Comic book shows are all the rage now, although mostly they come in the form of comic book series and Lucifer is not that. It started off as a character in Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman and got a 75 issue solo spinoff called, obviously, Lucifer, written by Mike Carey. While you can’t do everything that the comic did, the TV version takes a significant part of the setup and even though religious groups whined loud and hard about the show, not only was it made, not only did it complete its first season, it got renewed for a second. Go #TeamLucifer!When Lucifer Morningstar gets tired of hell, he escapes to Los Angeles where he meets up with detective Chloe Decker and helps her solve cases. She doesn’t believe he’s really the devil, in fact, most of the humans in his life think he’s somewhere between eccentric and insane, but he’s accompanied by a female demon named Mazikeen who is devoted to him, and his brother, an angel named Amenadiel, whose job it is to get him back to hell.
As everyone pretty well knows, I like police procedurals with a twist and this is exactly that. But where this is a police procedural, the original Lucifer comic was not, in fact, while some of the elements were the same, including Lucifer’s night club Lux, having him strike up an unlikely partnership with a cop comes entirely out of left field. That’s not to say it’s a bad idea, in fact, it probably is one of the few ways you could get the series on the air, but far too often, the police elements almost completely overtake the devil elements, resulting in an uneven series. I guess it depends on what you’re looking for. If you like the police parts, you’re usually pretty golden, but if you’re really after the comic book elements, that is sometimes lacking.
Still, for a 13 episode season, there isn’t too much time for bad drama and there were certainly more good episodes than bad throughout. We meet Lucifer’s therapist, Dr. Linda Martin, who thinks he’s delusional and keeps trying to treat him in exchange for sex. We meet Malcolm Graham, a detective who was shot before the series began, who is brought back from the dead by Amenadiel to kill Lucifer and turns out to be a bigger problem than either of them realized. Then there’s Chloe’s daughter Trixie and her ex-husband Dan who Lucifer initially hates, but grows to at least tolerate over time.
But there is one element that I’ve talked about with regard to other shows and that definitely makes an appearance here: the whole “secret identity” shtick that I really hate more as time goes on. Yes, he has to keep his real identity a secret from the people he’s closest to, even though he tells everyone who he is, he refuses to show any of them his true face. Therefore, there is a considerable amount of time wasted trying to protect Lucifer when it’s entirely unnecessary. This same thing happened in Supergirl. It happened in the first season of Flash and Arrow. It even happened in another police procedural comic book series, iZombie. If there had been any actual superpowers in the first season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., I’m sure it would have happened there too. It’s obnoxious. Enough, please! Just let the important characters know up front so we can get on with telling good stories and do without the coy games. I was really hoping that Chloe would find out by the end of the first season, but no such luck.
Just as I felt that the possibilities had been opened up now that the core cast of iZombie now knows the truth, I can’t help but think the same of Lucifer. This isn’t a show about keeping secrets, it’s a show about the devil being on Earth, solving crimes with a human partner. Please, let Chloe know the first episode of next season so we can be past the preliminaries and get to the good stuff!
Overall, the show started out a little slow but finally grew into its own by the end. There are some weak spots, most of the cases aren’t all that interesting, but Tom Ellis’ portrayal of Lucifer is amazing. I wish I could say the same of Lauren German’s Chloe, I find her, at best, meh, at worst obnoxious most of the time. She hasn’t found her niche yet and needs to go searching for it quickly. And please, kill off Dan, he really has no place in the show, he isn’t even a decent foil for Lucifer! Still, it’s a good start for what could become a really good series, if they keep it aimed in the right direction and I hope they do.