So, everyone that knows me knows that I like being up to date on what interesting stuff is showing on TV. Back at home I used to watch series at night with my parents and its a tradition that recreates that homely feeling.
Well, some of you may know that only last week (25/01/2016 to be precise) the first episode of Lucifer aired. And oh boy was I dying to watch it. When I first heard they were doing this little project, I was expecting something dark – super dark. After all its based on a comic book series produced by Vertigo! For those of you who may not be entirely familiar with the subject: Lucifer is a spin-off series created to follow a recurrent character from Neil Gaiman’s almighty The Sandman. Then they got him his own solo project under the direction of Mike Carey. And know he gets his own TV series – something that I am afraid Sandman fans have been wanting for years, and for the foreseeable future presents to be complicated – and why? Because Lucifer is a cool guy. Evil. But cool.
His story revolves around his time on modern day earth, entangled in the lives of mortals, and tortured by the recurrent theme of the series: the idea of free-will and knowing thyself. It’s all actually very crude. He doesn’t lie, he is very upfront and doesn’t give a damn. Plays by the rules, plays dirty, as he may when he may. He is The Devil, he knows it, and he knows that provides you with privileges, but also duty. Hell gets boring so he gets out. Stuff goes down and he juggles through it to see what happens, see if he can pull it off…after all he is the master of suave, sleek and cool…and for most of it, he does get away with it.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there is plot to this all. The comics can get quite meta and philosophical, only in a way Vertigo comics can ( if you know John Constantine you know what I mean – if not, go buy yourself a comic!). Sometimes you can even find yourself reading a volume, thinking nothing really happened and three days down the line you realised that you have suddenly become an existential nihilist, when you were a proactive idealist before reading the damned thing. THAT is what makes this series so good. Not only that Lucifer is one of those villains who you just must sympathise with, because his degree of humanity is more than real, but because the story thrown in front of you is the essence of life.
So, I’ve spent a lot of time ranting about the comic, what about the TV series, I thought it was the point of this post? Sure thing. First, let me advise you, this is only preliminary analysis, the series has a long way to go. And second, remember this is just my opinion…
Casting is good. Tom Ellis really captures Lucifer is a very eloquent manner. It’s actually very “British”. And in fact, one could say there is a lot of Britishness to the ways of Luci – just imagine Mr Darcy became a Bond villain – you kinda get the picture, right?
But then they throw in his companion, this chick called Chloe, who is a cop and for some bizarre reason seems immune to the Lord of He’ll’s mind dazzling powers! ( not gonna lie, not sure where they are going with this one ?). So effectively, this becomes something like Buffy meets Castle, detectivesque with dark fantasy and a fair amount of humour ( not to everyone’s taste though. Must warn you it gets on the dark side of black and on the sharp side of cheesy).
But I think, overall the main ideas from the comic show through, at least based on the first few minutes we have been able to see. Lucifer is funny, blunt and indiscrete, not pleased by the constant appearance of his matey from Hell, Amenadiel, trying to tell him to ditch L.A and get back to business. Personally? I think the cop girl is not my cup of tea, but Lucifer’s act feeds from her, so I guess she has a use on the screen, although perhaps a bit cliche.
Therefore, and I’ll leave it there for now – if you like Batman more than Superman, this is something you may enjoy. If you have joined the fandom of Daredevil and friends, this is potentially more up your alley. If you like detective like stories, but are looking for something with a twist, then get on board. It may not be the TV series of the year, not even the comic book adaptation of the year, but it’s got some charm.
Give it a chance.