Lucifer: Review Manly Whatnots

Lucifer, in Manly Whatnots, continues to chronicle the changes in the absent ruler of Hell

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Lucifer, in Manly Whatnots, continues to chronicle the changes in the absent  ruler of Hell.Chloe Decker (Lauren German) is coming ever closer to realizing that Lucifer Morningstar is not like other men, remembrances of being shot along with memories of things that do not add up, have the detective asking questions.

While Morningstar (Tom Ellis) is still obsessed with getting Decker to sleep with him, she is still impervious to his influence. This frustrates and confuses the former ruler of Hell.  It is apparent that Lucifer does not just lust after Chloe but that he cares about her as well, this may be the reason his powers of persuasion are not effective.

Just as Lucifer is still fascinated by Chloe, so too is her daughter Trixie (Scarlett Estevez), much to his consternation.  After showing up uninvited to make Decker breakfast, her estranged husband, “Detective Douche” (Kevin Alejandro) shows up and is none too pleased to find Lucifer there while his “wife” is wearing only a towel.

The mystery this week deals with a corn-fed girl next door who has gone missing after attending a Player party.  Lucifer becomes a partner in the investigation as his name in on the invitation only event’s list of attendees.  Player is a “pickup artist” seminar where the owner Carver Cruz (Christopher Marquette) teaches the world’s inept men to how “bed Betties.” 

The missing girl, Lindsay (Bailey Noble) had travelled to LA with her brother and after meeting Cruz, disappears.  At the event, Carver gives his spiel to the punters until Lucifer stands up and questions his advice. 

Sidenote: Lucifer manages to get a bit of Brit slang into the show when he calls Cruz “a wanker.” This may be an ad-lib by Ellis or a bit of fun by the show’s writers. 

Complaining that he has all the attributes that Cruz is teaching yet Chloe will still not have sex with him, he manages to get them both kicked out of the event.  Later, they show up at the “after” party and Carver pulls a gun explaining that “someone” has kidnapped Lindsay Jolson, whom he loves.

Manly Whatnots then has Lucifer interceding on Cruz’s behalf  to get his kidnapped  girl back.  At the ransom drop, it is revealed that Lindsay and her brother set up Cruz as an act of revenge. As Lucifer goes to punish the girl for her actions, Chloe notices the “change” where Morningstar’s visage changes to that of a scary-looking monster versus charming chappy.

While all the investigations and Lucifer’s angsty reactions to Chloe’s rejections are occurring,  Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside) drops by to have a tête-à-tête with Maze Lesley-Ann Brandt that turns into physical combat. The bemused angel tells Mazikeen:

“You can’t hurt me little demon.”

While this may be true, Mazikeen can “affect” the angel. She proves this by “sexily” licking Amenadiel’s lip and the effect is obvious. He feels something and it concerns him. Clearly, Lucifer being away from Hell has caused more things to change than just Morningstar’s personality.

On top of Amenadiel’s reaction, Morningstar discovers that it is  not just his attitude that has changed. During the episode climax, where he starts to punish Lindsay, he pushes Chloe to shoot him.

Earlier in the episode, Lucifer repeatedly tells Decker that he cannot be harmed by bullets (flicking the cop on the arm to show how little it hurts). When Chloe shoots Morningstar not only does it hurt him, but he bleeds as well. After this incident, Lucifer is concerned as he knows this should not happen.

When he returns to Lux and Maze learns of the injury, she  is concerned as well.

This adaptation of a DC spinoff offers characters from the verse that are a bit “watered down” from the source. Amenadiel is not nearly so violent or aggressive and Lucifer’s powers seem to be mainly that of persuading someone to follow their innermost desires.  The one constant is that the absentee ruler of Hell does not actually encourage humans to sin, i.e. be evil.

Lucifer also punishes those who are bad rather than collect their souls as “advertised” in literature.  Tom Ellis still manages to make Morningstar an excellent combination of charming annoyance, mainly due to his character’s overwhelming confidence.

German is allowing her character to arc satisfactorily as she slowly starts to accept that the owner of Lux may not be human.

A word of praise for  Tim Matheson, who has proven time and again how good he is in front of the camera in  a variety of roles in his prolific career, who helmed this episode.  Matheson shows that his equally impressive bona fides as director is, without question,  top notch as well.

