Constantine is perhaps DC’s biggest television gamble yet. Batman and the Flash are household names; Green Arrow is joining the ranks in little to know time thanks to the successful Arrow, but John Constantine from the Hellblazer comics? Not so much. You’d be hard pressed to discover an every day citizen who knows anything about the character beyond the Keanu Reeves movie that came out years ago. NBC and DC are hoping that you’ll join in on their gamble and take a chance on one of comicdom’s darkest and snarkiest individuals.
You don’t need to know anything about the comics to appreciate the deliciously horrifying nightmare that is Constantine. Rather, you need to keep the lights on and surround yourself with Christmas music and puppies to avoid having nightmares. True to the source material, Constantine lives in a world of darkness and shadows, horrors and monsters; this is not the sort of place you want to go vacationing in.
John Constantine, our central protagonist, played by the devilishly entertaining Matt Ryan, is pulled back into the supernatural, a world he’s tried desperately to forget. As pilots go, NBC knew what they were doing. Constantine isn’t about cheap thrills or campy special effects, but instead focuses on quality storytelling and acting. Every note soars beautifully and it becomes evident why Matt Ryan was chosen for the role: he is Constantine. I’ll admit, I was a tad skeptical, especially since NBC pulled the character’s most defining trait, smoking lots and lots of cigarettes, but they found a way around that and make it clear that it’s not the cigarettes that define him, but rather the fast-talking, demon slaying, con man sensibilities that do.
There are a ton of supernatural-related shows out there at the moment, but Constantine has what it takes to stand out amongst the rest. Genuinely scary and downright interesting and entertaining, the show has a little something for everyone. I cannot stress how awesome it would be to see Constantine get picked up for several seasons. There’s such richness to his character and so many stories from the comics to mine, that it would be truly astounding if Constantine isn’t able to find a niche audience and eventually a heavy fanbase. Of course you don’t have to take my word for it, just wait until October 24, and you’ll be able to make your own assessment.