by: Mike Reistetter
With the new calendar year, FOX’s “The X-Files Reboot” and FX’s reenactment of the ‘trial of the century,’ “American Crime Story: The People v. OJ Simpson” both lead the storm of brand new programming. But what overlooked rookie show has been left idly standing by, lurking in the shadows?
I feel overwhelmingly obligated to break standard social convention by reviewing the seemingly yet-to-be-reviewed. I am certainly going out on a limb, when I declare “Lucifer” the most uniquely twisted comedy to grace network television in years.
You see television commercials and social network promotional gimmicks for, truthfully, exactly what they are: Informing the masses about a destined-to-fail, ambitious comedy, depicting the son of Satan as a charming British fellow following around the LAPD. Yup, that is the show. I cannot really summarize it in any other way, other than in its customary, “logline” format.
Interestingly enough, I had never heard of any of the main cast performers prior (other than Rachael Harris, a soccer mom in 2005’s “Kicking and Screaming” and Ed Helm’s characters tightly-wound fiancé in 2009’s “The Hangover,” who stars as Lucifer’s gullible ‘therapist-with-benefits.’
Lucifer is marvelously played by Tom Ellis, who I whole-heartedly believe could have competed for a “Best TV Actor- Comedy” Golden Globe had the show chosen to premiere in the fall, rather than as a mid-season replacement.”Lucifer” already has its back against the wall. Perhaps it’s slotting directly after the monster ratings galore “X-Files“ reboot on FOX can proof beneficial. Lucifer, his new pals, and their real-life counterparts appear eagerly determined to achieve one synonymous end-goal: humorously investigating crimes well past program renewal season.
“Lucifer” is not the star of a one-man, “National Lampoon’s Earth Vacation” act, however. He is accompanied on his trip to Earth by a cold female bartender named Maze. During the fast-paced expository scenes, Lucifer is shown as a prominent figure, owning his own nightclub and having a knack for playing the piano. He regularly performs with an old pal-turned-superstar musician named Delilah, whose sudden murder triggers the chain of events that ultimately lands Lucifer as an official consultant for the LAPD.
He possesses the supernatural ability to reel in the inner-desires of his acquaintances. People are destined to lose all sense of discreteness and filtering whilst conversing with Lucifer. The “man” is just plain irresistible, both physically to the woman he encounters, and aesthetically to viewers like me, who take it upon themselves to adequately analyze this “creature” masquerading as a human. Its almost like Austin Powers, Dr. Evil, and the animated persona of Satan on South Park all decided to combine the three of their personalities together, while sitting around a coffee table, smoking marijuana, and watching police procedural dramas.
Lucifer’s devilish personality undergoes some minor adjusting when he meets Chloe Dancer, a detective impervious to Lucifer’s manipulative wits. Hopefully, the writers evade the full clichéd route, and do not have Lucifer and Chloe’s bickering and banter-filled “partnership” turn into a romantic one later on in the series. I also believe the writing staff should be particularly careful with their treatment of Lucifer’s blatantly foreshadowed, “round character” transformation.
The show appropriately never takes itself seriously, addressing its unabashedly satanic source material by completely ignoring it. In doing so, Lucifer ceases to compromise the very root of its satirical appeal.
I hope the remainder of the season is able to maintain the balance of both good humor and excellent story progression that its premiere outing showcased. If it appears ill fated to crash headfirst into “dumped show status,” I hope the writers will be given enough notice to prepare a proper sendoff to the already beloved Lucifer. The show is either modern ingeniousness, or simply evil-reincarnated. No comedies debuting in January are this good anymore, without there being a catch involved. Hopefully, if the other shoe beings to drop at some point, Lucifer’s brother Amenadiel will slow down time, so one of the hellish “humans” roaming the earth can “catch” it before it falls.