If you’re looking for an escape from the pandemic’s throes, look no further than Netflix’s new collaboration with Darren Star, Emily in Paris.
The series benefits largely from the scenery as it filmed in a pre-COVID world right in the heart of Paris. The sights are stunning, and while Star and the producers didn’t know it at the time, upon its premiere, it would be a reprieve filling in a void of wanderlust for many who have been confined to their homes (and home offices) since March. It especially piqued my interest as my May trip to Paris was cancelled due to the pandemic. I’m living vicariously through Emily while also knowing I wouldn’t have nearly as many epic adventures or flirtatious romances.
Falling in love with the picturesque scenery is one thing, but it’s the show, and the titular character, Emily (Lily Collins), that has to sell audiences.
The pilot episode sets the scene: Emily works at a big marketing firm in Chicago, her boyfriend is forgettable, and the moment her boss finds out she’s pregnant from one of her several one-night stands and can’t go to Paris to complete the merger of luxe firms, she sends Emily. Emily’s boyfriend isn’t too pleased and they attempt the whole long-distance thing for a bit, but it’s clear that Emily’s mindset is international while her boyfriend is happy staying local forever.
To audiences, Emily is likable as a lead character, but to her new co-workers at Savoir, especially her uptight manager Sylvie, she’s “ringarde,” or what we later know is a “basic bitch.”
While Collins does a wonderful job carrying the show, the heroine is far too peppy and optimistic for the likes of Paris, and her fashion, though always impeccable, makes her stick out like a sore thumb. Seriously, how does she get around in heels in such a breezy fashion?
She doesn’t follow rules and she’s fearless, which should be admirable, but everything comes so easily for her that it’s not relatable nor is it charming in the way it’s supposed to be. She’s not just a regular gal — she doesn’t have financial burdens (or school loans for that matter), she managed to bring all those staple fashion pieces in one suitcase, and she her biggest issue is which French man she’ll sleep with and to convince her boss to like her.
So, it’s clear why Sylvie has it out for her.
Though, one can argue we don’t ever learn much about Emily other than she came from Chicago where she had a boring life and now she’s living out every American girl’s fantasy.
In our current pandemic climate, it’s also a little hard to digest the notion of an American swooping in as the hero and telling everyone the right way to do things. However, we can all learn from the secondary lesson that hones in on the idea that we can all achieve so much more if we just worked together.
Marketing comes naturally to Emily — and it’s not just because of that Master’s she mentions — as does being an influencer as she stumbles into it after having only a handful of followers upon her arrival in Paris. Look, we’ve all tried to become influencers and can, without a doubt, attest that it isn’t that easy.
Being a Parisian, however, doesn’t come as easily to her. As she helps Savoir evolve and market their clients, those around her both at the company and in her personal life help her navigate her new lifestyle. It’s a gentle reminder that if we just stopped to give each other a chance instead of pointing out difference, we could all learn a lot from each other.
Throughout the 10-episode run (they’re less than 30 minutes each, so they’re digestible), Sylvie is one of the only people that almost never comes around to the idea of Emily. She just doesn’t get why everyone adores Emily, and that’s fine, but her hatred is a little far-fetched and borders on cliche.
Along with Emily’s Americanized notion of the world, the series is riddled with cliche’s and stereotypes from the French disdain for everything to chain smoking up to the men talking freely about sex. Even America’s sweetheart, Brooklyn, is a walking stereotype and a clear example of why people generally don’t like Americans. And Julien, Emily’s gay co-worker (and only person of color on the series) plays right into the “gay co-worker” stereotype and serves little to no purpose other than to provide catty remarks and support.
With Sylvie, all of her hatred is fueled by jealousy especially as, again, most things come fairly easy to Emily including workplace successes and romance. It seems every man she comes across, even Sylvie’s lover Antoine, is somehow infatuated by her.
Since the series hails from the creator of Younger, the dynamic between the older boss and the younger employee slightly parallels Liza and Diana’s, but where Diana excels as a feminine goddess that we love to praise, Sylvie falls flat.
Her distaste for Emily doesn’t always make sense — the more Emily succeeds and proves her worth, the more Sylvie hates her — and though the series attempts to paint her as this chic woman, she just seems like a bitter woman unable to embrace change. At one point, an old client said the firm she’s running is “dinosaur” and it’s fitting; she wants the status-quo while Emily is here to shake things up as every ounce of publicity. You know the saying: even bad press is good press.
