Friday, October 17, 2014

Focus on Fall Sci Fi TV: Constantine

Constantine: NBC, New Series, Premieres Friday October 24th 10 PM EST.

constantine-nbc-cancelledHere is the official description of the show from its website:
Based on the wildly popular comic book series "Hellblazer" from DC Comics, seasoned demon hunter and master of the occult John Constantine (Matt Ryan, "Criminal Minds") is armed with a ferocious knowledge of the dark arts and a wickedly naughty wit. He fights the good fight - or at least he did. With his soul already damned to hell, he's decided to abandon his campaign against evil until a series of events thrusts him back into the fray, and he'll do whatever it takes to protect the innocent. With the balance of good and evil on the line‎, Constantine will use his skills to travel the country, find the supernatural terrors that threaten our world and send them back where they belong. After that, who knows... maybe there's hope for him and his soul after all.

What I have seen of this show looks interesting, but that is largely because Matt Ryan appears to be having so much fun chewing the scenery as the title character.  Apart from that, this looks like yet another supernatural series with a looming war between good and evil and apocalyptic overtones.  We already have that several times over across the television channels and for my money Supernatural has been doing it the best (as they add plenty of gallows humor to offset the darker themes).  Still, I'm intrigued enough by Constantine to give it a look.  I should note, though, that I have never followed the Hellblazer comic, and I hear that the show will be taking some liberties with the source material.  But maybe it will manage to hit the right buttons and give the other supernatural shows on television some competition.

As for its chances for survival, I have to say that the Friday 10 PM EST timeslot that NBC has this one scheduled in looks treacherous. Dracula did not do well enough in that hour last year to get a renewal (even though the show pulled relatively decent numbers for that low viewership slot). And I don’t know that Constantine will have as much draw from the comic book audience as FOX’s Gotham will. Plus, Constantine is not an international production like Dracula was, so it comes as a more expensive entry to its network.  NBC has ordered additional scripts for the show (only three), but that's not the same as a full season pickup and sometimes the nets do that just to stir up some buzz around the shows.  If this one pulls ratings similar to Dracula, then that angel visiting Constantine in the show may need to pull some strings from above to get this one a second season.

Here is the trailer for the show:

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