Several years ago, my friend Josh stated that we're in the golden ages of TV and the dark ages of music. He was certainly right. Between Lost, the Wire, 24, Breaking Bad, the Walking Dead, Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Battlestar Galactica and countless other great shows, there was always plenty of entertaining programs to watch on TV.
Conversely, music has just been horrible. Whether it's rappers grunting incoherently as they steal the background music from some other musician, or pop singers spelling out words like "bananas" or "fabulous," or a**holes telling people to rest their head on their arm and pretending like it's the cool new Macarena dance, the music industry is in shambles right now. I don't know, maybe it's because I'm now in my early 30s and I don't get it anymore, but music has become hot garbage. Seeing morons "dabbing" only reinforces that belief.
Unfortunately, I think we might be entering the dark ages of TV as well. Game of Thrones and the Walking Dead are still on, but TV is now littered with horrendous reality shows like Keeping Up with the Kardashians or the Real Housewives of Cleveland, or things like that. Why the hell would anyone want to keep up with the Kardashians? Does anyone with an IQ above 40 actually truly care about what the dumbest family in America is doing right now? If I started injecting Botox into my butt and underwent sex-change operations solely for publicity, would people start watching Keeping Up with the Cherepinskys? God, I hope not. I wouldn't even tune into that trash.
Of course, networks are trying to air new non-reality shows as well, and thank the seven gods for that. Unfortunately, most of it is procedural tripe. I never understood how people got into the "crime of the week" type programs that barely follow an overall arc and seldom develop their characters. The latter is extremely important. Take a look at the best TV shows of all time - all of them had amazing characters. From Jack Shepherd, Sawyer and John Locke, to McNulty, to Walter White, to Rick and Darryl, to Don Draper and Peggy Olsen, to Tyrion Lannister and Arya Stark, to Commander Adama, Gaius Baltar and Starbuck, we've seen some of the greatest characters ever developed over the past decade. We tuned into those shows to see what our favorite characters were up to, and whether they would achieve their goals.
That's why I was excited about Lucifer on FOX. It wasn't a reality show - though one about Satan would be hilarious - and it sounded like it could be pretty cool. After all, the Devil sounds like a great character to develop. Yes, he's evil, but what does he want? Why does he want to torture people for eternity? Can he ever turn to the good side? Why is he on Earth instead of Hell? These were all questions I had pertaining to FOX's impending show.
"I heard it sucks," my girlfriend said when I made her sit down and watch it with me.
"No, it'll be great, trust me," I replied. "How can they screw up a show about Satan?"
Oh, how could they screw up a show about Satan? It's almost cute how naive I was.
I wish I were still naive and ignorant. Because I know the truth - which is that Lucifer is one of the worst shows of all time. No, it's no worse than Keeping Up with the Kardashians, but if Satan undergoes a sex-change operation just for publicity in one episode, it'll actually be worse.
I'm going to spend this Jerks of the Week entry walking you through the pilot of Lucifer. This will serve two purposes. The first is to prevent you from ever watching this God-awful show. The second is that on the off chance that some aspiring showrunner reads this entry, he/she can learn that torturing people with horrible TV programs is just not a nice thing to do.
Scene 1: After a text intro, citing that the angel Lucifer served in Hell for quite some time and then needed a vacation - ugh - we get to see our eponymous protagonist driving a convertible super fast. He's eventually pulled over a cop.
This should be good. I wonder if the officer is going to give him a ticket. I can feel the tension!
Lucifer completely disrespects the officer. He tells him that he's doing this to abuse his limited powers. Or, I don't know, to get a dangerous driver off the road, maybe? I mean, that's certainly a possible reason why he stopped you, Satan.
You know, I have to say that this scene truly baffles me. Think about it - Lucifer, although depicted as a hammy 30-year-old British guy, is really thousands upon thousands of years old. What do old people have in common? They're all extremely slow drivers, which is actually something I've never understood. I mean, they're going to die soon, so wouldn't they want to hurry up and do as much as possible in their limited time? Meh, whatever. The point is that Lucifer, being very ancient, realistically would be driving like 8 mph down Sunset Boulevard. If a cop were to stop him, it would be to tell him to speed up.
Anyway, Lucifer tries to bribe the officer. The cop is taken aback by this until Lucifer stares deeply into his eyes and has the officer reveal that he, too, breaks the law by "putting his sirens on driving real fast." Oh, that's cool.
The scene ends with the cop taking the money and Lucifer driving away, revealing his license plate:
Fallin1? I don't get it. What could it possibly m... ohhh! Fallen One OOOOHHHHH WOOOOWW HOW CREEEEAATTIIVEEE!!!
Scene 2: Lucifer walks into a night club, and the bartender asks him where he's been. He says, "Shacking up with a woman named Faith. How ironic!"
Faith? I don't get it. What could it possibly m... OHHHH IIII GETTT IT!!!
Suddenly, everything slows down - literally slows down, as in slow motion - and a black guy shows up and demands that Lucifer to go back to the underworld. Lucifer whines about how his "dad" - i.e. God, for those of you not following - has been disrespecting him. The black guy then asks, "What do you think happens when the Devil leaves hell?"
Umm... he goes on vacation? Hasn't this been established already?
The black guy does a spin move and reveals that he has fried chicken and watermelon hidden. OK, that's a joke. He really has wings. The black guy says, "Dad won't be merciful much longer" and then vanishes. Things are about to get crazy.
