Let me start out by saying that when it comes to expressions of creativity (a song, a painting, a poem), or pieces of popular entertainment (movies, plays, TV shows), I’m pretty easy. I understand there are wide parameters when it comes to art, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I get that what I feel may be inappropriate or vulgar or exciting and entertaining may not meet the criteria of others. I really believe if it’s not for you then you don’t have to look/buy/follow/read/watch.
Until something truly disturbing hits you in the face.
On January 25th, FOX premiered its brand new Monday night TV series, LUCIFER, featuring, you guessed it, The Evil One himself. Reportedly the show is based on characters from a DC comic book series. Here’s how FOX’s website describes the show…
“Upon leaving hell, Lucifer Morningstar retreats to Los Angeles for a more exciting life. When the murder of a friend connects him with LAPD detective Chloe Decker, Lucifer becomes intrigued with the idea of punishing criminals, sending the devil himself into a struggle between good and evil.”
Against my better judgment, but to be sure I was being fair, I screened the first episode. I didn’t want to be blinded by any of the preconceptions I could feel rising up inside me.
Lucifer As Sex Symbol?
Let’s start on the artistic level. In the TV show, The Lord of Hell is devilishly handsome, suave, impeccably dressed, and drives a sexy sports car. He even has a charming British accent.
On the surface, the show is yet another in a creatively bankrupt series of American television storylines whereby (fill in the blanks) a smooth yet quirky outsider with unusual abilities helps a straight-and-narrow cop solve various baffling crimes. (See ELEMENTARY, CASTLE, PSYCH, NUMB3RS, etc. etc.) Guess the formula works well enough in the ratings to keep recycling it. And here it is again. Unoriginal? Certainly. But, I can live with that.
Secondly, the show, at least based on the first episode, leans pretty heavily on the sex, adult language, and graphic violence. There are LOTS of leering sexual situations, dialogue filled with words like “fornication,” “trips to pound town”…you get the idea. A little girl is told her name sounds like a hooker. And there’s even mildly mocking conversations about God. Okay, so maybe that’s all common territory for adult television these days. Enough for me to turn the channel? Certainly. I got batteries in my remote for that.
So what’s so bad? So different? So…troubling?
For me it’s the very premise of the show. Here we have a prime time entry from a major network that basically glorifies Satan. He is shown as a mysterious, suave and ultimately very likeable character. He’s just a smooth operator out to help the cops, get some girls, and have a little fun during his vacation from his rough full time job. I guess I just take issue with bringing Lucifer to an audience of non-believers and believers as basically a “pretty cool guy.” I’m not comfortable with Lucifer as a hero.
Maybe I take this too personally because in my Christian walk, I have struggled mightily with the Devil and have suffered greatly for it. I have seen the suffering of others. I have been shown a face that is anything but suave, sophisticated, and fun at cocktail parties. Frankly, this is a PR dream for the Evil One.
Is this the Satan the world needs to know and get familiar with? Is this an appropriate depiction of the Prince of Evil? I guess a wacky sitcom about that crazy Adolph Hitler guy or a show about the angst-filled high school days of Jeffrey Dahmer wouldn’t get the ratings, so they had to go to the top. But in my mind, they just went way too far. We should be at war with the Beast, not tuning in to chuckle at his amusing antics with homicide detectives in Los Angeles. Worst of all, how does this show look in the eyes of someone who has not yet come to Chirst? What kind of an influence will it have on that person’s salvation or lack of salvation?
Maybe I’m getting carried away. Sure, it’s just a TV show. Sure, I don’t have to watch. Hey, I know, I should relax because it probably won’t last another season. But to me this is truly troubling. We should know the true face of Satan for what it is, not glamorize it. There’s just too much at stake for that.