Fox has decided to reconnect with its gritty supernatural drama roots in its 2016 offering about a bored Satan leaving his underworldly throne to rejoin the land of the living. In Lucifer, Welsh Tom Ellis (sporting a heavy British accent) plays a bored Devil with the earthly alias of @Lucifer Morningstar who rises to the terrestrial plane to run a nightclub in Los Angeles. Against common tradition in the United States, #Lucifer is no virtuoso of the violin, but instead an expert piano player in his bar. Not content with limiting himself to business and music affairs though, he allows himself to become embroiled in the crime-fighting efforts with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).
The concept for @Lucifer was drawn out from the ranks of comic book stories and it shows. #Lucifer is powerful, rich, and always confident. He is theologically combative, often criticizing religion with a smile on his face. He is often extremely blunt, bordering on cruel, but this is not due to social awkwardness. Rather, it is a result of experience and a desire to amuse himself in an effort to shake off his eternal boredom. This is an identifiable comic book anti-hero who would appeal to readers of that genre and much of this seems to have survived the transition to television.
For mainstream audiences, the Devil has been significantly humanized. Yes, he runs Hell where the wicked are tortured, but he is shown to have a passion for punishing evil. Yes, he makes light of the plights of mortals because of his eternal life, but we see him break down in sadness when people close to him are hurt. Despite Satan’s status in popular culture as the lord of all evil, he is ultimately portrayed here as an easily bored and headstrong demon who was punished for defiance to established order rather than a wicked creature. Many of the criminals he helps to bring to justice are shown as more evil than he. As the title of the show suggests, he is the focus here, and his character development is central to the show.
It is not hard to see how the show would appeal to a wide audience, but is it enough to capture the glory of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer glory days for Fox? It would appear that it is so. The show premiered with 7 million viewers. The regulars quickly tapered off to the high end of 3 million after the second episode and these numbers seem to have stabilized. For most of season 1 and all of what has been shown in season 2, the views remain somewhere between the high 3 millions and the low 4 millions. The amount of viewers the show has managed to retain is a good sign that it’s going in the right direction.
As for the critical approval of the series, it’s very much in limbo. A little more than half the critics on Rotten Tomatoes disliked it. The total in terms of ratings also comes down to a very average 5 out of 10 on both Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes. The professionals appear to like the fantastical premise and sleek style of the show, but decry its un-ambitious plot. It is seen by many as another iteration of the “buddy cop” genre with the difference being that this time Owen Wilson’s character has been replaced by a super-powerful Welsh incarnation of the Devil.
As for the fans, they are much kinder. The show has a rating above 8 out of 10 on both Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb. Metacritic’s audience polls show that those users are not far behind, with around a 7.6 out of 10 rating for the fantasy police drama. With strong viewership and an internet community that is loudly clamoring for more of the superhero TV shows, irrespective of quality or originality, it looks like Lucifer is here to stay for a few more seasons. That is, until cowboys or astronauts become popular again.
Are you planning to watch season 3 of Lucifer? Do you think Lucifer
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