Scene 3: Some chick named Delilah shows up. She's apparently some sort of music star, and she's worried that she sold her soul to the Devil to get famous. Lucifer tells her to buck up, buckaroo, and "pull yourself together."
See, Satan's not such a bad guy. Why does he get a bad rep?
Delilah says she'll get it together. Unfortunately, she'll never get a chance because a drive-by shooter blasts her with countless bullets. She's gone. The driver crashes, and Lucifer sees the car. He then looks at Delilah and is pissed. He walks over to the car and asks the shooter why he killed her. The shooter says, "Why do you think? Money," and then he dies after Lucifer laments not being in Hell to torture him.
Shouldn't Satan have some sort of power to keep him alive? Why can't he do anything to stop him from dying? The Devil is supposed to be one of the most powerful beings ever, so why limit him? It cheapens the show that way.
Scene 4: The cops show up. Lucifer and a somewhat attractive blonde investigator argue about what the motives were, and Lucifer expresses frustration that her "corrupt little organization" won't do anything about the crime. He then says he recognizes her and asks if they've had sex before, prompting her to storm off.
Let me guess. The two are going to work together, have some tension stemming from their conflicting personalities, have sex eventually, fight some more, and then ultimately get together. That can't possibly happen, can it? I mean, that would be waaay too original for a plot.
Scene 5: Lucifer shows up to a wedding. When the priest asks if anyone has a problem with the marriage, Lucifer calls the bride jaw-droppingly beautiful and says her soon-to-be husband is a sweating homunculus, and compares this wedding to a kidnapping. Lucifer is pissed at the guy getting married, as he's Delilah's former record producer and ex-fiance. The record producer tells Lucifer that some rapper was the one who shot Delilah. Lucifer then looks at the bride and gets her to admit that she doesn't want to have sex with her "homunculus" husband tonight, prompting many observers to gasp. Lucifer then storms off to find the rapper.
You know, for someone who's on "vacation," you'd think Lucifer could've stuck around and banged some hot bridesmaids (or the "jaw-droppingly beautiful wife herself). Instead, he's solving crimes. At least Encyclopedia Brown would be proud.
Scene 6: Lucifer's next stop is the rapper's house. The rapper is having a party, which is a surprise to me. Lucifer shouts at the DJ to turn down this "God-awful music," which the rapper sees as a sign of disrespect. I suppose that would be the way the guy who invented "dabbing" would feel about me, but that would require him to have enough brain cells to read anything, including this Web site.
The rapper's crew, all of whom have guns, of course, reveal their weapons, which Lucifer scoffs at, claiming that he's immortal. Lucifer charges at the rapper and holds him over the railing, but the rapper says that he loved Delilah and that she cheated on him. The rapper, who looks like he's s***ting his pants right now, tells him to check out a Dr. Linda, Delilah's psychiatrist.
The blonde cop shows up, and the rapper says he recognizes her from the adult film Hot Tub High School. Completely embarrassed, she arrests Lucifer for some strange reason. She cites that she put him in handcuffs because "you're pissing me off." Oh, so you can arrest someone for just that? I guess Lucifer was right about the police force being corrupt!
Lucifer gets out of his handcuffs quite easily and complains that "we should be out there solving a homicide and punishing those responsible!"
And that's when it hit me. This is going to be a f***ing police procedural! Satan is going to solve crimes with some bimbo cop!
I was astonished at how stupid this was the first time I watched it, and it sounds even dumber now. Satan, the ruler of the underworld, torturer of souls, main adversary of God, will be part of a crime-solving duo with a female police officer who took part in a porno when she was younger.
I don't know... I just don't know anymore. Who the hell greenlit this, and is it possible that he's not a functional human being? Is it out of the realm of possibility that the FOX executives found some human vegetable who has lost brain function as a result of some accident, and then went with an "idea" of his when he incoherently pointed at random words like "devil" and "crime" in a magazine article? I can almost hear them saying, "Devil... crime... good gracious, this man is a genius! For our next show, Satan will solve crime!"
I suddenly have the urge to vomit all over my keyboard. How can someone let a show like this be created? And how can anyone live with themselves knowing how much potential they wasted? Depicting Satan as the protagonist in a show had so much upsidel. Instead of him being on vacation and boozing around, why couldn't they give him some enigmatic reason for escaping Hell? It'd be great if we didn't know what his intentions were, especially if this weren't some damn procedural. I can't stand procedurals. And how many officer-plus-weird character tropes do we need on TV, exactly? We have a cop and a writer on Castle, we have a cop and Revolutionary War hero on Sleepy Hollow, we have a cop and forensics examiner on Bones, and now we have a cop and Satan on Lucifer. What's next? A cop and a monkey? A cop and an old-school Zack Morris cell phone? A cop and a bag of Doritos?
I think I should stop now before I give the FOX executives another horrible idea. I'll get back to the show, and hey, guess what? The officer just asked Lucifer if he can read people's minds.
"I can't read minds; I'm not a Jedi!" he responds.
But... BUT... JEDIS CAN'T READ PEOPLE'S MINDS, THEY CONTROL PEOPLE'S ACTIONS SOMETIMES AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
That's it. I'm done. I can't watch the rest of this garbage. I'm turning it off right now.
Boom. It's gone. No more Lucifer for me. And at this rate, no more TV for me either. I'd actually rather get into dabbing than watch this trash. Even a self-promotional sex-change operation sounds more appealing.