Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Sami on Lucifer 1.1

Lucifer airs at 9pm on Fox Monday nights.*

I'll be honest. I wasn't sure that Fox could Do The Thing when it came to this show. I mean, it's got this mix of literal hellfire-and-demons, sexiness, nightclubs, temptation, and...police procedural? It could easily have been a mess--or to have erred too far on the side of "look how sexy we're being, ooh" and forgotten that we have to like the people, too.

I guess I didn't have to worry about that!**

Lucifer--the guy and the show--is fun, sassy more than sexy, and full of both cackles and giggles. Giggles for the cute and silly parts, cackles for the wisecracks and wrathful vengeance.

Here's what happened in the pilot:
The Devil got tired of hell, and decided to go on vacation, living among people and running a nightclub with a cold-blooded demoness named Maze who totally had some guy under her skirt as she stood at the bar in her intro. He's been around long enough that he's helped a pop star build her career and is now helping her out because she's a mess. He assures her he's not interested in her soul, she just owes him a favor, and the favor is to get herself together. I feel like this is going to be an important point about how his power works. 

He's also been away long enough that Heaven has noticed that no one is in charge of Hell, and that means all those demons are escaping to earth and all those bad people are going unpunished. A big fierce angel comes to try to strongarm him into going home, and it's neat. His wings look weird, but everything slows down real cool when the angel and fallen angel have their talks***, and the way Lucifer reacts like a sulky child makes me think there's more to it than just that he decided one day to up and leave and doesn't want to to back. Like that something bad happened. Something he's specifically running away from that is harder to handle than the fact that demons are escaping all over. Tho not in this episode.

Anyway, the pop star agrees to put her life together and get back on her feet as a functional adult--and then she gets shot to death in a driveby. Lucy is also shot, but he can't die so he gets better, but she was his friend and he's positively wrathful about her death. The killer instantly crashes his car (karma? hand of god?), and before he dies, he tells Lucifer that he just pulled the trigger and he did it for the money.

The shooting draws the attention of the cops--specifically Chloe Decker--which leaves Lucy as a witness. He tells them what he saw, and doesn't bother pretending he's not an ancient immortal being, which makes him look crazy, so she sort of blows him off. She goes on with her case, and he tracks his by getting people to confess things, one of his skills. They meet up again after he's gotten the pop star's boyfriend all riled up, and then "charms" him into confessing that he actually did love her and didn't kill her. Chloe arrests Lucifer for interfering with her case, and he's sort of "ooh, this is new" about it all, and talks her into letting him go along while she investigates his friend's death since he's the one that got her the information that they need to talk to a shrink.

The shrink leads them to an actor the pop star was sleeping with, which leads them back to her manager. The man that Lucifer set her up with to further her career. The man who's career was ruined when she left him at the altar and took her talent with her. During the arrest, he shoots Chloe, and Lucifer uses his invulnerability to protect her from a whole bunch of other bullets, and then makes sure the manager "got what was coming to him". We almost see his demon-face, all red and scary in a cracked and blurry mirror, and his full anger is super impressive. He doesn't say exactly what he did with the guy though...

And it was so much fun.

On the way to the psychiatrist, Chloe has to stop to pick up her daughter, and that whole scene is golden. Lucifer saying he doesn't like kids, then immediately befriending the first one he sees, a tiny gap-toothed girl sitting outside the principal's office for standing up for herself against a bully much older and bigger than her. And then Lucifer spooking the bully before meeting Choe's ex and being totally uninterested in the manhood contest he tries to start, but super interested in the fact that Chloe even has an ex. So great.

And at the psych's office, the woman's reaction to his "charm" has he calls it when he throws a whammy**** on someone. The psychiatrist making a deal with him--information for their case and he'll sleep with her and it'll be good. Him noting that Chloe is immune to his charms, and the psychiatrist noting how much that bothers him. And then when the case is over, Lucifer goes back to the office to hold up his end of the bargain, and makes a new one: he'll sleep with her as much as she wants, if she'll listen to him, because he's got a lot on his mind.

That's a lot of sex, in that scene, which could have been offputting, but the show handles it well and plays it mostly for laughs, and it's all off screen. The fact that Chloe is immune is great, of course, and also gives them a reason to be together in future episodes--as he says, "I've proven myself to be an indispensable resource and you're a pariah in the precinct and need a partner" (or something close to that). He's good at getting people to confess things, and she's immune and he wants to know why. 

The two leads have great chemistry. Lucifer is super charming, but also sort of a dork and a shiny-eyed spectator that's mostly amused by all the stuff that humans get up to. Both of them have implied depth that should be great for further episodes. Trixie is the perfect level of cute-but-not-annoying, and the fact that she instantly loves Lucy and he's so awkward about it is great. There's a lot to work with in this pilot, and if the transition into the actual season goes well, it should be really fun to watch. The pilot was charming--tho not "charming", I didn't feel the need to confess anything--and exciting and balanced and interesting. The usual "and it's a police procedural" works surprisingly well with such a strange addition as the actual living Devil, and it's surprisingly wholesome for all the implied sex and drugs and rock and roll. 

I wonder how long before someone flips out on principle without even bothering to watch the episode?

So basically, I really liked it, and if it stays that good, I could desperately love it. What did you guys think of Lucifer? Share in the comments, or come talk to me on Twitter!

*Currently after X-Files; don't know what'll happen in a month when the usual monday shows come back...
**Now I just have to worry about Fox's track record of giving us what we want just to cancel it MINUTES LATER OH MY GOD WHY.^
^This is because of the news that they're already moving Second Chance to the Friday deathslot, as well as rearranging other stuff. How is anyone supposed to bother watching, FOX, when everyone knows you'll just cancel it? How are they supposed to try when you keep moving stuff around?
***And the first one happens while Bowie is playing, so there's points for that. The sound track in general is really awesome. All songs mentioning or talking about the devil, it's pretty great.
****Or should I say "bedevils someone"?
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