Lucifer: The Complete First Season Review

Tom Ellis and Lauren German have fun chemistry as the Devil moves to L.A.

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Tom Ellis waltzes through season one of Lucifer with captivating charm. Coming off the canceled-too-soon Rush, Ellis was born to play this sardonically amusing take on the Devil. Nominally based on a comic book character originally seen in Neil Gaiman’s acclaimed The Sandman, the series explores the actual Devil coming to L.A. as a swanky club owner. This being network television, it arrived on Fox as a police procedural. What else would a former Lord of Hell do in L.A. but solve crimes as he works on his tan? Lucifer transcends that formula with appealing characters and undeniably irreverent humor.

The show begins and ends with the excellent chemistry between its two co-leads, Tom Ellis and Lauren German. Detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German) ends up in a partnership of sorts when the devil (Tom Ellis) worms his way into her hectic life solving crimes. The backstory here goes that the Devil, tired of reigning as Lord of Hell for eons, has moved to L.A. and reinvented himself. Calling himself Lucifer Morningstar, he runs a classy piano bar with his demonic sidekick and bodyguard Mazikeen (Lesley-Ann Brandt). Known as Maze, she’s a ruthless demon who masquerades under the guise of a beautiful woman. While Lucifer doesn’t hide his identity, no one believes he’s actually the real deal.

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Among other powers, Lucifer has the supernatural ability to draw out any person’s hidden desires and compel their confession. That power is critical in aiding Detective Chloe Decker’s episodic investigations and solving their mysteries presented each episode. While the show is loosely a police procedural in spirit, the season-long narrative is highly serialized with major changes to each character. It pays to start from the show’s beginning and see how the strange relationship between Chloe and Lucifer first develops. Their relationship becomes something that hovers between friendship and possibly something more.

The British actor looks like he’s having an immensely fun time playing the Devil.

The first season of Lucifer plays very coy as to the exact nature of Chloe’s relationship to Lucifer himself. Apparently she is the only human immune to Lucifer’s powers and is one of the few that can physically harm him. The LAPD homicide detective has been ostracized by her fellow officers over a disputed case involving a cop shooting. She works with her ex-husband, fellow detective Dan Espinoza. The center of Chloe’s family life is their young daughter, the adorable Trixie. Chloe and Dan’s daughter quickly befriends Lucifer, which is surprising because he normally despises children. Children characters can often derail a show but Trixie is an invaluable addition to Lucifer’s winning formula.

D.B. Woodside plays Amenadiel, Lucifer’s angel brother from heaven. Amenadiel strongly encourages Lucifer to give up this charade at playing human and return to Hell. He’ll stick around L.A. to keep an eye on Lucifer. Amenadiel’s time in L.A. will affect him more than he anticipates. Amenadiel is the antagonist to Lucifer’s dream of leaving Hell behind for good.

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One of the funnier supporting characters is Dr. Linda Martin (Rachael Harris), Lucifer’s therapist. Quickly succumbing to Lucifer’s powers of sexual charisma, she believes he’s simply living under a delusion. She doesn’t realize Lucifer Morningstar is an actual supernatural being. Their patient-doctor exchanges are hilarious and give Lucifer an opportunity to work out his self-image problems.

Lucifer is a breezy network procedural written with wit and a sexy darkness. Everything hinges on Tom Ellis’ fantastic performance. The British actor looks like he’s having an immensely fun time playing the Devil. Seducing women with aplomb by that British accent and cheeky sense of humor, Lucifer is never lacking for companionship. This version of Lucifer is a fully sketched person, showing real emotional growth and character development through meeting Chloe. I’m not sure where the show goes from here but season one’s thirteen episodes are smoothly entertaining as slick network television.

Warner Bros. distributes Lucifer: The Complete First Season on DVD and Blu-ray. The three-disc DVD set includes 5.1 Dolby Digital audio and optional English SDH subtitles.