TV Review: “Lucifer” – Devilishly Camp

Written by Danielle Sing March 10, 2016

Lucifer

“Lucifer” premiered in late January and the lead character, Lucifer Morningstar, is inspired by a character of the same name featured in several of Neil Gaiman’s comics. “Lucifer” plays with a dark fantasy theme and the oh-so-controversial topic of religion, but it’s balanced out by a light-hearted tone and a fantastically witty lead character who doesn’t take himself seriously. Some elements of the show are campy and the dialogue is excellent. Despite the show being entertaining and even humorous, it’s brought down by the police procedural aspect of the show as it’s quite standard.

Lucifer (Tom Ellis) has abandoned his rule over Hell and has come to Los Angeles with a demon named Maze (Lesley-Ann Brandt) and opens up his own club, Lux. One night, Lucifer and a pop star get shot outside his club. Lucifer is unharmed but he’s determined to help Detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German) solve her murder. He then continues to assist Decker in other cases as he is intrigued that she can resist his charm and his otherworldly powers. Lucifer is open about his true identity but gets frustrated when Decker doesn’t believe him. At the same time, fellow angel Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside), is trying to convince Lucifer to return to Hell as his time on Earth is changing him.

“Do you think I’m the Devil because I’m inherently evil, or just because dear ol’ dad decided I was?”

The main downfall of “Lucifer” is that there’s nothing new or interesting to police procedures that go on throughout the show. There are a lot more interesting aspects of the show such as Lucifer and his therapist, Dr. Linda Martin (Rachael Harris). Though Lauren German is quite good in her role as an actress turned homicide detective, there’s nothing unique to procedural aspect. It’s very straight forward with little suspense. The upside is that the crimes in the show are catered to the location well and each crime does reveal a little bit about Lucifer – including his instinctual need to punish the guilty and his dislike of children.

Lucifer

To contrast the bland nature of the police procedures, the dialogue of “Lucifer” is excellent and this is aided by the expert delivery from Tom Ellis. Ellis’ delivery and his dialogue is at times comedic and this adds to the light-hearted tone of the show. Since “Lucifer” plays with dark and controversial themes, it needs the lead character to not take himself so seriously to balance it out. But when Lucifer embraces his bad devilish self, it’s quite terrifying. Part of this light-hearted tone also comes from how campy the show is. While religion is a controversial subject, it’s so exaggerated in the show that it’s amusing and even satirical. Camp can be seen as a negative thing or just plain annoying to some viewers, but it works. If the show was serious in its religious theme it would be off-putting, but the camp and light-hearted tone make the show more entertaining.

“How can I be scared of something I don’t believe in?”

In all honestly, a lot of elements of “Lucifer” should not work well together, but they do – for the most part. Despite the show being a cop show of sorts, that aspect doesn’t stand out. But the light-hearted tone and how campy the show can be does balance out the overall themes. With some higher stakes emerging in the more recent episodes, maybe the police aspect and the show overall will get better. I seriously hope so because I’m not ready for Lucifer’s adorably awkward friendship with Trixie (Scarlett Estevez), Decker’s daughter, to end.

My Rating: 7/10

lucifer

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