There’s progress made towards the end of the series when Sylvie un-fires Emily after she once again saves the day after messing it up, but it’s clear that Emily’s journey of proving herself will be an uphill battle. Don’t worry, she’s ready for it.
They always say Paris is for lovers,so you didn’t think there’d be a series without a few romances in the city of love, did you? It’s clear from the beginning that Emily has chemistry with her fourth floor neighbor, Gabriel, but he, of course, has a girlfriend he fails to tell Emily about.
Darren Star found plenty of success with an effective love triangle on Younger, so it’s not surprising this would be the crux of the series. However, unlike on Younger where fans are torn between #TeamJosh and #TeamCharles, there’s no doubt that Emily and Gabriel belong together. All the other men she’s rendezvoused with, including the snob Thomas, Antoine, youngester Timothee, and Mathieu, are just frogs that had to be kissed on her way to charming.
The biggest obstacle in this relationship is Camille, who, like Emily, audiences have a sweet spot for. Maybe it’s cause we meet Camille before we know she’s Gabriel’s girlfriend, maybe it’s because she’s nice to Emily from the moment she meets her, or because she’s genuinely nice, but it’s hard to watch Emily and Gabriel’s relationship unfold knowing it’s going to hurt Camille.
It’s unfortunate to see her caught up in this whole mess and unknowingly betrayed by the two people closest to her.
If the series snags a second season, the relationship drama will amplify as Antoine invested in Gabriel’s career as a chef in Paris, which means he’s staying around and not moving to Normandy.
That seems like good news, but it’s problematic as Gabriel and Emily slept together thinking this was their final goodbye and he was done with Camille for good.
Camille is surely going to want her man back, but what does Gabriel’s heart want?
There’s also drama for Emily and Mathieu, heir to the Cadault fashion empire that she almost destroyed once before. If she wants to stay on Pierre’s good side, keep them as a client, and make Sylvie happy, she can’t ruin this relationship. And that’s why she should’ve listened to her “commandments” of not mixing business with pleasure.
One of the show’s saving graces is Ashley Park, who plays Mindy, and steals every scene she’s in. She’s the heiress to a zipper king in China, which is problematic in its own stereotypical “Crazy Rich Asians” way, but she’s also a nanny who sings in a drag club and encourages Emily to live her best life. I’d watch a show solely focused on her!
The pilot episode was admittedly a little bumpy, and while I was excited for the series, I found myself wondering if maybe the hype was too much.
The series isn’t groundbreaking by any means — not in the way Younger and Sex and the City were — but once you get into the groove, you’ll be hooked on Emily and her international lifestyle. All those complaints won’t bother you if you go into it thinking that it was always meant to be the perfect fantasy of what people dream up Paris to be in their minds.
Then, think about all those Instagram influencers you follow — you know their lives are unrealistic, but they paint a pretty picture; and yes, the show gives you the same dose of endorphins as mindlessly scrolling through your feed for hours.
If you’re in quarantine and looking for an escape, your vacation is only one click away with Emily in Paris. You don’t even need a passport. Just make sure you have a croissant and some macarons ready!
All the Movies and Shows Coming to Netflix this Holiday Season Including ‘The Princess Switch: Switched Again’
Move over Hallmark and Lifetime, Netflix is hoping to take over Christmas programming with a robust slate of holiday features.
The streaming giant has five new cheerful movies including the sequel to the Vanessa Hudgens-led The Princess Switch and The Christmas Chronicles.
There’s also a film starring Dolly Parton, a Debbie Allen documentary, a diverse musical starring Forest Whitaker called Jingle Jangle (not the one from Riverdale!), and a rom-com about how friends with benefits never work starring Emma Roberts.
