Based on the Hellblazer comic from Vertigo/DC Comics, NBC’s Constantine follows magician and con-artist, John Constantine (Matt Ryan). He is abrasive and not overtly heroic, but he will do whatever it takes to set things right. His life has been dedicated to the occult and it brings him all kinds of trouble. So, let’s talk about our show.
The pilot was a mess and was compacted by the fact that the second episode wasn’t much better. In the first episode we are driven to find our psychic, Liv (Lucy Griffiths). Seeing as how the original character was written off, we pick up our new psychic in episode two. Zed (Angélica Celaya) is more appealing than Liv, but not by much. The best thing she has going for her is that she is comic canon. I was hoping that the chemistry between her and Constantine would improve. There was also the boring story of the week. It just wasn’t worth sitting through.
The third episode is where we start seeing changes. We go from our ghostly murder mystery into finding a record that plays the voice of the devil. Not only that but we also get to meet Papa Midnite (Michael James Shaw) for the first time. This Voodoo priest has so much personality that he makes the show interesting. The writing was better and the story more interesting. The exchanges between Constantine and Midnite were some of the best.
I gave it one last chance and I was surprised. In the fourth episode we get to see more of John’s personality. We learn more about the incident from his past that pushes him to do what he does. A friend comes out of the shadows to ask for help and we get into demon territory. The effects were believable, making it creepy and interesting. I just wish it would continue to follow this trend. Give us the best of what the source material has to offer.
Verdict: Even though the series is new and still struggles, it isn’t all bad. I think it’s really important for the unique and darker aspects of the Hellblazer stories to jump out and bite the viewers. Some of the elements we have been shown so far can also be found in series that are already running. If Constantine doesn’t take root with its audience it risks getting lost in the primetime race and facing cancellation. We need more than a quirky spook show or another series based on comics. For anyone who is going to start watching this show, please start from the third or fourth episode. Please.
NBC’s Constantine gets a 3 out of 5
+ Matt Ryan as John Constantine
+ Series has potential and does get better
+ Papa Midnite
– Zed is just okay
– Doesn’t really pick up until episode 4
– Doesn’t stand out against similar shows (Grimm, Supernatural, etc.)
See NBC’s Constantine, Fridays at 10PM Eastern/9PM Central