“Constantine” is a new TV series on NBC based on the comic book “Hellblazer”. But unlike in the source the main character isn´t bisexual or smoking cigarettes. Can the series uphold the high standards of the comic book? What the pilot episode told us so far: At least it´s better than the movie with Keanu Reeves.
“Constantine” will premiere officially on October 24 but we took a first look at the pilot and are semi-satisfied with what we saw.
First of all I think everybody agrees that with actor Matt Ryan they did a good job with the casting. Ryan bears quite a resemblance to John Constantine and has the right age for the character (thank god they did not pick a teenage boy). But a lot of fans were bothered by the fact that Constantine isn´t bisexual or smoking cigarettes, two important characteristics in the comic book. In the pilot episode you just see him one time with a lighter in his hands.
When asked about this detail executive producer David S. Goyer said,”He is a smoker in the show, we’re not shying away from it, but we’re not glorifying it”. To the question of a reporter to what he means exactly, will we see him smoking or not, he answered, “That’s a question you probably should ask the network afterward, but they’re beholden to broadcast standards. So we get it. We know the universe that we’re existing within and, trust me, we heard pitches from all different camps – ‘Let’s give him a patch’ or ‘he eats a lot of gum.” It seems a little weird that on other NBC shows like “Hannibal” you see a guy eating other people but smoking and bisexuality go too far? Hm. Well, at least the producers insisted to NBC that John stays scruffy and English.
Another disappointment were the aesthetics of the show. Compared to other series like “Breaking Bad” or “The Walking Dead” the photography and also the effects look a little cheap. The writers also have to be careful that the story doesn´t become to predictable. In the first episode they already tried to tell the whole backstory of Constantine and to introduce all the characters. Hopefully the story will become more complex and evolve.
But all in all the series seems likable. The feeling of reading the comic book comes closer in the series than in the movie with Keanu Reeves. And finally Constantine has the original hair color.