Monday, January 25, 2016

Lucifer - TV Review

   It's rapidly reaching the point where I could write more than one comic book-based TV show review a week.

   As proof, here's the second one in three days.

   Lucifer is based on the Vertigo comic characters created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Keith and Mike Dringeberg, with a simple premise: Satan has left Hell to take a vacation - so he takes up residence at a bar in modern day Los Angeles (where else?), where he interacts with mortals and plays relationships like a game of chess.

   It's a difficult balance to maintain - keeping the "bad boy" leading man interesting but not purely evil. He's somewhat balanced by a threatening angel - but it's hard to tell which one you'd actually want in your corner.

   When Lucifer witnesses the brutal murder of a friend (can the devil have friends?), he sets out to find the real killer, which leads him to assorted figures in the music industry - and into an encounter with a beautiful detective.

   The series (wisely) rides a lot on the cool magnetism of its star, Tom Ellis, who is smooth and sexy - with a dark, deadly side. He has terrific chemistry with his co-star, the beautiful and smart Lauren German, and there's an interesting mix of characters scattered throughout.

   The writing is smart and funny (with a dark edge, of course), and the photography sharp and stylish. And thankfully, for a show based in horror, the series features a relatively minimal amount of gore.

   The only thing I'm not crazy about is the fact that, halfway through the episode, Lucifer falls into the already-hoary "guy who helps the police as an advisor" trope.

   Not that it can't make for a fun framework for the series - it's just that's it's well-worn territory, and I was hoping for a more original story approach.

   But considering that I'm not much of a horror fan, I'm almost surprised to admit that I enjoyed this first episode a lot. I'll be back.

Grade: A-


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