Review: ‘Lucifer,’ FOX Might Have Another Hit On Their Hands

Whether it’s TV or film, it seems comic book-based programming is everywhere. It’s not remotely surprising given the success of these entities on both TV and in theaters. However, it’s to imagine a more challenging property to develop for broadcast than Lucifer. Set to debut on FOX January 25th after The X-Files (talk about a great lead-in), Lucifer is based on the character primarily created by Neil Gaiman in his seminal DC/Vertigo comic series The Sandman, and later further developed by writer Mike Carey in his spinoff series named after the title character. In all versions of this tale, the story centers around Lucifer, the villain in more than half of the world’s major religions. His comics had a lot of sex, lots of death, a total overthrow of the cosmos, and at the center of it all is Satan, so when word got out that Fox was developing this into a pilot many were taken aback.

This show sounded like a home run for premium cable, but network TV? The idea of a Lucifer TV Show that was 100% faithful to its source material was far fetched. Which is probably why the show has mostly tossed the concept and created a police procedural around the character. What was crucial to make this concept work is to make sure Lucifer is as he is in the comics- irreverent, sinister, and even a smidge conflicted. Well, thanks in large part to Tom Ellis’s spot on portrayal of the title character, everything works.

The show centers around the idea that Lucifer has grown bored. Given this, he decided to take a break from the business of soul torture to live in a seedy part of Los Angeles. However, this doesn’t sit well his friends in heaven, who request that he get back to the business of running the underworld. Lucifer seems to have grown tired of overseeing the underworld and now appears to prefer managing the evils of the living realm. He owns an upscale nightclub called LUX and is drawn into a murder mystery when a beautiful pop star is murdered outside his club.

One thing leads to another, and Lucifer ends up helping the police solve crimes and working on the side of justice.

If fans of the comic are flocking to this show and expecting to see the same Lucifer they’ve read in the comics, then they’re going to be tremendously disappointed. It safe to say this show is inspired by the character from the DC comics and that’s not a bad thing. Remember, not everything on the page can be translated to the screen. The producers of Lucifer seemed to focus more on building a quality product by not being mired too heavily in the source material and focusing on the script and the casting choices. For the show to be a success, there has to be a balance between all three. They succeed, and Fox may have another hit on their hands. Be sure to check out Lucifer Jan. 25th on FOX.


Dewey Singleton - Film Critic
Dewey Singleton - Film Critic
I'm a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and have been doing reviews for many years. My views on film are often heard in markets such as Atlanta, Houston, and satellite radio. My wife often tolerates my obsession for all things film related and two sons are at an age now where 'Trolls' is way cooler than dad. Follow me on twitter @mrsingleton.