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Fox's 'Lucifer': Bored with Hell, Finds L.A. Is Just the Fit
January 23, 2016  | By David Hinckley

PASADENA, CA -- Like its title character, the new Fox drama Lucifer is having an identity crisis.

That’s not fatal. It is the biggest problem for both of them as Lucifer premieres Monday night at 9 ET.

Lucifer, the character, played with an intriguingly devilish range of attitudes by Tom Ellis (top), has gotten bored with his inherited gig running purgatory.

He’s moved to Los Angeles, where he seems to think the people will be more interesting and maybe nicer than they are in Hell. If he gets nostalgic, he can always drop by the executive office of a movie studio.

When we meet him, he still hasn’t settled on a replacement career. So he does what anyone would do in California. He goes cruising.

He’s driving an expensive car down a busy street at a high rate of speed when he gets pulled over, which doesn’t turn out to be a problem because he can access and redirect the thoughts of the cop who stopped him. He ends up getting an apology rather than a ticket.

It’s a useful skill, mind control, and happily Lucifer soon begins applying it to more noble pursuits, like getting guilty people to publicly confess their guilt.

While he’s nowhere near ready to reinvent himself as an agent of positivity, he finds he does rather enjoy calling out bad guys, which makes him a natural fit for the Los Angeles Police Department.

There he teams up with Detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German), who fascinates him because she is immune to his mind control powers.

Ooh, now we’ve got a fair fight.

Naturally they also bring characters from their past into the relationship.

In Lucifer’s case, that includes a couple of folks from the comic books on which the TV show is loosely based, Sandman and Lucifer. Those characters include his loyal confidante Maze (Lesley-Ann Brandt) and Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside, right) who has been dispatched from Hell to bring Lucifer back.

Amenadiel is menacing and sprouts large wings, but to be honest, he doesn’t start out as one of the most interesting aspects of the show.

Chloe brings her daughter Trixie (Scarlett Estevez), who befriends Lucifer despite his protests that he despises children, and her ex-husband Dan (Kevin Alejandro), who also works for the LAPD, who is not likely to ever befriend Lucifer. Dan doesn’t have much use for this silver-tongued new guy.

By the time all these elements come together, Lucifer, the show, becomes a mashup. It’s part superpowers drama, part comic book story, part police procedural, part allegory about good and evil and part rom-com.

The rom-com part might seem like the odd duck in a story built on the devil, but by the end of the pilot, it also feels like it might be an interesting bet as the sleeper favorite.

Wherever it ends up traveling, that’s a lot of potential identity to juggle. Since one of the show’s several endearing quirks is having Lucifer see a shrink, presumably to figure out who he really is, maybe he can bring his show along to a few sessions.

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