In other words, Netflix is here to spread all the holiday cheer:
Here’s your full list of programming:
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey – Nov. 13
Stars: Forest Whitaker, Madalen Mills, Keegan-Michael Key, Sharon Rose, Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose, Ricky Martin, Kieron Dyer, Justin Cornwell, Lisa Davina Phillip, Hugh Bonneville
Official synopsis: “A musical adventure and a visual spectacle for the ages, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey is a wholly fresh and spirited family holiday event. Set in the gloriously vibrant town of Cobbleton, the film follows legendary toymaker Jeronicus Jangle (Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker) whose fanciful inventions burst with whimsy and wonder. But when his trusted apprentice (Emmy winner Keegan-Michael Key) steals his most prized creation, it’s up to his equally bright and inventive granddaughter (newcomer Madalen Mills) — and a long-forgotten invention — to heal old wounds and reawaken the magic within. From the imagination of writer-director David E. Talbert and featuring original songs by John Legend, Philip Lawrence, Davy Nathan, and “This Day” performed by Usher and Kiana Ledé, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey reminds us of the strength of family and the power of possibility.”
The Princess Switch: Switched Again – Nov. 19
Stars: Vanessa Hudgens, Sam Palladio, Nick Sagar
Official synopsis: “When Duchess Margaret unexpectedly inherits the throne to Montenaro and hits a rough patch with boyfriend Kevin, it’s up to her double Princess Stacy of Belgravia to get these star-crossed lovers back together… but the course of true love is complicated by the appearance of a handsome royal who’s intent on stealing Margaret’s heart. Throw in the unexpected arrival of Margaret’s outrageous party girl cousin Fiona, a third look-alike who has ambitions of her own, and you have the recipe for Christmas triple trouble!”
Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square – Nov. 22
Stars: Dolly Parton, Christine Baranski, Jenifer Lewis, Treat Williams, Jeanine Mason, Josh Segarra, Mary Lane Haskell
Official synopsis: “A rich and nasty woman, Regina Fuller, returns to her small hometown after her father’s death to evict everyone and sell the land to a mall developer – right before Christmas. However, after listening to stories of the local townsfolk, reconnecting with an old love, and accepting the guidance of an actual angel, Regina starts to have a change of heart. This is the story about family, love and how a small town’s Christmas spirit can warm the coldest of hearts. Featuring 14 original songs with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton.”
The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two – Nov. 25
Stars: Kurt Russell, Goldie Hawn, Jahzir Bruno, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Julian Dennison, Tyrese Gibson with Judah Lewis and Darby Camp
Official synopsis: “It’s been two years since siblings Kate (Darby Camp) and Teddy Pierce (Judah Lewis) saved Christmas, and a lot has changed. Kate, now a cynical teenager, is reluctantly spending Christmas in Cancun with her mom’s new boyfriend and his son Jack (Jahzir Bruno). Unwilling to accept this new version of her family, Kate decides to run away. But when a mysterious, magical troublemaker named Belsnickel threatens to destroy the North Pole and end Christmas for good, Kate and Jack are unexpectedly pulled into a new adventure with Santa Claus (Kurt Russell). Written and directed by Chris Columbus (Home Alone, Harry Potter) and co-starring Goldie Hawn, The Christmas Chronicles 2 is an action-packed adventure for the whole family that’s full of heart, humor, and holiday spirit.”
Tudo Bem No Natal Que Vem / Just Another Christmas – Dec. 3
Stars: Leandro Hassum, Elisa Pinheiro, Ariane Botelho, Miguel Rômulo, Louise Cardoso, Danielle Winits
Official synopsis: “After taking a very nasty fall on Christmas Eve, grinchy Jorge blacks out and wakes up one year later, with no memory of the year that has passed. He soon realizes that he’s doomed to keep waking up on Christmas Eve after Christmas Eve, having to deal with the aftermath of what his other self has done the other 364 days of the year.”
Überweihnachten – November TBD
Official description: “A three part Christmas mini-series starring Luke Mockridge — one of Germany’s most popular comedians — as likeable loser Bastian who travels home for Christmas only to be confronted with the fact that his brother is now dating his ex-girlfriend. As the brothers fight and bicker through the Christmas period Bastian fails to notice that the parents are hiding something …”
Dash & Lily – Nov. 10
Stars: Austin Abrams, Midori Frances, Dante Brown, Troy Iwata, Keana Marie, James Saito, Jodi Long, Glenn McCuen, Michael Park, Gideon Emery, Jennifer Ikeda, Diego Guevara
Official description: “A whirlwind Holiday romance builds as cynical Dash and optimistic Lily trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations all across New York City, finding they have more in common with each other than they would have expected. The series is based on the young adult book series Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares from the New York Times bestselling authors Rachel Cohn and David Levithan.”
