Disenchantment (The new Netflix Original) has given me a whole new way to observe and be wary of my personal demons, thanks to its loving personification of the cutest devil incarnate ever – Luci.
Disenchantment is the first animated series that Matt Groening has created for Netflix as an original comedy show. Groening is the creator of massively popular animated comedies such as The Simpsons and Futurama, which he had developed for 20th Century Fox Television.
Disenchantment is set in a medieval fantasy universe called Dreamland. The new animated series follows the narrative of Bean (a rebellious and alcoholic princess), her newfound elf sidekick Elfo, and a destructive “personal demon” called Luci (presumably a cute nickname for Lucifer, the devil himself), who is unleashed by warlocks insistent on destroying the kingdom’s peace and sanctity. The show features seasoned voice actors such as Abbi Jacobson, Eric Andre, Nat Faxon, John DiMaggio, Tress MacNeille, Matt Berry, David Herman, Maurice LaMarche, Lucy Montgomery, and Billy West.
Netflix released the first ten episodes of Disenchantment released on August 17, 2018, and plans to release the next ten episodes in 2019, from its initial order of 20 episodes. In October 2018, it was confirmed that Disenchantment has been renewed by Netflix for a second season, which will consist of 20 episodes, and will be released between 2020-2021. To me, it calls for celebration because I will know where to seek comic relief against my personal demons in the next three years!
Note: The following section contains spoilers. If you’re a fan of the series, continue reading. Else, please consider watching the series first.
Luci from Disenchantment is original in the way he imparts non-lessons. From his eternally lovable confession (“I want to get rid of all the diseases plaguing mankind — and replace them with worse ones!”) to his generally nihilist demeanor, the character has never failed to tickle the side of our soul that wants to find humor in the worst of situations. In this piece, I’m happy to list three of my favorite Luci-isms and what I took away from them.
Non-lesson 01 – Luci on Optimism
In an arguably fun way, Luci has been able to deliver the idea that actionability is more important than optimism when it comes to managing life’s real battles. In an action sequence layered within the many disturbingly comfortable dimensions of Dreamland, Luci exclaims “You know what we say in hell? ‘Hopes for dopes'” – an apt way of saying that optimism can deliver courage, and hope can prepare you for your struggles, but your survival depends entirely on your ability to act. I applaud the way the series echoes the general need for a sharper survival instinct through the voice of the devil!
Non-lesson 02 – Luci on the idea of the subconscious
As the alcoholic princess Bean struggles to come to terms with reality (she finds herself torn between the comfort of her royal lineage and the desire to map out her ‘own destiny’), Luci is quick to point out that there is really no way to distinguish how ‘real’ our perception of reality really is, when we find ourselves equally committed to the stories we witness in our dreams. Synonymous with the existing idea of dreams being an extension of our multi-dimensional lives, the baby devil masterfully toys with the concept that the better you get at managing the mundaneness in your life, the more control you can develop over your imagination, and over your subconscious thoughts.
Non-lesson 03 – Luci on the concept of superstitions (easy, unverified facts)
I think it’s pretty bold to assign a philosophical twist while talking about the general failings of superstitions and urban legends, especially when the narrator is a miniature version of satan himself. Reminiscent of noir-era vampires and black comedies shot on greyscale, Groening’s Luci puts forth a brilliant example of the kind of ignorance that leads to false claims. When Bean and Elfo accidentally discover a lemon (during one of their binge-drinking escapades), Luci offers an instant explanation that ‘sticks’ – “It’s a lemon, guys. It’s what we feed children in hell“.
There are, of course, other brilliant lessons that the mini-devil has to offer, and I am excited to watch the next episode as I wait silently for the next season of Sacred Games to hit the platform.
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