Though mildly entertaining, there's something lacking in the substance of the show's exposition. Couple that with some all-too familiar TV tropes and you've got a series that isn't off to the greatest of starts.
Based on the DC comic character created by Neil Gaiman and Sam Keith, Lucifer is the latest hybrid crime drama to hit our screens.
The series follows the Lord of Hell, Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis) as he parades around the streets of Los Angeles in a slick human guise. Taking a so-called “vacation” from his usual occupation in the underworld, Lucifer is enjoying life above ground, until he gets caught up in a murder investigation wherein one of his human friends is fatally shot. The devilish immortal then teams up with Chloe Decker (Lauren German) – an LAPD homicide detective who proves to be immune to Lucifer’s powers of persuasion.
Though the premise of the series sounded promising (who wouldn’t want to see The Devil solving crimes and kicking ass?), the actual execution of the pivotal pilot episode is fairly poor. This is, in part, due to the all-too-familiar tropes that the writers have employed to instigate the series’ exposition. Lucifer ultimately makes for an underwhelming watch, because there is nothing particularly fresh or original about it. Its fantasy elements for instance, look as though they have been lifted straight from an episode of Supernatural. It’s attempts at comedy are undercut by the overwhelming snarkiness of the dialogue and the genre that it so closely adheres to – the age-old police procedural – seems stale without anything really intriguing to elevate it.
The cast is also slightly disappointing. Though Tom Ellis certainly looks the part, his performance is soured by the exhausting amount of snide devil/hell puns and hammy one-liners that he has to dish out in every scene. Indeed, despite Ellis’ natural charisma, the overwhelming snarkiness of the character quickly proves irritating. For all his charming smirks, Lucifer lacks the refined, rapier wit that you might expect from the Satanic overlord, and instead falls into a trap of overtired clichés.
Meanwhile, the rest of the characters are fairly forgettable. Lauren German’s performance pales quite significantly in comparison to Ellis – while he is (arguably) over-acting in his lead role, she seems to be under-acting; providing a supporting characterisation that fails to excite or intrigue – which is a problem given Lucifer’s ‘mysterious connection’ with her.
Ultimately, upon first glance, Lucifer strikes as a show that is all snark and no substance. Despite an interesting and potentially very entertaining premise, the pilot episode fails to excite and dissolves into a distinctly average watching experience, one that is soured by its overuse of clichés and common genre tropes.
Lucifer is available to stream exclusively on Amazon Prime, with new episodes arriving every Tuesday.