Holiday Home Makeover with Mr. Christmas – Nov. 18
Official description: “Benjamin Bradley, best known as Mr. Christmas, is a veteran in the interior design industry with a healthy obsession with the holiday season. For Mr. Christmas, the holidays are all about celebrating love, life, family and friends through meaningful traditions. In the new Netflix series Holiday Home Makeover with Mr. Christmas, Bradley takes you behind the scenes as he puts his design expertise and vast Christmas collection to good use. Equipped with lights, garlands, and enough tinsel to blanket the North Pole, he and his team of elves work around the clock to bring holiday cheer to families and communities deserving of a home makeover for the most joyous time of year. Mr. Christmas invites viewers along for the ride to kick off the holiday season and get inspired to take their own home decorating and traditions to the next level.”
Sugar Rush: Christmas: Season 2 – Nov. 27
Official description: “This competition series challenges bakers to create holiday treats that look festive and taste amazing — all against a ticking clock.”
Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker – Nov. 27
Official description: “From Shondaland, Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker spotlights the career of award-winning entertainer Debbie Allen and follows her group of young dancers as they prepare for Allen’s annual “Hot Chocolate Nutcracker” production.
The Holiday Movies That Made Us – Dec. 1
Official description: “This in-depth look at two iconic holiday movies (“Elf,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas”) uses behind-the-scenes footage and cast and crew interviews.”
The Great British Baking Show: Holidays: Season 3 – Dec. 4
Official description: “‘Tis the season for eight returning bakers to vie for the holiday crown as they race to make wondrous winter treats.”
How to Ruin Christmas: The Wedding – December TBA
Official description: “When family rebel and disappointment, Tumi Sello, begrudgingly joins her dysfunctional family for the first Christmas holidays in years, it’s not the merry return of the prodigal daughter everyone was hoping for. She manages to ruin her younger sister’s Christmas wedding before it even takes place, and spends her next 6 days frantically trying to get things back on track.”
Alien Xmas – Nov. 20
Official description: “When a race of kleptomaniac aliens attempts to steal Earth’s gravity in order to more easily take everything on the planet, only the gift-giving spirit of Christmas and a small alien named X can save the world.”
Dragons: Rescue Riders: Huttsgalor Holiday – Nov. 24
Official description: “Huttsgalor’s favorite winter festival is finally here! But will some ice-breathing dragons put a frost on everyone’s fun.”
A Go! Go! Cory Carson Christmas – Nov. 27
Official description: “When a snow plow, who has an uncanny resemblance to Santa, crashes in the Carson’s yard, Cory must remind him who he is in order to save Christmas.”
Wonderoos: Holiday Holiday! – Nov. 29
Official description: “It’s winter in the big city and everyone is excited to celebrate the holidays! When Poppy decides to throw a holiday party for Sully, the Wonderoos learn that there are lots of different holidays and ways to celebrate!
Angela’s Christmas Wish – Dec. 1
Official description: “Angela’s Christmas Wish is a heart-warming tale of a determined little girl who sets out to reunite her family in time for Christmas. Based on characters from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Frank McCourt, it is a tender and funny story about the importance of family and togetherness.”
Chico Bon Bon and the Very Berry Holiday – Dec. 3
Official description: “When Barry the Berry Bear doesn’t show up to deliver the traditional Blunderberry Cakes on Blunderberry Day Eve, the Fix-It Force kicks it into high gear to save the town’s most magical holiday!”
Captain Underpants Mega Blissmas – Dec. 4
Official description: “George and Harold love Christmas, but they feel like it could use some upgrades. So they make a comic about a new version of the holiday: BLISSMAS. Instead of red bows, laser shows! Instead of ugly sweaters, cool capes! Instead of decorating trees, creating tree-bots! The boys take Melvin’s time toad back to convince Santa to incorporate some of their ideas to his new holiday. But they come back to the present to find that their plan didn’t work quite how they’d hoped. George and Harold realize they need to help Santa remember the true meaning of Christmas before it’s gone forever!”
Mighty Express: A Mighty Christmas – Dec. 5
Official description: “Mandy Mail must deliver a load of late Christmas letters to the North Pole, then all the trains join in to help Santa deliver the presents during a big storm.”
