Many have been asking what to binge watch while spending time at home while in isolation/quarantine due to Coronavirus.
Movie theaters are closed, with big screen releases being pushed back for months, if not a year.
Large events including Coachella, Stagecoach, SXSW, and Miami’s Ultra Music Festival, have been canceled or postponed.
Music tours and concerts have been put on hold.
The NBA, NCAA, NFL, and MLB have all called a timeout.
Disney’s theme parks, Universal Studios, Six Flags parks, and more have temporarily closed.
COVID-19, or the coronavirus, has forced city and state authorities to order restaurants, bars, and other businesses closed, and advise residents to isolate, work from home where possible, and practice social distancing.
The virus, which has caused nearly 60,000 deaths is expected to continue spreading.
So what show can fill the void, offering some comedic relief, crime drama and, yes, even spirituality?
The answer is: Lucifer on Netflix.
Sure, this has been a hard series to sell for some in the faith community.
Christian groups at first called for a boycott of Lucifer when it premiered in 2016.
Then people started actually watching, and most of the criticism, miraculously, died off.
To be sure, this is a show about the devil, Lucifer, in which he is bored in Hell and decides to take residence in Los Angeles, and help solve crimes.
It’s true Lucifer is written to be annoying and amusing and charming and (thanks to Tom Ellis) very charismatic.
But the show is fiction, and most religious people have no problem distinguishing between the actual bible and a TV show.
What is remarkably positive for Christians, however, is that this Lucifer’s journey is all about self-sacrifice, selflessness, justice, consent, free will, agency, redemption and forgiveness.
All themes Christians everywhere are encouraged to discuss and promote.
And during this pandemic, many issues are raised that we can relate to in our own lives, with our own faith.
The entire show is a metaphor.
Everything that happens to Lucifer internally is reflected externally, in the most literal way possible.
In fact, Lucifer has an actual therapist who acts as the voice of reason and interpretation.
She is the (human) angel on his shoulder, showing the audience that Lucifer is in fact an unreliable narrator of his own story and his claims about God should be taken with a grain of salt.
And as Lucifer comprehends all of the issues that humanity deals with, we are left asking our own questions about faith, family and friends.
It’s a devil of a good time show with a bunch of religious subtle messages mixed in.
“I feel like the show’s themes of redemption, of questioning your faith, and of finding the best in people, no matter what you’ve heard, and perhaps what they’ve done, are more Christian than so many so-called ‘Christian’ shows,” wrote QuantumFTL on Reddit. “Christ was all about forgiveness, and about giving those who have sinned (i.e. all of us) a path to God. Clearly this show is about this.”
That seems to be the general consensus when the topic is raised.
“I’m Catholic. It’s a show. I must admit though, it makes me wonder about some things,” added pghfoxfan. “For example, if God could forgive the devil, there is probably not much I can do that he won’t forgive.”
For the first three seasons of the show, Lucifer aired on Fox.
No sex scenes even while sexual references are made.
The “skimpily clad” dancers at Lucifer’s club, they’re just there in the background, not any different from MTV or a Viagra commercial.
For a witty crime drama, there is surprisingly little violence or gore.
Characters get shot, but either there’s no blood because they’re immortal, or very little blood to be seen on-screen.
Also, the language is minimal.
Note, Ellis’ butt did make several appearances in Season 4 on Netflix, but writers have agreed the basic essence of Lucifer will not change.
If you want to give this show a try, check out Season 1, Episode 9: “A Priest Walks Into A Bar.”
This is where Lucifer realizes his conception about his dad (God) may be wrong.
As a priest lies dying, he tells Lucifer:
“God has faith in him. In all of us. Even in our darkest moments.”
Lucifer: “Oh, you really believe that.”
Priest: “I do. Why don’t you?”
Lucifer: “Because He didn’t have faith in me.”
Priest: “I felt that way once, too. But now I know, deep in my heart, God has a plan for me.”
Lucifer: “Oh, His plan for me was quite clear.”
Priest: “How do you know it’s finished?”
Lucifer was left pondering that question.
At this moment in the series, many of us started to take note of our own lives, and the twists and turns that led us to where we are today.
Not all of it is positive.
A lot of it we’d like to redo.
So this question: What if Lucifer himself started to self reflect?
If it’s possible for the devil to do that, we can too.
Lucifer the TV show is the gift that keeps on giving.
The more you watch it, the more you uncover the nuggets that make you chuckle or think.
These writers, arguably the best since the Breaking Bad team, know how to write subtlety and nuances and themes and plot and characters.
As funny and witty and sassy and amusing Lucifer is each episode, there’s also a beauty to it.
My 84 year old mother, Doris Heath, is a huge fan and I asked her what she liked most about the show.
“It doesn’t insult me, and makes me think about faith in my own way.”
Well said, mom.
Maybe you need more than Christian TV to get the message out after all.
The series stars Ellis as Lucifer Morningstar, Lauren German as Detective Chloe Decker, Kevin Alejandro as Detective Dan Espinoza, D.B. Woodside as Amenadiel, Lesley-Ann Brandt as Maze, Aimee Garcia as Ella Lopez and Rachael Harris as Dr. Linda Martin. Season 4 also starts series newcomers Inbar Lavi as Eve and Graham McTavish as Father Kinley.
The first seasons are available to binge-watch now on Netflix.
Fans are waiting for the first 8 episodes of the fifth (and hopefully not last) season to premiere soon.