceled before even having a chance to build a fan base. Meanwhile, they seem to have let go of the one biggest success they could have had. Right now to ensure a fifth season Lucifer needs fan support. So check out a few episodes and if you like it let them know, you may find yourself a little bit of a devil worshiper after all. – 8.0/10
Staff Writer: Nerd Nation Magazine