Super Monsters: Santa’s Super Monster Helpers – Dec. 8
Official description: “When GrrBus takes Sami, Zane, Olive and Rocky on a field trip to the North Pole, they accidentally cause a catastrophe at Santa’s workshop – and it’s up to the eight older Super Monsters to come to the rescue and save Christmas!”
Ashley Garcia: Genius in Love: Christmas – Dec. 9
Official description: “A holly, jolly gathering takes a strange turn when Ashley bumps her head and gets a glimpse of her near-distant future with Tío, Tad, Stick and Brooke.”
The Big Show Show: Christmas – Dec. 9
Official description: “When Big Show gets injured Cassy has to fill his big shoes in the hopes of winning the neighborhood Christmas competition. Meanwhile JJ, Mandy and Lola are sent on a scavenger hunt for presents only to discover spending time together might be the best gift of all.”
A Trash Truck Christmas – Dec. 11
Official description: “When Hank finds out that Trash Truck doesn’t know what Christmas is, he sets out to show him and their friends what the magical holiday is all about. And luckily for Santa, the friends are up to speed just in time to help save Christmas.”
What to Watch in October 2020: ‘The Mandalorian,’ ‘This Is Us,’ ‘Emily in Paris’ and More
The breeze is blowing in the chills and thrills of October. And don’t worry, networks and streaming services are prepared with an artillery of content that you’ll enjoy under your weighted blanket with your apple cider donuts and pumpkin spice latte.
Honestly, I’m impressed with how much good television is coming our way this month.
Check out our guide of what to watch this October!
Halloween Spooky Content
Rebecca – Netflix (October 21)
Based on the 1938 novel of the same name, the Netflix original finds young newlyweds, played by Lily James and Armie Hammer, arriving at her husband’s estate on the English coast where they find themselves battling the ghost of the man’s first wife, Rebecca
Hubie’s Halloween – Netflix (October 7)
Adam Sandler brings all his quirkiness into his first-ever live-action Halloween film with a star-studded cast. Seriously, who isn’t in this movie? Sandler stars as Hubie Dubois, a Halloween fanatic and town joke, who becomes their only chance at solving a real-life murder.
The Haunting of Bly Manor – Netflix (October 9)
The second installment in the franchise is finally upon us. It’s loosely based on the 1938 horror “The Turn of the Screw” by Henry James and equally as frightening as its predecessor The Haunting of Hill House.
A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting – Netflix (October 15)
With a modern Goosebumps vibe, the film finds a babysitter embarking a mission to save the child she’s babysitting afters an abduction by monsters.
Monsterland – Hulu (October 2)
If you’re a fan of horror anthologies, Monsterland is right up your alley. The series, based on stories from Nathan Ballingrud’s “North American Lake Monster,” focuses on characters who have strange encounters with mythical creatures.
The Holidate – Netflix (October 28)
If Halloween isn’t your thing, don’t worry — Netflix is gearing up for the holiday season early with “The Holidate starring Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey. The duo pretend to be a couple for the holiday’s to avoid all the pesky “why are you single” questions from the family, but as with all rom-coms, they soon learn that romantic feelings trail not far behind “friends with benefits.”
Emily in Paris – Netflix (October 2)
If you’ve been missing Younger, look no further than Emily in Paris, a 10-episode sitcom about a Chicagoan who moves to Paris to work at a huge marketing label and learns to navigate love, French culture, and a boss that’s out to get her. Grab the croissants!
Schitt’s Creek (season 6) – Netflix (October 7)
After taking home every single award in the comedy department at the Emmys, including all the comedy best acting categories for the first time in history, Schitt’s Creek’s final season will be available to stream on Netflix. Find out how the greatest sitcom in the world ends!
The Mandalorian (season 2) – Disney+ (October 30)
Star Wars fans – the wait for the second season of The Mandalorian is upon us! Not much is known about the season, but you can be sure it will continue to trail the adventures of the titular lone gunfighter and his sidekick, Baby Yoda (aka The Child), in the galaxy far, far away.
Supermarket Sweep – ABC (October 18)
SNL alum Leslie Jones will host the revival that’s a godsend to shopaholics. Ready, set, shop!
The Voice Season 19 Premiere – NBC (October 19)
The wait is over as the singing competition returns with Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton, John Legend, and Kelly Clarkson as the coaches. But take note — COVID is making them social distance!
Black-ish Season 7 Premiere – ABC (October 21)
The Johnson family is back and they’re tackling voting and the election in their latest promo!
