TV Review: ‘Lucifer’

Lucifer TV Review Fox
Courtesy of Fox

Fox remains strangely enamored of buddy-cop-with-a-twist series, which has yielded a few successes, but also plenty of Nielsen road-kill (“Almost Human” and “Minority Report,” we hardly knew ye). Still, it’s hard to think of one more patently absurd than “Lucifer,” which reveals that the Prince of Darkness has taken refuge on Earth, where, in the pilot, he decides to use his powers of persuasion to assist a local cop in solving crimes. Sure, there’s some mumbo-jumbo about forces wanting him back in Hell, but if the series continues along this trajectory, rest easy, he’ll get there soon enough.

Picking up in the middle, “Lucifer” finds its namesake – played by Tom Ellis (“Rush”) with plenty of suave charm and a British accent, suggesting that the road to Hell runs through “Downton Abbey” – having taken up residence on Earth as a nightclub owner, for reasons that are a trifle confusing. His absence, however, hasn’t gone unnoticed, prompting God’s emissary, the angel Amenadiel (DB Woodside), to periodically visit him, seeking to cajole him into going home.

Still, Lucifer seems to be operating without much purpose – other than sheer debauchery – when Detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German) enters the scene, seeking to solve a murder that took place outside the club. Moreover, Chloe appears to be immune to Lucifer’s influence (one is tempted to invoke the image of Jedi mind tricks), which intrigues him, as he tags along in helping her to decipher what happened.

Drawn from a character within Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman” comics, with a pilot written by Tom Kapinos and directed by Len Wiseman (whose TV credits include Fox’s “Sleepy Hollow,” in addition to his genre films like the “Underworld” franchise), “Lucifer” certainly has a sense of atmosphere, and has some fun with little touches like the character’s personalized license plate (FALLIN1, naturally) or inherent dislike of children. Rachael Harris is also a hoot, briefly, as a psychologist who is decidedly not resistant to Lucifer’s influence.

Still, it’s hard to think of anything more mundane than having the Devil walking among us, only to turn that into a crime procedural – a slightly sulfurous version of “Bones” or (gasp) “Rosewood.” Subsequent episodes merely calcify that perception, with Lucifer — almost giddy about facing danger and the prospect of being hurt — becoming “an official civilian consultant for the LAPD,” which at least explains how its parking-enforcement system operates.

“Constantine,” for one, already faced the challenge of translating to primetime a comic-derived character with one foot in Hell, and that show was pretty summarily cast into TV’s nether regions. “Lucifer” occupies a time slot where the aforementioned “Minority Report” hadn’t exactly been setting the world ablaze, with what should be an early boost from “The X-Files” as its lead-in.

Still, unless Ellis’ seductive appeal can rise to supernatural levels, it’s hard to see where the series goes from these tepid beginnings. Because if something smells a little rancid, unfortunately, it’s less likely brimstone than the stale whiff of a warmed-over concept.

TV Review: 'Lucifer'

(Series; Fox, Mon. Jan. 25, 9 p.m.)

Production

Filmed in Los Angeles by Aggressive Mediocrity and Jerry Bruckheimer Television in association with Warner Bros. Television.

Crew

Executive producers, Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman, Tom Kapinos (pilot), Ildy Modrovich, Joe Henderson, Len Wiseman; co-executive producer, KristieAnne Reed; producers, Mike Azzolino, Erik Holmberg; director, Wiseman; writer, Kapinos; based on characters created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg; camera, Glen Keenan; production designer, Scott Chambliss; editor, Ray Daniels; music, Marco Beltrami, Dennis Smith; casting, Elizabeth Barnes, Corbin Bronson. 60 MIN.

Cast

Tom Ellis, Lauren German, Rachael Harris, DB Woodside, Lesley-Ann Brandt, Kevin Alejandro, Scarlett Estevez

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  1. coneyro says:

    Tom Ellis…Those eyes! He is devilishly hot! My husband and I LOVE this show!
    Don’t care about the religious aspect or claims of blasphemy from holy rollers, Lucifer is wicked good fun.
    This program deserves to be given a chance. Here’s hoping it’s around for a while.

