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'Lucifer' is a case study in wasted potential.

DVD Review: ‘Lucifer – The Complete First Season’

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed for this blog post. The opinions I share are my own.

Luc1WB’s Lucifer, a weekly show airing on FOX, has now released its freshman season on Blu-ray and DVD. Having premiered in January on FOX, so its first run is short, this set contains all thirteen episodes on the three-disc set, plus bonus features.

Lucifer is a great example of wasted premise. Here, we have a hugely charming protagonist with a rich, complex backstory in Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis, Miranda). So does the series dig deep into the character’s mythology, play with his morality in interesting and challenging ways, and make it one man’s journey towards finding his compass in life? Especially given that the premise has him bored with Hell and looking for some other meaning?

No, it’s just a crime procedural. Don’t get me wrong; it’s an entertaining crime procedural. But why pair up the devil himself with a detective (Lauren German, Chicago Fire) and have him solve cases when there are so many more ripe story possibilities? Why kowtow to the same tired, boring format, essentially cloning its case-of-the-weeks from dozens of other shows just like it, when it could be something so much cooler?

It’s not like Lucifer‘s producers didn’t have source material to draw from. The series is based on a comic book co-created by the wonderful Neil Gaiman (The book, for the record, is not as crime procedural). And it’s not like the cast isn’t up to the challenge. Ellis is terrific, and is joined by wonderful performers like Kevin Alejandro (True Blood), Rachael Harris (Suits), DB Woodside (24), Lesley-Ann Brandt (Spartacus), and Kevin Rankin (Justified). Instead, the production ignores the potential it has and goes the “safe” route of copying what has been successful with other shows in the past. In doing so, they fail.

The fact that Lucifer is enjoyable to watch anyway is probably the most frustrating thing about it. Which isn’t to say it’s a great show; it definitely isn’t, especially in the way Lucifer’s powers are handled. But when I have it on, I do like it. This is a testament to how good so many of the people involved are, which makes me wonder what this cast and crew could do it they truly set out to make an original, deeper series. It’s not too late to change future seasons. They should really consider it.

The extras on this set are sadly not great. The four, really five, character profiles are pretty pointless for anyone who is actually watching the show, as is the “Devilish Duo” video. A gag reel is a gag reel, and while I do see the entertainment value of them, they aren’t something I’m particularly fond of. This is an overall mediocre batch of deleted scenes. And even the Comic-Con panel is truncated and pretty bland. I really, really wish the studios would do a better job of producing these panels and releasing them for home viewing, as I think they could be a very valuable bonus, but so rarely are.

If you’re looking for some mindless entertainment, Lucifer has you covered. If you’re looking for something that will make you think, impress you, and maybe take home some award show gold, then you can skip this one because it’s not destined to be a long-remembered series with a passionate fan base. At least, not unless it changes it’s strategy completely.

Lucifer – The Complete First Season is available now.


About JeromeWetzelTV

Jerome is the creator and writer of It’s All Been Done Radio Hour, a modern scripted live comedy show and podcast in the style of old-timey radio serials, and the founder of the Columbus-based entertainment network, IABDPresents. He is also the Chief Television Critic for Seat42F.com and a long-time contributor for Blogcritics. Plus, he works fiction into his space time. Visit http://iabdpresents.com for more of his work.

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