Lunchtable TV Talk: Lucifer

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A few years ago, I had an ill-advised entanglement of sorts with a British guy, and the smarmy voice and overly confident, cheeky accent on the Lucifer lead reminds me so much of him and his shenanigans. He, king of “bobbing and weaving” his way through life, whether by his own wits or by manipulating and using other people, has rather turned my general views on English people from pleasant to … well, puke-inducing. Listening to them makes me feel sick – especially if they sound like this. When the lead actor says, “Previously on Lucifer…” at the start of each episode, I cringe. This was reason number one for not giving Lucifer the time of day.

But then add to it, reason two for not wanting to follow the show: the female lead, Lauren German, who is one of the worst, least believable actresses on TV today. This lack of skill could be disguised to some extent in German’s previous role in the ensemble cast of Chicago Fire. She did not have the carry half the load of the entire show… and she does not succeed in carrying half the load here either. Tom Ellis as Lucifer sucks all the oxygen out of the room and thus is the undisputed star. And the surrounding constellation of supporting actors also outshine German – from Kevin Alejandro as German’s character’s ex-husband and fellow detective to Rachael Harris (best known to this point as Louis Litt’s Harvard-obsessed former love, Sheila Sazs, in Suits) as Lucifer’s therapist.

I won’t get into the crime-of-the-week, procedural nature of the Lucifer show or the supernatural doubts of the Lucifer character. Lucifer, in the end, is the only reason to watch. Somehow, he is engaging as a classical narcissist (much like my own British “friend”). Eventually you have to break away lest you get swallowed whole.

I had not really thought much of this show in a while (it’s away on summer break), but I was driving home recently and a song came on, one of the gems that my own British Lucifer-wanna-be created, that made me think suddenly of this sneering, lascivious sounding “Previously on Lucifer” intro. Suddenly I was thinking about how my manipulative British acquaintance so readily mirrored TV’s Lucifer in his insistence and demand, in his attempts to lure innocents down his own dark paths. I shuddered, really, remembering spending time with this person – even though I never traveled down these paths, I’ve seen and heard about the people who have. I don’t think I need a TV show that echoes that experience. Nevertheless, when Lucifer returns next week (Sept 19th premiere), I will probably end up watching. God help me.

Photo (c) 2005 by Sophie.

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