Me: Crap. I’m swamped again.
Monica Flink: Can I help?
Me: Hecks yeah. Can you write something?
MF: What about? I know stuff about a lot of things.
Me: Hmm… how about a cartoon?
MF: I know just the one.
Since the beginning of recorded time, humanity has been enthralled with the idea of predicting the end of days. From prophecies that kept peasants hovering over their cook fires to laughable current predictions that bilked people out of millions of hard-earned dollars, leaving them nothing for the future, we have been obsessed with knowing exactly when Earth’s number is up. Media is as guilty of this as crack-pot Armageddon theorists and powder blue suited tent revivalists certain that salvation was only a few days and an easy payment of $199.99 away.
Whether you are looking at something as poorly made as End of Days or a little more well crafted like Alan Moore’s Watchmen, humanity is a creature desperate to know when the planet is going to tell us all to bugger off, it’s had enough. And we should remember to take our toothbrushes and copies of The Sex and the City Movie because Earth doesn’t want to have mail that crap back to us later.
Knowing how obsessed that we can all get with prophecies telling us all of our technicolor glory is over by next year, Loren Bouchard came up with his version of what is going to happen when the Antichrist comes to Earth and Jesus returns. Quite obviously, the Antichrist will be an art student and Jesus will be an escape artist cum disc jockey. This is all combined with the fact that Satan is going to run a kitschy family-friendly restaurant, and the Vatican knows all about it becomes the basis for the computer-animated masterpiece Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil.
Created in 2005, Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil originally ran on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim lineup in eleven episodes running approximately eleven minutes long per episode. The pilot episode ran occasionally on Adult Swim for two years before being picked up for the full season in 2007. Each episode opened with an unique theme song and opening sequence, and several episodes have unique songs for the end credits as well.
Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil stars Melissa Bardin Galsky as the voice of Lucy and Becky: The Devil’s Advocate and H. Jon Benjamin as the voice of Satan, both of whom have worked together with Loren Bouchard previously on the critically acclaimed Home Movies. Other voice actors include Jon Glaser of Aqua Teen Hunger Force as DJ Jesús, and Sam Seder of the current Fox show Bob’s Burgers as Senator Bob Whitehead, the man trying to become ruler of the free world after selling his soul to the Devil.
Aside from boasting a brilliant cast of talented voice actors, the show is also written by Loren Bouchard, and produced by Bouchard, Seth Piezas and Josh Piezas. Bouchard has effectively told how the end of the world is not with huge rocks hurtling through space towards us, nor with the nuclear weapons our governments are so fond of waving at each other as if we didn’t have enough phallic challenges in the world without world-ending dick measuring contests, but by an art student who works at Tequila Sally’s, a restaurant chain not unlike Chili’s.
Yeah, this seems pretty unwholesome to me too.
The show opens by explaining that the Antichrist was born to an unnamed woman in exchange for a Datsun 280 ZX. We come to learn that Lucy, as she is named, is an art student with no particularly clear career path, very few ambitions or goals in life, and that she sports a pair of small horns from her red pixie bob that nobody seems to notice with her hipster glasses and demonic dog. Satan is more casual about bringing about the end of the world as some people might think would be prudent, and wears sweaters reminiscent of those made popular by The Cosby Show. His assistant, Becky, is far more involved in planning the end of humanity as we know it, and also happens to have a fleshless skull for a head.
Each episode has a short plot that is usually based around some kind of scheme Satan has to take over the world, whether it is buying a dildo factory that he is horrified to find that his daughter patronizes, or buying a chain restaurant and making his own daughter work there. Thwarting the Devil and his plans are the three members of a team from the Vatican known as The Special Clergy. They are aware of who the Antichrist is, but is just barely capable of keeping themselves alive, let alone killing the future destroyer of the planet.
Lucy also happens to be dating DJ Jesús, who is frequently followed around by his sycophantic, ass kissing personal assistant Judas, much to her father’s chagrin. Several of the episodes are centered around Satan trying to kill DJ Jesús and keep his daughter from dating him. But is this enough to make Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil stand out from the rest of the high cost box office drek that most of the world has accepted as good entertainment?
Of course it is. Why the hell would I take so much time writing about it if Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil was not up on the steps, out of the mire of disaster movies that save the dog and flicks where Gabriel Byrne chews the scenery for two hours? The best thing about Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil is that it is smart. Bouchard does not dumb down his humor for the masses, and expects us to laugh not because the Devil is a bumbling buffoon, but because he’s really not all that bad of a guy and could probably get along with the son of God.
We laugh at the dark humor, but we also laugh at ourselves. We see ourselves as the business people who go to Tequila Sally’s and order the diet-rita, and we see ourselves as the swooning crowds that buy DJ Jesús’s book while watching him perform a “near-acle” (which is like a miracle, but not quite). We want the son of God to be a disc jockey and escape artist when he comes back from Heaven. We want the Antichrist to be an aimless art student. Mostly because it takes all the silly, hypersensitive, worrisome and insipid lunacy that encompass flawed human predictions of something so catastrophic that we probably will not be around to know it has happened anyway and shows us that it is okay to just laugh at it all, and feel better about it for five minutes.
Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil is a gem in a sea of media hogwash, ready to sit there and be polished and enjoyed by those of us not quite ready to pay a stranger cash to take care of our pets once the Rapture happens. Besides, those of us that laugh at Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil probably are not going to get Raptured anyway, so we will take care of our own pets.