If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. It was rather mindblowing when Fox announced it was developing a series based on the Vertigo comic Lucifer, and it initially seemed unreal that the network officially ordered a pilot for the series. However, it all makes perfect sense following the reveal of the show’s tweaked and completely generic storyline. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re probably looking at another police procedural, albeit one with Satan involved.
Sure, it’s great that such a fan favorite and controversial character is one step closer to entering the mainstream spotlight, but at what narrative cost? According to Variety, here’s how the show is now being described.
[The series] follows Lucifer, the Lord of Hell, as he resigns his throne and abandons his kingdom for the ‘shimmering insanity’ of L.A., where he helps the LAPD punish criminals.
I can’t imagine that this news left anyone with warm feelings, as another cop drama is the last thing that TV audiences need in their lives. As much as I enjoy Gotham, it’s hard to deny that series has already filled Fox’s quota for procedural-driven series based on comic book characters. I mean, at least Lucifer will actually keep Lucifer in the story, but he’ll be busting criminals’ chops. It’s like Castle, just without the joy of Nathan Fillian. (Let’s get that fan petition rolling, people.)
In the comics, which were spunoff from the character’s appearances in the Sandman universe, Lucifer ditches Hell for L.A. and runs a piano bar called Lux, and spends the series dealing with different takes on problems involving free will vs. fate. It involved an assortment of characters including angels and other non-human entities. I’m now assuming Lucifer is going to have an annoying human friend who links him to the cops, and the corny jokes will flow like the River Styx. I’m getting the same feeling about the similar comic-ignoring premise behind The CW’s iZombie.
Also announced was the inclusion of Underworld and Total Recall (remake) director Len Wiseman, who has been added to direct the pilot, as well as executive produce alongside Jonathan Littman (CSI) and Jerry Bruckheimer. (I’m betting the latter had something to do with this watered down premise.) Californication creator Tom Kapinos wrote the script for Lucifer, so hopefully he added a signature flourish to a suspect premise.
Lucifer is only the latest in a long line of comic-related properties moving forward on the small screen, with even Jim Starlin’s bonkers sci-fi series Dreadstar currently in development. Hopefully that show won’t have its main character tagging along with any space police departments.