LUCIFER SEASON ONE
The devil and the detective
Miranda’s Tom Ellis plays a right dirty devil in this US TV series, now arriving on DVD.
released 17 october 2016 | 15 | dvd Creator tom Kapinos Cast tom ellis, lauren German, db Woodside, lesley-ann brandt
Imagine if somebody decided to make an American cop show in the style of Are You Being Served?, with British innuendos flying all over the place, and with a lead character who’s none other than Satan himself. Can you picture the devil making cracks (pun intended) about Mrs Slocombe’s pussy?
Well, imagine no longer: Fox has, inexplicably, cast one-time EastEnders and Miranda star Tom Ellis as the sassiest, smuttiest Lucifer you’ll ever see – a naughty little devil so filthy he’ll make a double-entendre out of anything, like a cunning-linguist MacGyver. Thankfully, the majority of his puns are funny, although occasionally you do wish Lucifer would calm down; he’s like a 12-year-old who’s just discovered what sex is and can’t stop smirking about it. Mind you, that also sums up how a fallen angel would feel after fleeing from thousands of years in hell to live with randy humans in California, so perhaps we can forgive him.
The show bears little similarity to the Vertigo comic on which it’s based and is just one of a batch of recent series, from Constantine to Preacher, adapted from comics dealing with characters with links to hell. Here, though, the addition of a police-procedural format (as Lucifer teams up with an LA detective to solve crimes) gives it a familiar, comfortable spin. It’s a juxtaposition that has admittedly been done to death, but which contrasts deliciously with Lucifer’s unusually British bawdiness.
And as he wanders from crime scene to crime scene driving his homicide detective partner Chloe insane with his chitter-chatter – but always helping her solve the crime – you can’t help but enjoy yourself. Sure, if you don’t click with Ellis’s puppy-dog performance, you’re doomed; and a subplot about Lucifer’s grumpy brother Amenadiel is irritating until it builds to something interesting later on. Oh, and in one of the most Bechdel-baiting roles in recent TV, Lucifer has a giggly therapist who either worries about him or bonks him – maybe she’ll actually get to do something that isn’t him in season two…
But even if you aren’t charmed by Lucifer’s innuendos or are annoyed by his way with the ladies (and even a few guys...), you might enjoy watching the delightfully exasperated Chloe roll her eyes and look as though she wants to strangle him. In her thankless role as Satan’s straight-man, Lauren German is quite brilliant – underplaying everything Ellis overplays, giving him “as if” looks when he claims to be an angel, and often proving herself way cleverer than he is. With an on-screen couple as heavenly as this, Lucifer really does have wings.
Extras Nothing thrilling: the show’s 2015 Comic-Con panel (13 minutes), six short featurettes (mostly one-minute “character profiles”), ten deleted scenes (six minutes) and a gag reel. Jayne Nelson
Christian protest group One Million Moms petitioned to stop Lucifer being made because it “mischaracterises Satan”.