The concept in base form is wonderful: the Devil, tired of Hell, decides on a permanent vacation. Taking up home in present-day LA, Lucifer Morningstar, as he unabashedly introduces himself to all, is now a club owner. Resisting efforts from his brother, the angel Amenadiel, to coax him back home, Lucifer is having a ball, free to roam around LA while his sidekick demon Mazikeen runs his affairs.

A rich backstory begging for exploitation, Lucifer’s surrounds ripe for depravity, and yet… The man himself quips to his co-star that, “You don’t seem too bothered about me being the Prince of Darkness.” The writers would share this apathy, it seems; all notions of vice are barely hinted at in favour of a staid crime procedural. As far as Lucifer the series is concerned — this writer has yet to read the DC comic source — Lucifer Morningstar is the Devil in the most vanilla of forms.

He is also paper-thin. Arguably there is character development — Lucifer realises he enjoys seeking justice — but themes of theological, existential woes are given scant regard, as is that most interesting of father-son relationships. A dearth of strong imagery does not plug the gap, the crime scenes Lucifer attends in his new role as homicide investigator disappointingly uncreative; indeed the only solid commitment to the character’s horrific persona is the red glow in his eyes when occasionally choosing to intimidate.

Despite these criticisms, the show holds a certain appeal, largely in Tom Ellis, who plays Lucifer. The actor strains against the boundaries of a shallow narrative to evoke a suave, sexual charm, and delivers his many one-liners with aplomb and excellent timing. The intention for bouncy rapport to further drive this comedic angle is clear, but falls short due to a wooden turn from co-star Lauren German, who plays Detective Chloe Decker. Chemistry between the two does however grow more apparent towards the latter end of the series, while the introduction of a major new character in the final episode implies darker, more fantastical times ahead. The hope is that this first season is warm-up for some deviance the Devil deserves.

Tom Ellis
Lauren German
D. B. Woodside

Tom Kapinos

Tom Kapinos
Joe Henderson
Jason Ning
Jenn Kao
Ildy Modrovich
Sheri Elwood
Alex Katsnelson
Chris Rafferty
Mike Costa
Sheri Elwood
David McMillan

17 October 2016

Posted by Naila Scargill

Naila is the founder and editor of Exquisite Terror. Holding a broad editorial background, she has worked with an eclectic variety of content, 
ranging from film and the counterculture, to political news and finance. She is the Culture Editor at Trebuchet, and generally gets around.