  2. elwhiteboy says:

    The show is really quite awful on a number of levels. ‘Lucifer’ is played as a buoyant, overly cute entity, never without a one-liner. Regrettably, these jokes are not funny delivered in this fashion and make the lead character highly irritating. Things might have improved with a dryer sense of humor and overall demeanor, but it appears no one gave this consideration…Lauren German is miscast, being way too hot for a cop. Her looks actually prove to be a major distraction to any episode plot….There is big-time unresolved sexual tension from the starting gun, and one spends time speculating as to when the two of them will literally get a room. That Chloe was a former porn star is somewhat novel, but also comes off as somewhat ridiculous and definitely overused, at least in the first few episodes. I won’t be watching the others…I’m betting he starts to like the kid and may end up as a kindergarten teacher.

  3. michaelsamsara says:

    This is a fun show – not teaching rocket science or trying to compete with Masterpiece Theater!

    Tom Ellis – like James Spader – MAKES the show. It is practically impossible – at least for myself – the second he is in a scene not to smile knowing something funny and fun is about to happen and/or come out of his mouth. I tune in as much to see him act and be Lucifer to perfect as I do James Spader in Blacklist – without Spader I doubt I would ever watch it and so it is with Lucifer.

    The supporting cast – Chloe, her little daughter, who personified cute!, Trixie (“That’s a hooker’s name.” What’s a hooker?” “Ask your mother.’ LOL) and especially Rachael Harris as his psychologist all work.

    All shows a little while to get up and running and into their groove. The fact a bunch of “you ought to get a life” house fraus don’t like it and have called for a boycott is a testament in its favor!

  4. Suzie says:

    I don’t care about the plot or the story of Lucifer; I’m watching just to look at HIM. He is mesmerizing.

  5. Jo says:

    I enjoyed the show. It was fun to watch. I really like Tom Ellis in this as well as I did in the short lived Rush show ( although I didn’t like the idea that he used drugs). I’d watch this show even if it didn’t have an X-Files lead in. I’m pretty sick of all the stupid reality shows. I hope this lasts, its refreshing.

  6. Steve Johnson says:

    Watched the first episode and loved it! Understand completely about the cop show criticism, but cop shows do work well even if they can be trite (i.e. iZombie, Castle, Bones, CSI, Law and Order, Monk, Miami Vice, etc.) Such shows are accessible to the mainstream masses that want a 1 hour episode that wraps up everything in 45 minutes, but allows for darker issues, mysteries and questions to be discovered bit by bit over each episode. A cop drama does allow for that. I’m going to be tuning in because Tom Ellis is devilishly perfect in the role. Also, the chemistry between Tom Ellis and Lauren German is really good. A nice side bonus is the character’s daughter’s interaction with Ellis’s Lucifer. Additionally, Amenadiel as played by DB Woodside is one of the best castings for an Archangel I have ever seen. Love his acting too! Also, looking forward to seeing more of Lucifer’s interaction with Rachael Harris who plays his psychologist. She was funny as the devil pun intended.

  7. I loved the show. I found it fun and interesting. I hope it make it…

  8. Steve says:

    The devil did not make me write this: I’ve read more than enough bad about this bad idea of a show that I’m going to be good and never watch it.

  9. Larry Colyar says:

    I watched the entire pilot a while back and was taken in by the premise. His collaboration with the female lead gives subtle hints at a romance to come, all the while building on his ability to outshine his counterparts with his otherworldly abilities. I, personally, found it very promising.

  10. Wreckt says:

    Chris Covlin, is it based on a comic?

  11. Chris Covlin says:

    its actually a nod towards comics. Look up dc comics there was a whole stretch of this exact storyline from 2000-2006

  12. Jack Monte says:

    The commercials looks terrible. How about where she asks about him reading her mind and he says I’m not psychic I’m not Jedi. Really? Work in a lame Star Wars reference? Not to mention it makes no sense. I’m not psychic ends it no need to go on.

  13. We have all of these religious names with a plethora of pastors, priests and bishops and and yet no one knows what the bible says about Lucifer. That being does not come out and say he is Lucifer. Allah is Lucifer in the Quran. Muhammad saw Lucifer in a cave saying he was Gabriel, lying. Lucifer, will stand on the earth saying he is God, lying. 2 Corinthians 11:14: And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
    This is Satan in more detail. Satan was Lucifer before he fell.
    ◄ Ezekiel 28:13 ► 13Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thytabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. 14Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so:thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.15Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

  14. Moose says:

    Pure bullshit. Unbelievable crap like this gets greenlit.

  15. Dunstan says:

    How to tell the difference between regular network fare and that available on pay: If the premise is insanely stupid and sounds like would have been perfect as 60s television, there’s a real good chance it’s on regular network TV. And this show’s trailer couldn’t have been more off-putting if it tried.

  16. imustseemovie.com says:

    Looks interesting

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