• Allan Dyen-Shapiro

Lucifer can't find more interesting debauched, evil folks? In Los Angeles?

Three episodes in to the new FOX show, Lucifer, and I've decided to keep watching. It was touch and go after episode 2. This show is decidedly uneven, but at least for now, the pluses are outweighing the minuses.

Quick recap for those not in the know: the devil, loosely based on the character Neil Gaiman created for Sandman, is taking a vacation in Los Angeles. The only woman who doesn't instantly fall for her is a police detective, Chloe, and that fascinates him. Moreover, palling around with her, he gets to punish the guilty. But one case is unsolved--one in which the murdered victim was a special friend. He especially longs to punish that murderer. He doesn't understand why he's seeming to care about helping the innocent, so, in exchange for as much sex as she wants, he has unlimited visits to an analyst. Oh, and Chloe's daughter, Trixy is adorable and bonds instantly with Lucifer.

Set-up: terrific. The acting--Lucifer, played by Tom Ellis, is terrific. The droll, reserved, British mannerisms; the comedy encapsulated in a smirk or a wink; the one-liners: spectacular. Just watching this guy makes the series fun. And his interaction with Trixy is very sweet. Chloe--meh. Dan, the dweeby ex-husband who is also a detective--meh. Amendiel, the angel sent by God to bring Lucifer back to hell, who at one point calls himself Lucifer's brother--when he stops time, the series also drags, in that he's such a boring character. And Mazikeen, who helps run Lucifer's bar, and who followed him from hell (she's of a race derived from Lilith, but that hasn't been stressed yet), has had very little interesting to do at all. She's just a foil. But Tom Ellis and the child actor playing Trixy totally make up for the others.

The problem: this is a police procedural, and the cases are completely mundane. All of them really could have happened in LA, and there's nothing interesting about them. Okay, another dead body, also hooked into the LA entertainment scene, the first suspect fingered seems to have an alibi, but so do the next three, and it really was the first one. That's all three plots so far. Boring.

Bottom line: this series badly needs some more interesting crimes because the police procedural aspects are dragging everything else down. Sense8 got away with being a pure character piece because it was so outrageous; Lucifer just isn't. It's about police detective work. And Sense8 had 8 (actually more if you count the sidekicks) great characters to play with; Tom Ellis is really the only focus of the show here.

But for now, I'm watching. Are you?

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