The Conners Season 3 Premiere – ABC (October 21)
The Conners return for a third season and just like us, they’ve been affected by the pandemic!
The Right Stuff series premiere – Disney+ Original (October 9)
The series is based off the 1979 book of the same name and follows what would become America’s first reality show following Mercury Seven astronauts and their families ahead of Project Mercury.
Superstore Season 6 Premiere – NBC (October 29)
America Ferrera, who announced she was leaving the show after season 5, will return for season 6 as the previous season ended prematurely due to COVID.
This Is Us – NBC (October 27)
The Pearson family is back (and earlier than expected) and will hopefully give audiences plenty of answers about what’s to come.
Lucifer Season 5A Review – Let’s Get Celestial!
Lucifer only gets better with each subsequent season.
Starting off as the little Devil that could, Lucifer began with a strict procedural setting, and while Lucifer sticks to the mold for the most part, with its growth and network change, it has more room to stretch the mold. Moving to Netflix was an obvious blessing for the series, allowing each episode to reach new heights as it can play with mature content with episode length that works for the series and not for ads and scheduling necessities.
Thank the Devil for the streaming model.
Sidebar: If you haven’t noticed, I’m going for Devil puns whenever I find the opportunity.
Following the trend of growth, Lucifer’s first half of season five is the most impressive run of episodes the fantasy procedural has aired yet. With intriguing enough ‘case of the episodes’ that directly push character growth and spiritual revelations, Lucifer does what many other shows that share an audience cannot do: it stays true to its characters and knows what its fans want.
Lucifer luckily was saved due to the passion of its fans and the potential the series showed from the beginning, and the creators don’t take that lightly. Lucifer hits the sweet spot of avoiding a premature cancellation and respecting its fans to the point where characterization and dynamic relationships remain at the forefront of the series and aren’t sacrificed due to plot or boredom.
Lucifer is what fantasy television should be. When watching this show, I, like many others probably wondered, asked, “How is this so good?” But the question remains: Is Lucifer great or is everything else kinda bad?
We hypothesize: a little bit of both.
One of Lucifer’s mightiest strengths is its talented cast and the immaculate chemistry each cast member has with each other. The first part of season five is no exception.
While Tom Ellis always has an acting challenge in front of him with the complexities of playing the Devil, season five presents even more of a challenge as he plays both Lucifer and his brother, Michael, and Michale pretending to be Lucifer.
Tom Ellis rises to the challenge. He plays the two characters with ease, reminding the audience of his acting chops. Michael is significantly different from Lucifer, and that’s not taking the accent into account (which felt surprisingly wrong after watching Lucifer for four seasons).
Michael only plays his charade for a short amount of time, thanks to the knowledge of Lucifer’s friends and family around him. It doesn’t take Chloe long to figure out that Lucifer isn’t Lucifer, which is impressive. Many creative teams would have let the act play out for longer, opting for dramatics instead of consistent characterization, but Lucifer knows better than this. It puts character above all else, a nice change of pace for the genre, respecting not only the Lucifer, Chloe, and their relationship, but the relationship that fans have for these characters as well.
However, Chloe did not escape Michael’s initial manipulations unscathed. As a final curtain call, he informs her of the truth of her existence, which sends Chloe into a spiral, to say the least. It’s impossible to blame her, however, that’s a bomb if there ever was one.
Thankfully, Lucifer’s return helps Chloe process this information and move forward. That’s not to say their eight-episode journey is a smooth sailing one — Chloe struggles with how to deal with Lucifer with this newfound information and Lucifer wants to make sure Chloe is okay before he returns to Hell.
Until Amenadiel returns from watching over Hell and informs Lucifer that Hell no longer needs a caretaker — which is highly suspicious, quite frankly.
However, some of Lucifer’s best character work is done through Lucifer and Chloe’s relationship, and the repercussions their newfound honesty and self-awareness have. Both characters have different insecurities that have rung through the course of the series, but never before have they bounced off in such a rapid-fire way as they do in the first half of season five.
After Chloe is able to accept her newly-realized role in the world, which is now celestial in a way even deeper than it was before, and is able to resume her relationship thanks to Amenadiel, it begins to affect Lucifer’s powers — namely his “mojo” and his vulnerability around Chloe, which sends both of them into bouts of analyzation.
