I was chuffed to hear that NBC was going to be taking on DC’s John Constantine as a weekly show. I’ve loved the character since his introduction in DC’s Saga of the Swamp Thing, back in the 1980’s. The character was created by Alan Moore, who also introduced us to The Watchmen and V For Vendetta. Constantine went on to have his own series, in the Vertigo line of comics, called Hellblazer. I picked up occasional issues, but because of where I lived, it was impractical to collect. When DC relaunched their comic book line as The New 52, Constantine got a friendlier, less hardcore release as part of the regular line. He appears in the aptly named Constantine, and also in Justice League Dark. It is a guilty pleasure of mine, to include the Keanu Reeves movie Constantine in my movie collection, and as long as you don’t expect him to be DC’s Constantine, it’s a fun ride.
In this new TV series, Matt Ryan does an excellent job of channeling Constantine. Ryan portrays John Constantine believably, and portrays him so well, I forget I’m watching an actor at work. The storylines I have seen to date – the Pilot episode and The Darkness Beneath are well-written and suck me in, like one of the demon pits that are gateways to Hell.
I saw the leaked version of the Pilot, and I admit to watching it over and over again, because it was so good. I liked Lucy Griffith’s portrayal of Liv Aberdeen, and the character, so I was sad to hear she was exiting the show after the pilot.
The revisions that were done, however, to reshape the ending of the episode have only strengthened it. I like the re-crafted ending of the pilot episode and the introduction of Zed. As a Canadian, may I also say that I appreciate she’s called Zed and not Zee, which is in keeping with Constantine’s UK origins.
I’m as busy with homework and other duties as Constantine is with handling the latest demon infestation or invasion from Hell, so I don’t make the choice lightly to invest time in watching this series. For those with a love for the cinematic universe adaptation of the comic book realms, this is a no-miss television series. For the genre it portrays, it’s an example of the best the medium can offer.