Review of television show Lucifer

Lucifer is an American dark comedy in which a fallen angel, “the devil”, still retains all his vanity as an angel and develops a disdain for his job as a punisher of sinners after they die.   It is set in the police detective world of Los Angeles (the city of angels).

Los Angeles and the music are characters in the show.   Each episode begins with a scene of the city from the air.  Although I found out that the location was Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada.   The special effects are spectacular, and, this character, Lucifer, doesn’t have to show his real face very often.

The premise of the series is that Lucifer Morningstar, the fallen angel of light, takes an unapproved vacation from his job in hell.   He is portrayed by the deliciously handsome Tom Ellis as a spoiled brat who is always mad at his Father, God.   (The first time I saw Tom Ellis was on an episode of Poirot in which he was portraying a police detective.)   Lucifer has no idea what is required to actually live among humans.   He exposes humans to countless dangers just by being himself.

He soon finds out that there are consequences for helping humans—consequences causing them to die and go to an unguarded hell as well as causing the human body count to soar when the sinners escape.

In the first episode, he and a female singer that he helped to super-stardom are gunned down, but of course, he doesn’t die.   He was giving her advice to get herself together at the time.  As I think we all know, not everyone can handle fame.   Lucifer meets detective Chloe and starts showing up everywhere to help her solve murders, including this first one.   Because he is an angel of light, he has a hypnotic effect on humans which he uses in his detective work.

Unlike movies where angelic hosts take a vacation, live among us, or are sent to help a priest out, as in the movie, “Death Takes a Holiday”, the tv show, “Supernatural”, tv show, “American Gods, movie “The Preacher’s Wife”, and the movie or tv show, “Hercules”, in which the gods constantly interfere with human life, Lucifer, however, indulges in his favorite things–alcohol, sex, and song.

The characters of the show are diverse and believable:

  • D.B. Woodside is Lucifer’s angel brother, Amenadiel, who unsuccessfully, per Father’s instructions, tries to convince Lucifer to go back to his job in hell.   (A hunk and a half.)
  • Lauren German is the beautiful police detective, Chloe Decker, who is manipulated into partnering with Lucifer with him as her police consultant who helps her with cases.
  • Kevin Alejandro is Chloe’s handsome husband, Dan, who is separated from his wife and tries to get back with her.  (Kevin was great in the HBO tv series “True Blood”)
  • Scarlet Estevez is Chloe and Dan’s cute little daughter who befriends Lucifer and Mazikeen.  The voice of wisdom most of the time and she likes chocolate cake.
  • Rachel Harris is beautiful Dr. Linda Martin who ends up being everybody’s therapist and in danger as well because of her job.
  • Lesley-Ann Brandt is excellent at portraying Lucifer’s beautiful demon body guard, Mazikeen, who can kick ass 24/7.
  • Aimee Garcia is Ella Lopez, the cheerful beautiful LAPD forensic scientist.
  • Tricia Helfer is Charlotte, Lucifer’s beautiful but manipulating mom and ex-wife of God.
  • Tom Welling is police lieutenant Marcus Pierce as well as a mysterious character.  (I loved him as Superman in the tv show Smallville, and what a hunk he still is.)

The creators of the show are Neil Gaiman (author of American Gods), Sam Kieth (comics artist and writer), and Mike Dringenberg (comics artist).

However, there is a disconnect after season 3, episode 23 in which Chloe sees Lucifer’s real devil face for the first time.  In the last two episodes, S03:E24 and S03:E25, her realization of his true identity is not addressed as though it didn’t happen.  The series was just digging into more of Ella, the forensic scientist’s backstory and new characters like the Angel of Death.

This was a show on Fox until its fourth season was canceled because its fanbase was too small.    And, due to those fans who complained, Netflix picked up the show for its fourth season.

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

 

 

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Review of book:  Bloodsworth—the True Story of the First Death Row Inmate Exonerated by DNA Evidence, by Tim Junkin

Bloodsworth is the nonfiction account of how Kirk Bloodworth was wrongfully accused and spent 9 years in prison for the alleged heinous rape and murder of a child.    The book includes a short history of how DNA came about (“clearing the innocent as well as identifying the guilty”), the history of the Maryland Penitentiary, and a short Baltimore history beginning in 1661.  I love a book that gives the historical backstory to explain why things happened and what was going on in the country at the same time.