This is a lot to begin with without adding Chloe’s very human insecurity about not hearing Lucifer tell her he loves her in exact words.
However, Lucifer handles their issues with both humor and grace, using very physical manifestations to represent the headspace each resides in as they tackle these newfound bumps in their relationship.
Maze’s arc stands out as season five’s most emotional arc so far, as she embarks on a journey of facing the root of her abandonment issues. After being abandoned in one way or another by the major players in her life, Maze truly begins to feel alone, and the weight of existing soulless weighs heavily on her. She even perceives abandonment from Linda in a way, due to Charlie, but Linda acts as her rock this season and her shoulder to cry on.
Maze’s story is heartbreaking, from the moment when she showed up to find her mother has died, to the very end when she makes a desperate choice for an option that Lucifer never presented to her (probably because Michael is playing her and she can’t have a soul).
But Maze’s story and journey are the most soulful of them all.
Lesley Ann-Brandy is perhaps the MVP of season five so far, bringing life to Maze’s story while also excelling in the heavily genre-ed episode, “It Never Ends Well for the Chicken” where she plays the root of it all, Lilith.
The rest of the cast play smaller roles in the first half of season five, but with eight episodes still to air, there’s no doubt that season five will give them all their due, as Lucifer is a show that knows how to give all of its players interesting arcs and respects its character and fans to provide proper closure, as this season was written as a final season before later finding out about its season six renewal.
Linda spends most of the season supporting Maze and being an obsessive new mon in between, but she is explored a bit further as she reveals her past with abandoning her baby which complicates things temporarily with Maze. This also indicates why Linda before has expressed her belief that she is going to Hell. And with God in the mix… she may very soon find an answer to this question.
Amenadiel also serves as a supporting player the first half of the season, but his best episode, “Detective Amenadiel” more than makes up for it with both an emotional and heartfelt story, with his interactions with the nuns also providing Chloe with more insight on her situation and on Lucifer himself.
Amenadiel’s biggest moment of the episodes aired doesn’t occur until the final moments of the show when his stress about his son allows him to stop times once again, leading to the revelation that his son is mortal. This, combined with the appearance of his Father are sure to launch Amenadiel into a larger role in the second half of season five, giving Amenadiel much more to come to terms with.
Dan, who seems to have a less important role most of the time, especially since his unawareness regarding celestial matters, finally gets his celestial cherry popped. His reaction is probably the most relatable one of all. Another victim of Michael, he attempts to kill Lucifer to protect Chloe and Trixie, which would be easy to sympathize with even if Michael had nothing to do with the train of events.
Kevin Alejandro, who also directs the final episodes of 5A, does a fantastic job showing the confusion, heartbreak, and fear that Dan experiences throughout the revelation and aftermath, leaving a usually lackluster character much more intriguing.
Lucifer’s first half of season five is sold all around, but perhaps the weakest link of the run would be Ella’s plot with Pete aka The Whisper Killer. That’s not to say her arc is bad! It’s not. The struggle of being drawn to people who aren’t right for us is something that many people can understand. And Aimee Garcia plays Ella fantastically — from the crime scene to looking at herself shamefully in the mirror after hooking up with another no-good man.
And while her the heartbreak of finding out that the first good person she found was actually bad could lead to dramatic development moving forward, the plot still feels a bit far-fetched and contrived, even for a show about angels and demons.
Still, the reveal is well executed and besides the slight forcefulness of this arc choice, Ella is still such a loveable character, and with Lucifer centering itself in hope and change, Ella can be expected to overcome this hurdle in her personal life (and finally be inducted into the Celestial club).
Lucifer’s first part of season five is an unarguable success. Even beyond characters, dynamics, and lore, Lucifer succeeds in the procedural aspect as well, providing intriguing mystery-of-the-weeks at a mock Mars base, a convent, a writers’ room, and not to mention its flashback noir episode.
Lucifer is unique because in a climate with differentiating opinions on what shows should provide and how much weight creators should give their fans, Lucifer transcends all of this. It provides interesting and fangirl-worthy relationships, dynamic character development, interesting supernatural lore, and fun episodic mysteries which are interestingly symbolic to the characters’ personal struggles.
And with a cliffhanger culminating with an angelic fight and an appearance from Dennis Haysbert’s God, there’s hardly any qualms to be had with Lucifer’s new installment.
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