When I was growing up, comic books always had a certain stigma attached to them, but those days are long gone now. Nowadays, if it comes attached with words like Marvel, or DC, you can bet your ass that it’s going to be taken seriously. Which brings us to Constantine, a DC comic since 1988 (He originally made a cameo in 1984’s The Saga of The Swamp Thing of all stories), a live action movie in 2005 starring Keanu Reeves, and now a primetime series on the peacock network starring Matt Ryan (now defunct Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior). The show opens with our main character in an insane asylum in England. John Constantine may not be crazy, but those places are great for when you just need to rest for a couple of months. He finds out after following some cockroaches that he has to go and save someone in America. Now when he finds the lass, she seems like someone who would be joining our antihero for some crazy exorcistic adventures across the fruited plains. But, she has some stuff do deal with first. That’s where John comes in.
Pilots are weird for me sometimes, in that they try to pack so much in so that it gets ratings and the network picks it up. The problem with that is it’s hard to figure out what the show is. Without much exposition the program turns into a lot of jokes and explosions that are meant to dazzle the audience into thinking they loved the show. With Constantine, they were definitely light on exposition. Who is he? What brings him to this current state? Now don’t get me wrong, the pilot wasn’t atrocious. Matt Ryan is great. He seems to be a natural for this character. I don’t need to be indebted to the story, but I usually like to get a feel for the overall theme. I will say that what I saw, combined with what I read up on the character, was enough for me to keep at this one. I only hope that they fill us in some more on the backstory. Oh, and for anyone that was curious, YES, Harold Perrineau is in this one too! He plays an angel named Manny. I swear, ya can’t make this shit up.
I will Season PASS Constantine for fear of eternal Hellfire.