Lucifer TV Show: New Plot Details Reveal Big Departure from the Comics
Lucifer officially has a pilot order from Fox, which should make DC Comics fans very happy. However, it might have been a Pyrrhic victory, as the plot summary for the pilot signals a huge departure from the source material.
At first, it seemed to helm fairly close to the comics, with the logline simply stating that Lucifer would arrive in LA and open an exclusive piano bar. But now, Fox seems determined to turn the adaptation of the beloved DC Comics character into a police procedural. According to the new logline, the show will focus on "Lucifer who, bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell, resigns his throne and abandons his kingdom for the gorgeous, shimmering insanity of Los Angeles, where he gets his kicks helping the LAPD punish criminals."
I think police procedurals have their time and place (SVU is an especially guilty pleasure of mine), but this makes no sense. There's the obvious objections of "this never happened in the comics" and "why would the Lord of Hell be helping to catch criminals?", but it goes deeper than that. Lucifer is an interesting character precisely because he operates in a moral grey area, which does not really translate to wanting to help the police enforce their relatively black-and-white rules for mortals.
And furthermore, not every show has to be a police procedural. Gotham's procedural elements are consistently weak and perfunctory; you can almost see the network's wheels turning, saying "People like procedurals. Procedurals get ratings. They're safe. Therefore, if we can make it a procedural, we should." But at least with Gotham, it makes a little sense considering the mythology, so it wouldn't necessarily alienate the core audience. This pilot doesn't sound like it resembles the comics at all. It has elements of Angel, another "LA as Hell" supernatural procedural, but Angel drastically improved when it became character-focused and serialized, in my opinion. Even if you're trying to play it safe, there's no need to shoehorn a procedural element into a show that already has a built-in fanbase, especially if you'll inspire intense nerd rage in the process.