Lucifer is a detective show featuring the devil as the protagonist. You probably think that can never work, but you might be surprised.
Once upon a time, Neil Gaiman wrote the comic book The Sandman. In the story, one of the supporting characters is Lucifer, a.k.a. the devil. The devil decides he’s had enough of Hell, closes up shop and hands the keys to Dream, the main character in Sandman. This story led to a spin-off comic featuring Lucifer.
The television series takes the starting point of the comic, but goes in a completely different direction. Lucifer has left Hell behind, just as in the comic. He moved to a night club in Los Angeles called Lux, with his companion Mazikeen. In the television series, a protégé of his is shot in his arms in front of his night club. Angered, he decides to track down the killer, using his powers of seduction and persuasion. While on the case, he runs into a female detective who is apparently immune to his powers. He finds the case intriguing enough to continue with the detective gig. In his own way…
Lucifer, played by Tom Ellis, is the titular main character. He’s a suave man in impeccable clothing, owning a night club. He’s in the middle of something akin to a mid-life crisis, having given up the keys to Hell to live it up in LA. He senses something is missing, though, and that something drags him into the detective business.
Chloe Decker, played by Lauren German, is a female detective. She’s living apart from her ex-husband with their daughter Trixie and the rest of the police department doesn’t like her. She’s also immune to Lucifer’s powers. This last peeks Lucifers interest, leading him to do more detective work.
Aside from the two main characters, there’s Lucifer’s brother Amenadiel, who wants to take Lucifer back to Hell, his friend Mazikeen, and Chloe’s ex-husband Dan. Lucifer also meets a psychiatrist, Dr. Martin, whom he seduces and then starts to consult as a link to the human world.
How it fits together
At first glance, the devil and a detective, other angels, a psychiatrist, and an ex-husband can’t possibly mesh into a good story. However, they do. I think that alone speaks for this show.
The show features a single mystery per episode, but there is a bigger story threaded through the season. I think this kind of mix is a very good idea for longer running shows. TV shows that try to pull together a single story across an entire season of episodes often end up with too little meat in each episode. It’s what killed my interest in Agents of Shield in Season 2, my love of Dexter after season 1, and what makes shows like Person of Interest hold my interest through five seasons (well, almost).
Lucifer is a fun, somewhat strange, detective show. It isn’t earth-shattering or brilliant, but it is fun to watch if you like detective shows with a touch of fantasy.