Hellblazer – Save Constantine

The Devil You Know

Right now the NBC show Constantine is in limbo. Will we get a season 2? I really really hope so. For the most part I’ve enjoyed the show. It’s exactly as good as I was hoping it would be. Granted, there’s room for improvement, but honestly, I was expecting a freaking disaster. The words on the internets was not always kind before the show aired.

So I start watching the show because I’m more of a Vertigo girl and so I’ve had a thing for Constantine for awhile. I don’t have cable anymore so I watch it on Hulu.  For this past season, Constantine is the only tv show I watched as it was being broadcast.  I’m 3 episodes behind on Agent Carter. I missed one week of Parks and Recreation. Selfie was canceled.  That’s it. I watch all other TV in binges.  I never fell behind on Constantine.

Despite the press, I thought the images that came in looked well enough.  At least the guy looked like John Constantine which was just one of the things wrong with the Keanu Reeves movie.

Let me tell you exactly what I think was wrong with the movie version. Thing is, I think the visuals were great, Gabriel being evil is overdone but I love Tilda Swinton enough as Gabriel to forgive it.  Gavin Rosdale put in a surprisingly great performance. Rachel Weisz is pretty much great in everything. Overall, the only thing wrong with the movie was Reeves. Not necessarily that he didn’t look the part, he just couldn’t play the part. Not every actor can step into a pre-formed personality like that.  Either Matt Ryan is similar in personality to Constantine or he really understands the character.

or both. Look at that face he’s making. He’s not even on camera.

He can’t smoke, they said. I think I spent every episode watching to see what he did with cigarettes. By the end of the season the guy was basically smoking. None of this ‘I’ll just hold a lighter or a cigarette and John Green the thing’. I’ve been cigarette free for about seven years or so, but there are times where the temptation is staggering. This was one of those times. My god did I want just one drag off a cigarette. Anyway, fans can screencap the character smoking cigarettes. It’s temptation on two different levels.

As long as it’s not menthol, I am all over that.

He won’t be bisexual, they said. I wasn’t aware he was. But it’s true. Constantine isn’t straight in any case.  Most of my experiences with Constantine was from his guest appearances in other comics. I hadn’t really read it in awhile so if it was there, I missed it.  I admit I’d like to see that canonical comic fact actually touched upon.

I’ll tell you what bugs me about the show. Sometimes it seems like the writers have never been exposed to the Occult before. I wonder if anyone else found the Romani episode, the gypsy episode, offensive. At the very least it’s a trite stereotype.  Then there’s the whole ‘brujeria’ thing. Sorry, I almost crack up every time they say the word. To me brujeria is just types of spellwork performed by practitioners of the Afro-Cuban Yoruba religion. The show’s depiction of the Occult is overall fine, but sometimes it makes Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Supernatural look like a scholarly source on the subject.

not kidding.

At the same timeI loved that the TV show followed some of the comic story lines. I was recently able to get ahold of some copies of Hellblazer. I don’t think I ever read them before and I was able to read volume 1 and 2.  I loved it. That’s no surprise, I knew I’d love it but money is a factor in what I can’t or can read.  Graphic Novels aren’t usually found in thrift stores by my house. It was great seeing how they would spin it to make it fit into the season storyline.

I wasn’t thrilled (still am not thrilled) about the angel.  Spoiler – I guess that angel storyline was more interesting than I gave the show credit for.  Zed grew on me and I kept waiting for her to meet the same fate as comic book Zed. Oh, well maybe next season. And don’t kill me, but I like this version of Chas best.

In conclusion, I hope they make more Constantine. I’m trying to help by writing this blog, bought a t-shirt, replay episodes on Hulu, following them on twitter and retweeting Matt Ryan sometimes.  First seasons of TV shows are rarely amazing, and this one had some great stuff in it and so much potential for more.

One last thing, just to be clear, the show is really cool and all, but it’s Matt Ryan who’s carrying that thing. It wouldn’t work nearly as well without an actor who can sell that character and make him completely 3 dimensional. Perhaps I’ll drive over to Tampa Bay Comic Con and get an autograph.

– quote used for the ‘Read More’ link is from John Constantine, New Earth


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