Comic books translate well to film. Marvel and DC have proven this with massive box office success stories. They also make for some pretty compelling television: larger-than-life, over-the-top stories make for great cliff-hangers between seasons and compelling plotlines that can be easily translated into bite-sized episodes are easy to come by. Joining the ranks of such titles as Arrow, Daredevil, Gotham, (and many more,) is Fox’s spin on DC Comics’ Lucifer, and it has already gained impressive levels of curiosity and infamy among fans. A quote from the trailer- “What do you think happens when the Devil leaves Hell?” pretty much sums up the concept of the series.
The trailer shows potential, but it straddles a fine line between tongue-in-cheek humour and being a little too cheeky for its own good.
The plot of Lucifer, which has not yet begun to air, follows one established by Neil Gaiman’s Sandman graphic novels (Gaiman is well known for his writing on Doctor Who,) Lucifer Morningstar has grown bored with running Hell, and so he leaves the underworld behind in favour of living in Los Angeles. Plenty of solid potential for wacky, comical antics there, but Fox have taken that plotline even further. Lucifer encounters someone who sold her soul to him, only to be present when she is gunned down. Suddenly, much to the fans’ annoyance, this show is a procedural drama with Lucifer controversially using his ability to draw out people’s darkest inner desires as a means to help solve crimes.
The trailer shows potential, but it straddles a fine line between tongue-in-cheek humour and being a little too cheeky for its own good. Lucifer, like so many villains, comes with an almost aristocratic English accent and the trailer is peppered with God jokes, (such as “Did my father send you?”) which could add to the show’s charm or prove to be symptomatic of Lucifer being a cliched, one-trick pony. Lucifer’s ability to draw out people’s secrets feels like it could be an excuse for some really awful dialogue, but it could also be a great way to produce some revealing moments between supporting characters and the fallen Morningstar.
Airing on the side of scepticism is understandable, but Fox has handled its prime-time viewing quite well lately.
Beneficial to this whole set-up is how Lucifer’s opposite—the detective who he wants to help bring criminals to justice—seems to be immune to his trickery. On one hand, this could be a good thing, helping to create plenty of interesting tension between the main characters. On the other hand, it could very well end up being the starting point for a heavy-handed and fairly absurd romance. God help us all if that ends up being the case.
Airing on the side of scepticism is understandable, but Fox has handled its prime-time viewing quite well lately. Only time, and this show’s premiere, will tell if Lucifer is one Hell of a good show or strong evidence that not all comic books should find their way onto our screens.
By Phil Gorski