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.
Inventing Anna Series Premiere Review – Who the Hell Is Anna Delvey? (1×01)
From the creative mind of Shonda Rhimes comes Inventing Anna.
It’s the story of Anna Delvey that you’ve likely heard before, but with Shondaland’s exclusive twist on it.
Delvey, real name Anna Sorokin, was a faux socialite who scammed New York’s high society, including hotels, banks, Wall Street, and elite friends.
The Russian immigrant posed as a German heiress in an attempt to steal millions of dollars from the wealthy.
But despite having Sorokin’s name in the title, the first episode of the Netflix limited series hinges heavily on Vivian Kent, the ambitious journalist who landed the tell-all interview with Delvey.
Anna Chlumsky (who you might remember from the ’90s My Girl fame) is a powerhouse in the role as she sets her sights on Delvey/Sorokin (played by Ozark’s Julia Garner) in order to revive her career.
Kent has been banished to “Scriberia,” a corner of the office where she’s convinced journalists go to die. After coming upon Delvey’s upcoming trial, she sniffs out a case and tries to convince her bosses — Paul and Landon — to cover the story.
Unfortunately, neither of them seemed particularly moved by her spiel as they insist she covers the women of Wall Street’s #MeToo plight.
Kent, however, doesn’t feel compelled to bully these women into telling their stories for clickbait and pursues the Delvey story instead.
The more she digs, the less she knows.
Delvey is an enigma who seemingly crafted many personas while schmoozing with New York’s upper echelon.
Eventually, Kent is able to convince the editor of The Manhattan (the show’s New York magazine) to let her roll with the story.
It’s unclear why her editor, Paul, has it out for her, but the series seems to purposefully leave Kent’s background vague throughout the episode.
All we know is that something went wrong, a little boy was involved, Google will remember it forever (the internet never forgets), and that’s she’s desperate to revive her career, a feat she hopes to accomplish before she has her baby girl. When she realizes that it might not be possible, she has an entire breakdown at the gynecologist’s office during the ultrasound, which, as a woman trying to juggle a career and motherhood, is all too relatable.
And then — she gets the absolute motivation to convince Delvey to reject the plea deal being offered and fight for her reputation as well.
In an intense meeting where Kent levels with Delvey, she convinces her that she deserves to have her story told.
But that’s not what ultimately persuades Delvey. As a journalist, you want something from your subject, but in order to get it, you also have to know what your subject wants. So, in exchange for her story, Kent promises Delvey the one thing she wants more than anything: fame.
After all, Delvey herself claims that the persona she made up is a “masterpiece, bitches,” while the friends she conned note that she was a “legend” and “icon.”
In that pivotal scene, it seems as though Kent has fully tapped into why Delvey concocted her scheme in the first place. While she claims to be a businesswoman who wanted to secure a loan for an exclusive club she wanted to open up, Delvey was obsessed with the high life; the exclusivity of being an “it” girl.
Kent tapped into the vein fueling Delvey’s motivations this whole time — even from the depths of Rikers.
While the series is based on a true story, it’s definitely not an accurate depiction of what really happened, but that’s neither here nor there because the episode is wildly entertaining and keeps you hanging on to every single delusion Delvey divulges.
Much of Kent’s background — even if vague at times — is presented, while there’s just enough of Garner’s Delvey, with her intense accent, to hook you into coming back for more.
Though neither would admit it, Delvey and Kent have one thing in common — the need to prove themselves, which makes this profile something that’s in both of their best interests.
And it’s even in the interest of Delvey’s lawyer, Todd, who also wants to prove himself as an ADA.
Todd, played by Arian Moayed, is definitely battling some insecurity issues. He even tells his wife, a powerful attorney working at her father’s firm, that he feels inferior to many of their friends. He may be defending the world’s biggest con artist, but somehow, he’s the one feeling like a fraud while Delvey remains adamant she’s not the criminal they are painting her out to be.
At times, you almost feel for Delvey and start to believe her story, only to realize that her act is one big manipulation tactic. It also becomes harder to empathize with her when she calls Kent out for looking “very poor” and “very, very fat.” However, those moments paint a vivid photo of the kind of things Delvey prioritized, even while spending time in one of the most dangerous prisons.
All of this likely proves that Garner has nailed the role of the woman who was able to manipulate some of the smartest people in the city.
Of course, while much of the back-and-forth dance happens between Kent and Delvey, there’s an incredible supporting cast.
Todd faces off assistant DA Catherine McCaw played by Westworld’s Rebecca Henderson.
Rhimes takes care of her own as Scandal’s Katie Lowes and Jeff Perry; Lowes plays ex-Vanity Fair picture researcher and Delvey’s bestie Rachel DeLoache Williams, while Perry is Kent’s fellow journalist.
The Bold Type’s Alexis Floyd as Neff, an employee at the hotel Delvey stayed at who assists Kent with her story, while Orange Is the New Black’s Laverne Cox will appear as celebrity fitness trainer Kacy Duke.
Inventing Anna has all the makings of a Rhimes hit series, so strap in for the ride because from the looks of it, Delvey is just getting started as we take a peak behind the curtain to figure out what exactly led up to this very prison meeting.
And we can’t wait to see where Garner takes this role as the trial ramps up, which leaves all of NYC’s finest quaking in their boots.
After all, did you ever imagine that Ruth would become the moral heartbeat of Ozark?!
‘The Woman In the House’ – Everything You Need to Know About Kristen Bell’s New Thriller
Kristen Bell is known for her comedic chops, but she’s dabbling a new genre come 2022.
“The Good Place” actress will star as Anna in a dark comedy thriller on Netflix.
Here’s everything we know about the upcoming series “The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window.”
What’s It About?
The series focuses on the heartbroken lead who lives everyday the same way — staring out her window and watching life pass her by while she sips her wine.
All of that is flipped upside down when her handsome neighbor moves in across the street and she witnesses a murder… or does she? Does someone want her to forget? Did she imagine it? Are they the hallucinations?
We’re already totally invested.
Is there a Trailer?
YES! Glad you asked. The teaser is intoxicating and shows exactly why Bell was the right choice for the role!
Check it out below:
Who Else Is in the Series?
Well, there’s Bell. Other cast members include: Michael Ealy, Tom Riley, Mary Holland, Cameron Britton, Samsara Yett, Christina Anthony, and Benjamin Levy Aguilar.
When Does It Premiere?
The show hits Netflix on Friday, Jan. 28, 2022!
Is There Going to be a Second Season?
While it’s crafted as a limited-series that doesn’t necessarily mean that a second season is out of the question. After all, Big Little Lies was also a limited-series. Never say never!
WATCH: Christmas is Here Early With a Trailer for ‘The Princess Switch 3’
Oops… she’s doing it again!
The holiday season isn’t complete without Vanessa Hudgens, who is back once again for The Princess Switch 3.
Netflix has released the official trailer and from the looks of it, it’s going to be filled with comedy, romance, and yes, three different accents and voices all performed by the talented actress.
Check out the trailer below.
Hudgens is once again reprising her roles as Queen Margaret and Princess Stacy, with a new addition Fiona, the cousin.
After the special guest, the Vatican’s Star of Peace is stolen, the two royal lookalikes need to team up together to steal it back. In order to do so, they enlist the help of their cousin Fiona who is also identical to them. The three completely different personalities work together to safely bring back the missing treasure.
Alongside Hudgens, the cast includes Sam Palladio, Remy Hii, Nick Sagar, and Will Kemp.
Netflix will release The Princess Switch 3 on November 18th, so set your calendars!
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