Think Piece: Why NBC’s CONSTANTINE Is Dead To Rites

cosntantine 1We all know that comic book series are taking over television. I mean, it seems like we are getting a new show every few months and they just keep coming. We have Arrow and The Flash and Gotham that are all pulling in gangbusters numbers and we have a ton of shows coming up including Legends Of Tomorrow, Teen Titans, Supergirl and Lucifer. The problem with some of these shows is that they are not always well received by the normal television watcher. This has already proven itself with the trailer for Fox’s Lucifer. One Million Moms has already petitioned to pull the show off the air long before it has premiered an episode, stating that Fox is trying to convert their children to Satanism. The hell, right?     

I think this was partially the problem with NBC’s Constantine, which was revealed to be dead in the water. I watched Constantine from its premiere until it aired its final episode and I loved every bit of it. The show was so witty, so funny and so damn dark but I don’t think it was on at the right time. No, I don’t mean its coveted “death slot” on Friday at 8 (CST). I think the right time to put a Constantine or Hellblazer TV show on television would be in two or three years when a mystical universe for DC Television could have been flushed out more. In that time, DC could have set up more of a universe for Constantine to exist in.

Matt Ryan as John Constantine.

Matt Ryan as John Constantine.

Maybe bring in Swamp Thing or Zatanna to level out all of the demonic occurrences, possessions and a handful of characters that only hardcore fans of the Hellblazer comic books would know. Your average TV watcher is not going to know who Papa Midnite is. I don’t care who says they will, trust me, they won’t. I know people who love comic books who get that glimmer of confusion when the name is muttered.

Another issue is the fact that Constantine aired on NBC. Aside from Grimm, NBC doesn’t specialize in the occult or supernatural. I think Constantine would have had a better life on Fox or SyFy. Fox already has Gotham and SyFy has a show based on Krypton on their pallet as well as other comic book properties. Aside from those two issues, I’m not sure why Constantine died so suddenly. The show was very, very well done.

Lucy Griffiths as Liv in the Constantine pilot episode before being replaced by Angélica Celaya.

Lucy Griffiths as Liv in the Constantine pilot episode before being replaced by Angélica Celaya.

As a long time lover of John Constantine, I was over the moon with the idea of TV show based on the occult master of the dark arts. The show had a shutter between episodes one and two when the main female lead was thrust from the show and quickly replaced. After the new character, Zed, settled in, I think the show was off to the races. There was never a very big, over-shadowing season arc and it had a bit of a “monster-of-the-week” feel to it. That’s not a bad thing. Supernatural, Arrow and The Flash all did the exact same thing, but they pulled it off because they exist on a network where people accept this format: The CW. Fox also did this a bit with the beginning of Gotham, but that show evened out into an over-arching story.

The most remarkable thing about Constantine was the introduction of an unbelievable character: Jim Corrigan. If this name sounds familiar to you, that is because that is the name of a police detective, in the show he was from New Orleans , who eventually becomes The Spectre. In the show, Corrigan appears twice and both times Zed, Constantine’s partner has psychic visions of Corrigan bleeding from multiple wounds and shrouded in a green glow from his head to his feet, hinting at his future.

Emmett Scanlan as Jim Corrigan in Zed's vision.

Emmett Scanlan as Jim Corrigan in Zed’s vision.

All in all, I would have loved to see more Constantine, but it appears now that the show is now gone forever. It looked like another network would pick the show up, but I think the problem with that is that there is already thirteen episodes that aired on NBC where certain things could not be done. It would be a challenge for any network to pick it up and attempt to make it their own because it is already settled.

I’m saddened that Constantine is gone, but I am excited that I got to see John Constantine on television in the first place. Also, I’ll get to buy it on BluRay in the future and I can relive it in all of it’s Matt Ryan-y goodness. I hope that the BluRay will feature some great new material that we didn’t get to see. I would love to see more of Constantine, but sometimes things just don’t work out. Now I worry for TNT’s Teen Titans project because of where it lies.


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