Hold on to your souls, because there ain’t no rest for the wicked and the wicked have made their way onto Fox in a show called “Lucifer.” This procedural crime drama has a hellish twist that is pushing it up on my watch list. Of course, the devil’s in the details and this show has it with its unique writing style paired with beautiful characters and excellent acting.
In the show “Lucifer,” the devil himself (played by Tom Ellis) decides to take a vacation from hell. Instead of torturing poor souls in the underworld he opts to open a piano bar in Los Angeles where he frequently makes sordid deals with humans. One such human ends up being shot and killed in front of Lucifer – who is genuinely upset since he was close to her. Thus begins Lucifer’s descent into crime fighting with the beautiful detective Chloe Decker (played by Lauren German), who is investigating the murder. From then on, all Lucifer wants to do is help Chloe fight bad guys and bring justice, especially since Chloe is mysteriously immune to his powers, and he seems to be slowly turning mortal for unknown reasons, which makes all the danger more thrilling for him.
The show is set up very much like your typical crime drama, á la “CSI” or “NCIS.” I know what you’re thinking, “heaven help us another crime drama,” but the saving grace of the show is in fact the devil himself. The show is set up more like “Person of Interest” or the new NBC show “Blindspot,” in that the procedural element is mixed quite heavily with serious mysteries and overarching plots that go beyond each episode, promising beautiful world-building. An example of this is Lucifer’s continued refusal to go back to hell and possible threat of a war with the angels. It brings up the question, what happens to souls in hell without the devil? The combination is a plot that is not too heavy to digest and yet always enticingly engaging. The supernatural element reminds me a great deal of the short-lived NBC “Constantine” with its sassy British lead, demons and a lurking angelic war in common. Unlike “Constantine,” the show maintains a heavy foot in the human realm with Chloe.
If it seems like the supernatural moments are too overbearing, Chloe appears with her practical personality to put it to rest. She definitely adds a unique touch to the show with her refusal to believe that Lucifer is actually the devil and her personal life which often acts as a side story. Seeing Chloe struggle to raise her young daughter, while being separated from her husband, brings a softer and more emotional touch to the show. Not to mention, Lauren German’s portrayal of Chloe is fantastic. She truly delivers a well-rounded character between adorable scenes where she accuses her daughter of stealing cake, to serious scenes where she reveals her tough past in Hollywood as an actress. It’s interesting to see such a complex character interact with the superficial Lucifer.
I really love the character Lucifer despite the cliché villainy and sassiness all British characters seem to have in movies and TV. What wins me over is the seriousness glimpsed throughout the show. Ellis manages to really convey through his acting how the vain, one-dimensional personality is really just a mask for rage and despair. This hidden despair is best seen in the newest episode “Favorite Son” when (spoilers) it’s revealed his wings have been stolen. To see him break down in the therapist office and punch through the wall gave me shivers. I’m especially excited to see how this character develops when there’s so much promise in these small glimpses.
If the unique writing doesn’t make you think about selling your soul to this show, then the amazing portrayal of complex characters should. Like Lucifer himself the show has an easy-going and sometimes humorous exterior with an underbelly of drama, mystery and tragedy. Lucifer is definitely a devilishly good treat that deserves a chance. You can watch “Lucifer” Fridays on Fox at 9 PM.