“In her news conference, Sandra A. O’Connor declined to say that Bloodsworth was innocent and offered no apologies.   ‘There are no other suspects at this time’, she said.  ‘Based on the evidence, our office did the right thing in prosecuting him,’ she said.   ‘I believe he is not guilty,” O’Conor added.  ‘I am not prepared to say he’s innocent.’  This public statement of hers caused some people to think he was still guilty despite the proof of his innocence.

The author says “There is a strain of hubris that affects certain people in power, people with authority.  It can be slow to develop, like a dormant infection.  If not guarded against, it can breed an unhealthy arrogance, a cocksureness that their judgments are beyond fallacy.  Such self-righteousness allows them to close their minds to new possibilities.  It can cause right-thinking people to do terrible things.  The devil has a long tail.”   In addition, it can cause these professionals to not consider any other options like the four other local men who had criminal records and creepy ways that caught their co-workers’ attentions, but not the prosecution investigators’ attentions.

Kirk’s personal story of triumph is intermingled with the above in an interesting and far from boring way.  There was no evidence to even bring him in as a suspect.   But, think of what he and other innocent men and women have gone through.   Some say, well, the cover tells you that he was proven innocent, why should I read his story?   Who knows, maybe you will need the information that he learned from his experience being locked up in the Maryland Penitentiary, being trapped with the guilty, using every bit of money your elderly parents have in trying to prove your innocence, etc.   This could have been your story.

And, what was his crime?   This former waterman, Marine, and discus-throwing champion allowed his life to spiral out of control in pursuit of the wife whom he loved.  So much so that he wasn’t prepared physically or emotionally to bring his life back on track.   He and his wife were living with a group of like-minded party animals who only lived to party until his wife grew bored with him and ran away to find some other like-minded fellow.  Bloodsworth was high and miserable about his wife when he was arrested.   What a time to be arrested when you are not thinking clearly at all and having to come down off that high in prison.

This book was selected by the Maryland Humanities One Maryland One Book campaign.   Copyright 2004 by Tim Junkin and Kirk Bloodsworth, Published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill

Submitted by Rosa L. Griffin

Review of book:  Heavy is the Rain, by Stella Adams

Ms. Adams’ book is wonderful.   You know the old saying, “When it rains—it pours”?   Well, little Billie (named after Baltimore singer Billie Holiday) has had her share of ups and downs, and most of her downs were brought on by unsavory adults as well as by an emotionally unavailable mother (not taking either her new husband or Billie’s side) and an absent father.   The story takes place between 1948 and 1966 between Baltimore and South Carolina.

I can’t leave out Grandma Gertie in South Carolina who had a special bond with her granddaughter, Billie, to the point of always knowing when Billie was in trouble in Baltimore.   Ms. Adams did her due diligence in researching Baltimore City, Maryland, locales and history for her fiction novel.   And, if you have lived in Baltimore, the locales in her book will hopefully dredge up pleasant memories for you.  It brought back many memories for me.

Her book is fast-paced and thrilling because there are mysteries going on during the novel that make for a lot of suspense.   Issues confronted are child molestation and revenge for same (the word “honeymoon” and its special meaning, age-old dilemma of who can a child tell), female child made into a numbers runner, the danger of payback, and whether love is even in Billie’s future.

Copyright 2013 Stella Adams, Plenary Publishing, Charleston.  Look for her new book, Beneficial Life, just published in 2018 by Stargo LLC.

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

 

 

 

 

Chase the right waterfalls! Please don’t stick to the rivers and the lakes that you are used to!

Hi, everyone!

A few years ago, TLC sang a beautiful song –“Waterfalls”.

“Don’t go chasing waterfalls. Please stay in the rivers and the lakes that you are used to.”    I thought the lyrics were kind of negative, because I thought of waterfalls as something positive.   But in watching the video and re-reading the lyrics, I found that the song spoke of young people who were going too far in the wrong direction–ruining their lives.   The video of three beautiful women standing in water is breath-taking.

“According to Bustle, the song we love to belt out is about H.I.V., drug dealing, and other tragedies that kill predominantly young people.”    “The Meaning Behind ‘Waterfalls’ by TLC is Pretty Dark”, https://www.flava.co.nz, 4/15/17

http://www.lyrics007.com/Tlc Lyrics/Waterfalls Lyrics.html, TLC (T-Boz/Left Eye/Chili), 1995, on the LaFace label.

Submitted by Rosa L. Griffin