It could be said that so far, each episode of Lucifer  has a moral for the viewer by the end of the show. This week, it appears to be that  “two wrongs do not make a right.”

Lucifer airs Mondays on FOX. Tune in to see where this dark DC adaptation goes next.

Lucifer: Season One – Binging on Satan in the City of Angels (Review)

Using a premise that is not too different from the 1934 Frederick March film Death Takes a Holiday, where death takes three days off from the business of dispensing death, falls in love and suffers a personal dilemma, Lucifer

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Using a premise that is not too different from the 1934 Frederick March film  Death Takes a Holiday, where death takes three days off from the business of dispensing death, falls in love and suffers a personal dilemma, Lucifer tells of Satan taking time off from running Hell and taking up residency  in the City of Angels.  Having missed this popular fantasy when it first debuted, it was deemed necessary to binge on the first three episodes to see what all the fuss was about.

Starring  Miranda love interest Tom Ellis (a Welsh actor who is equally at home doing comedy as fantasy) as the title character, the series asks what would happen if Lucifer left Hell, against his Father’s wishes, and lived topside, as it were.

What would he get up to? How would living amongst the human population that, once dead, have a good chance of ending up in his old domain affect him? It also asks the question of why cop Chloe Dancer (Lauren German) cannot be affected by “the devil.”

Lucifer Morningstar owns a nightclub and seems pretty benevolent with those who he has helped. While he enjoys himself amongst the living, with his sidekick Mazikeen (Lesley-Ann Brandt), angel Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside, who played, amongst other roles, Principal Wood on Buffy the Vampire Slayer) comes by periodically to warn his opposite number that the longer he stays out of Hell, the more things are in danger of being messed up badly.

The series thus far has dealt with a number of murders, punishment for those who deserve it and Lucifer’s increasing fascination with Detective Dancer. Morningstar is less enamored of Dancer’s daughter Trixie (played with adorable cuteness by Scarlett Estevez) and the cop’s ex-husband (dubbed Detective Douche by Lucifer) Dan (Kevin Alejandro).

Lucifer  benefits from a number of brilliant guest stars, in the first three episodes there are a couple of familiar, and talented, actors who stop by. In episode 103,  Richard T. Jones (Event Horizon, Collateral) plays an unscrupulous football agent and in episode 102, Jeremy Davies (Lost, Justified) plays a paparazzo under suspicion for murder.

In some ways the show feels almost like a Castle knock-off, but with the reluctant detective being teamed up with Satan versus a writer. Another difference is that Lucifer does not have official permission to tag along on cases, he just manipulates his way there. He is, after all, Satan and highly persuasive.

Ellis manages to give his holidaying devil an impish feel. The ruler of Hell is delighted to be “out and about” while, at the same time, developing emotions and feelings that should be anathema to the angel cast from heaven.

In the three episodes on offer so far, Lucifer is learning what having a conscience means, has suffered from guilt and starts to focus less on punishment and more on justice.  In terms of relationships with people,  he has not changed his feelings for Trixie, he is becoming fond of her mother.

The Welsh actor brings a keen sense of comedy to the role along with sizable acting chops that enable him to make his devil likable with just enough of an “edge” to make him occasionally  a little disturbing.  Despite this harsh side, Ellis’ Lucifer is compelling and a little addictive. Woodside’s Amenadiel is humorless and uptight compared to his “brother.”

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Lucifer and Det. Dancer…

German, as the former actress turned cop, is also a bit uptight and humorless but for entirely different reasons. Her mother was a film actress of note (B films) and Dancer’s one foray into the film world resulted in a topless scene that she would rather forget.

Lesley-Ann Brandt’s sidekick role as Mazikeen places her as an evil Jiminy Cricket, where she attempts to lead Satan back into Hell, or at least to act that bit more…devilish.

Lucifer being set in Los Angeles is nigh on perfect for this fantasy, and oddly procedural, show.  Having Satan solve crimes with his reluctant partner, who remains unmoved by Lucifer’s influences, is set against his personal evolution generated by his being in the “real” world.

Show creator Tom Kapinos, who somewhat amazingly started on Dawson’s Creek has come up with a brilliant show that features two impressive stars, German and Ellis and a fascinating storyline.  Lucifer airs Mondays on FOX. Catch this one, it is different and very much outside the box and,  once you have watched it, you too will be saying “I love Luci…”