In order to get you the best TV highlights this week, Best of the Box has made a deal with the devil… so you know, TV sorted (just don’t ask what it cost us).
Lucifer (Amazon Prime)
Airing after the new episodes of The X- Files stateside, this new supernatural crime drama that takes a few pages from Neil Gaiman’s playbook with an extra side of procedural.
So what the hell is it? Lucifer is the devil, obviously, who, fed up with ruling Hell, decides to up sticks and leave, coming to Earth to take up a more fun lifestyle. In LA he owns a club that seems pretty popular with all manner of people, mostly the trendy, beautiful and hip. However, ome of his brothers and demons from down south are not happy that he has abandoned them for his own apparent selfish reasons.
Sound a bit too dark? Well not to worry, light hearted seems to be the aim here, with a steady mix of Castle, Grimm, Elementary and a bit of Bones chucked in for good measure. Lots of religious puns and jokes pepper a solid if unremarkable first episode, but it has promise, it has charm. Probably not to anyone who was a fan of the character that appeared in Gaiman’s The Sandman and later went on to star in his own comic series titled Lucifer, written by Mike Carey. But that’s fine. A network, faithful adaptain of Neil Gaiman’s character was never going to happen, and Gaiman himself has given the show and the actor Tom Ellis, his blessing.
So, Lucifer has a club, has abandoned his home, surely its not just a show about him serving drinks at a club and chucking out unruly patrons? Nope. All those crime drama’s we listed… we did so for a reason. Lucifer is helping the LAPD with crime solving after his friend Delilah is gunned down by a drug dealer. He first takes it upon himself to investigate her death, which is pretty easy for a being that can get people to utter their deepest, darkest secrets and most hidden desires by simply asking them to do so. As he investigates, he crossed paths with a Detective by the name of Dancer played by Chicago Fire’s Lauren German, who is sceptical of Lucifer in all ways, especially as Lucifer’s powers of persuasion don’t seem to work on her. Cue, chemistry, banter and bickering just like all those crime shows that have a male and female lead.
So, good, solid, possibly promising, but not completely original, but it’s cast and presentation will keep you coming back for more. Hopefully the stories heat up a little. It’s good fun so far.
South of Hell (February 2nd, PICK TV 10PM)
A supernatural thriller set in South Carolina, South of Hell focuses on Maria Abascal, a demon hunter for hire whose power stems from within. Like those she hunts, Maria is divided within herself, struggling with her own demon, Abigail, who resides within her feeding of the evil Maria exorcises from others. Maria and Abigail share a soul and a destiny, but Maria desperately tries to overtake Abigail, she will discover the lengths the demon with will go to in order to remain apart of her.
Produced by Eli Roth and Jason Blum and staring Mena Suvari, it is in your face, silly horror that if you like the films from either producer, this one will be right up your street.
Backstrom (February 3rd, FOX UK 9PM)
The last episodes from the grumpy genius. It is a shame this show was cancelled as it has really grown as it has progress. But you can understand why viewership dropped off in the states. It is a uniquely European protagonist, not surprising consider it’s creator is, there is a not a lot to like in him. Backstrom is rude, grumpy, dismissive, antagonistic… which makes him so watchable, so interesting, that anyone can stand to be around him makes him and those he works with and forms relationships with all the more interesting.
Castle (February 3rd, Alibi 9PM)
A handful of episodes in now and season 8 of Castle is a strange beast. But then the show has been an odd one for a while now. Last season Castle vanished on his wedding day, returned with no memory of what happened, which formed the back bone of the first half of the season and then… well, we don’t really know what happened.
This season, Kate Beckett is now captain of her precinct in New York City, but now can’t be with Castle, whom she did finally marry properly because of something from her past that is tied into a grand conspiracy, but is still going into work and working with Castle (even though this seems to annoy her), they still love each other but can’t be together because she is afraid it could cost him his life… phew… still with us?
Case of the week is still good, solid fun, with great writing held up by excellent performances and the shear fact we get to spend time with Nathan Fillion for an hour is perfect on a weekly basis. Because, well, because he is cool.
The X- Files Essentials (February 3rd, 5* 1AM)
There is a date for the new event season which is awesome and like a lot of shows Channel 5 buy up, we haven’t got to wait too long.
So in the meantime, Channel 5 on their sister channel 5* are screening some of the best episodes from the 9 season run. Post Modern Prometheus is tonights (this mornings?) episode and it is one of the very best.
Shot entirely in black and white, featuring music from Cher (and at one point an actual appearance, but alas she turned it down so it is a double/stand in type thing) and a riff on the Mary Shelly and James Whale Frankenstein stories and with a Jerry Springer appearance… you’d think this was not something anyone would want to revisit. But it is awesome. Funny, sweet, poignant and still very relevant today. It looks beautiful, especially if you are watching it in HD (blurays out now) and will give new appreciation to Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves… still can’t get that tune out of our heads…
The Truth is Still Out There.