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Friday, June 2, 2017

'Lucifer' S1 BD: The Devil Went Down to California

The awesomeness of the Warner Archive August 22, 2017 Blu-ray release of the second season of the current Fox supernatural procedural "Lucifer" includes the motivation that it provides to discover that series through the Archive August 2016 S1 BD release of this Jerry Bruckheimer series. Fans of large and small-screen Bruckheimer productions such as the "Pirates of the Caribbean" and the "CSI" franchises will see his touch in the creative concept and wonderfully dark humor in this "Sleepy Hollow"/"Supernatural" hybrid. The only disappointment is that the rockin' series soundtrack does not feature music by The Who.

The copious scenes from the "Lucifer" pilot in the following YouTube clip of the  S1 trailer provide a primer on the lore of the series, showcase its style, and share the impressive pedigree behind it.

The pilot episode of "Lucifer" reflects the lesson regarding the importance of the proper balance of exposition and starting the action that "Firefly" illustrates. Intertitles at the beginning of the pilot (and subsequent episodes) establish that God sends the titular fallen angel/club owner to rule Hell only to have Little Luci retire to Los Angeles despite doing so creating massive chaos in his former kingdom. The next scene gets right down to business by having Lucifer come across bartender/demon/protector/confidante Mazikeen establishing that she prefers the shaken method over stirring.

The premise of the series further develops when a singer about whom Lucifer cares is shot and literally dies in his arms for reasons that have nothing to do what he said. A combination of the supernatural ability of Lucifer to get people to open up to him, a desire to punish the person responsible for the death, and a general sadistic streak leads to our hero teaming up with willfully outcast cop Chloe Decker. Stating that veteran British actor Tom Ellis attacks the titular role with devilish glee is an understatement. He seems born to play Beelzebloke.

Although Lucifer is very open to most regarding his true nature, a skeptical Chloe and others ain't buyin' it until this handsome devil literally reveals his true nature.

Of course, our team gets their man (or woman) in the pilot episode; they then team up each week to solve a crime that either has a direct connection with Lucifer or that requires his special talents. These include the murders of other relevant innocents who have fewer than six degrees of separation regarding Lucifer, a theft that requires Lucifer to show that no one punks the Prince of Darkness, and a hilarious adventure involving the death of a devil worshiper. 

Mid-season episode "Wingman" is notable both as being a good one that highlights the lore and the humor of the series. It further commences a story arc that blends the separate sources of great angst for our leads. 

The penultimate S1 episode begins a two-ep season-ending arc that reflects the lesson that such offerings should serve as both a season finale and a final episode of the series in the event that there is no S2. Every loose ties is wrapped up and the final moments provide a cliffhanger that gets S2 off to a good start but is not so compelling as to cause distress if S2 did not come to be. 

The element of a scruffy supernatural British male teaming with a love-interest female law-enforcement official to solve crimes related to the lore of the former is straight out of comparable Fox procedural "Sleepy Hollow." That one has Ichabod Crane from the Revolutionary War era helping his partner-in-crime solving prevent minions of Hell from overtaking our world.

Portraying God/angels as dicks and strong element of theology aspects are homages to horror drama series "Supernatural." Regular discussions regarding the true nature of Lucifer, the role of free will, and the characteristics of Hell are akin to themes of "Supernatural."

"Supernatural" has a more direct influence regarding a "B story" that runs throughout "Lucifer" S1. Sibling fallen angel Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and tons more series and films) regularly pops us to exert various forms of pressure on Lucifer to return to Hell to fill the leadership gap for which he is responsible.

The bigger picture is that the successful melange of highly entertaining tried-and-true elements makes "Lucifer" a fun summertime series that is especially apt for days that keep people inside because it is hot as Hell outside.

The copious S1 BD special features include character profiles, looks at other elements of the show, and the 2015 Comic-Con Panel for "Lucifer."

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Lucifer" is encouraged to email me; you also can connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.