You might have heard of Lucifer. Pretty much everyone in the English speaking world and the vast majority of non-English speakers have heard of the big, evil dude who serves as the polar opposite of the Christian God. Putting him on TV is an idea that’s almost as old as he is, although you’ll sometimes see him referred to by different names, like Satan, Baal, Beelzebub, etc., and other names that are not always 100% accurate, depending on how well the program’s writer knows the Bible. The red guy has become little more than a trope, appearing on Quantum Leap, Brimstone, Fallen, Reaper, several times in The Twilight Zone, Joan of Arcadia, Northern Exposure, Supernatural, The Collector, and countless other television shows and films. He’s often depicted as charming and white, and Fox drives the viewer right down this well worn path of familiarity with the selection of Tom Ellis as the main character.
I want to be clear I have nothing against Tom Ellis. He is a competent actor. I’m sure he’s enjoying this chance to act as a witty, well spoken, supremely powerful being that can get anything he wants (or so it seems). So it’s no surprise he portrays Lucifer as an arrogant, wealthy know-it-all. How could Lucifer be portrayed ANY other way, right? Oh, he’s angry at God too, and he’s a rule-breaker, that Lucifer. So he’s left Hell and wants to find some fun on the Human world. An angel, portrayed by a black man (D.B. Woodside), tells him he has to go back to work. But you can’t tell Lucifer anything (or any other wealthy white guy – look at Trump), he’s just all angry at having to do his job. He doesn’t care if “all Hell is going to break loose” because he’s on vacation. Lucifer cares only about himself.
Does anything in that paragraph above sound familiar?
So we have a worn out idea and a worn out set up. Are you ready for the big spin that will set this series apart from every other one and attract viewers like self-styled rap stars at a gold chain vendor in Jamaica? He’s sensitive and crude and forward to women. Oh, and he wants to solve crimes.
There’s a cop, of course. There has to be a cop because Lucifer Morningstar (that’s the name he uses I kid you not) wants to solve a murder (in the pilot episode) so I guess he needs to know about how police work.
I had to pause for a moment to rub my head.
An all-powerful supernatural creature wants to toy with women and solve crimes.
I will admit to some prejudice that I have with the network. Any show that appears on Fox is usually aimed at the lowest common denominator. Shows like Gotham break out, so that’s why I give Fox programs a look anyway, despite my personal bigotry. I went into this without expecting anything and I did my best to give it a chance.
While Reaper was amusing, Lucifer is somewhat less than amusing to me. This is a pile of rehashed ideas mashed up with crime solving. The idea has been done to death and I’m not seeing anything new coming to the table on this iteration. That means Lucifer is boring.
Boring is, of course, the worst thing any piece of entertainment can be, and I predict a short run for Lucifer. It might last a few months riding on Tom Ellis eye candy as long as fans (which I will predict will be mostly female) keep tuning in to watch him ejaculate dialogue.
What do you think?