I’ve been talking about Constantine all last week on Facebook, and I was thrilled to finally see the premiere! Over the summer, I read a few of the Hellblazer comics, and I was blown away. John Constantine, occult detective and exorcist, takes on cases that others wouldn’t and couldn’t. Whether it’s people meeting untimely deaths under dark spells or ghosts who refuse to be put to rest, he handles all that with a huge dash of ego and sometimes gasp-worthy anti-heroism.
And sometimes he’s a huge jerk.
But then you always find yourself rooting for him!
In the television adaptation that just premiered, we see traces of the Hellblazer personality as John decides he’s had enough (presumably after the failure to save the girl, Astra). He doesn’t want any more cases or to come to anyone else’s rescue. He wants to be made to believe demons and the spirit world don’t exist. Except, nothing can un-convince him, and he ditches his stint in Ravenscar mental hospital to help out an old friend’s daughter who is in danger (Liv). I
‘m looking forward to seeing how Liv’s and John’s friendship/partnership grows, and for her to use her powers to see just beyond the world of flesh. Eh…strike that last part. I just saw a Wiki article stating that Liv is not going to be a regular on the show. Boo.
Bonus points because Chas is in the show (yay!).
I’m glad to see Harold Perrineau on the show as Manny the angel. I hate that they give him those weird eyes. He’s supposed to be an angel, right? And yes, I know it would be boring to have Manny smiling all the time and spouting wise sayings, but sometimes it rubs me the wrong way how movies/shows think the only way to make an angel interesting or edgy is to give them this thinly veiled contempt for humanity or human nature. If you’re a fan of Supernatural, especially the earlier seasons, some of the angels were openly repulsed by humanity.
Stepping off mini-soapbox.
So the war that Constantine is apparently fighting in, let’s see how the show sets the stage and presents the sides. It looks like our hero (or anti-hero) is throwing down for Team Heaven, and perhaps he’ll save his soul in the process. I thought his magic was pretty cool, but dang, did he have to throw everything at the demon (in the overturned car scene)? He was calling on the Star of David, the Sacred Cross, the Lotus, and probably the Sanctified Kitchen Sink. One of the strengths of the show is that there are a lot of cool pseudo-religious and mythological treasure troves to bring out and use in the storyline. Constantine is, after all, a dabbler in the Arts and the Most Multi-denominational Exorcist Who Ever Exorcised, but this can also be a slight weakness. Sometimes it feels his incantations, symbols and spells are all over the place, just a hodge-podge of religious stuff that’ll shut them demons up and send them packing. I think this could be fixed with maybe just trickling in some things a little slower instead of having 50 gazillion spells from 100 different traditions in a single show.
With that said, I am pleased with the show, and I am back to reading the Hellblazer comics 🙂 This is going to be epic!
Did you watch the first episode of Constantine? What did you think?