Lucifer: Well, the Devil Went Down to California, Looking for Some Secrets to Steal ("Pilot")
When a show opens with Cage the Elephant's "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked," you know it's going to be good. And FOX's new show Lucifer, based on the character originally created by Neil Gaiman in DC Comics' The Sandman, does not disappoint.
The main reason the show comes off as well as it does is that its protagonist/anti-hero is so well portrayed. His opening scene tells us everything we need to know about him as a character - he speeds down the highway not giving any f***s, gets pulled over, persuades the cop to tell his secrets and then take a bribe, and finally speeds away to his nightclub. I mean really...what did you expect from the devil?
Then there's the dialogue. There were so many excellent one-liners in the pilot alone (I've recapped some of them below, but there were more). The dialogue was fast-paced, sharp-tongued and utterly fantastic. Tom Ellis excels at portraying Lucifer Morningstar as sarcastic and witty.
Yet there's also an excellent range of emotion there. He's genuinely dumbfounded by detective Chloe Decker, who is immune to his charms. As the wonderful shrink Linda points out, it bothers him on a fundamental level that he can't affect her, and he's immensely intrigued by it - to the point of committing the very un-devilish act of saving her life.
There's also a lot going on behind the scenes here from an otherworldly point of view. Amenadiel the angel shows up to chide Lucifer back into hell, and it's clear that Lucifer feels he's been unfairly put upon to be the bad guy. All of which begs the question - what's actually happening in hell right now? There's a lot for them to explore from this angle, and I look forward to it.
We also get a few tantalizing glimpses of what Lucifer really is - a brief reflection in some glass of a red-skinned devil, the glowing red eyes he uses to terrify a young child.
The plot itself was fairly basic and rightfully overshadowed by the dialogue and Tom Ellis just snarking his way through the entire episode. If the show wants to get renewed (and I hope it does), it needs to step up its plot game a little. But that's the only complaint I've really got.
Perhaps what I liked most about the show was the way it evoked many different genres. The devils and angels bring both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Supernatural to mind, two shows I very much enjoy. The crime solving aspects brings to mind normal police shows like CSI and supernaturally oriented ones like Moonlight (sadly canceled a year or so before the great vampire craze) and Sleepy Hollow.
Suffice it all to say, I was excited for this show when I saw the preview - and I'm even more excited now that I've seen the first episode. I think I've got a new favorite show.
Now don't f***ing cancel it, Fox.
Other Assorted Thoughts:
- "The seventh of never til the fifth of it ain't gonna happen" will be my new default response at work when people ask me when things will be done.
- The priest recognizing Lucifer and just straight up fleeing...man, that was good.
- "That's boooooooring." Perfect tone of voice. Also, Lucifer doesn't read minds. He's "not a Jedi."
- "My friends call me Trixie." "That's a hooker's name."
- "Pound town" is joining the same list of amazing terms to use in everyday conversation as "spank bank" from Galavant.
- "You know, you're going to have to get better at lying if you want to be president."
- I'm so incredibly leery of the network this is on. I still haven't forgiven those asshats at FOX for canceling Almost Human.