By: Ben Rush
So when the news broke about a TV series about my favourite petty dabbler of magic I was like many others, very nervous of another live action John Constantine but within the third minute, I was pleasantly surprised.
What I liked about this episode is easy to answer, Matt Ryan. He has everything a Constantine fan could ask for in his portrayal of the character. However, the pronunciation of Constantine is Tyne not Teen. Additionally, his Accent needs a little work, as it is a more of a Welsh British dialect rather than the actual Liverpool accent. Perhaps a Welsh accent is easier for the American audience to understand.
My negatives would be that there are too many jump cuts and also the character Liv seemed very weak. That is not a criticism of the actress but rather the script has a few weak points. The script spends too much time dedicated to getting as much of John Constantine right and fitting in his back story it throws the balance off, as they have little time to develop other characters. I don’t understand what they have done to poor old Chas. He isn’t an immortal he’s just a normal taxi driver with a family and a wife who can be a right monster.
There are lots of call out’s to DC’s mystic universe and I gather there will be a lot more in the forth coming series. I am not sure this is strictly needed, but perhaps there is a marketing agenda being forged in the background.
Manny the Angel is a new role. I wish they didn’t feel the need to have a mystic type sensational character, because this distracts from the excellent performance of Matt Ryan playing John Constantine. John’s character was never about him helping anyone, but rather helping himself or others close to him. He is not a hero but more like a selfish trickster, who once in a while does a good thing for the world but usually at the cost of his friends, family, and lovers. I don’t believe as yet this has been fully expressed but perhaps it will become more apparent in the series. It was cool to have Richie appear, the actor preforms this character perfectly. The rest of the Newcastle bit’s are excellent and gives you a long look into John’s heart and enables the viewer to see his rage.
With the limitations of network TV series it will be interesting to see how the producers and script writers deal with the character Zed arriving next episode/ I know allot of us are wondering how far the series can go because her story is interconnected with the first 15 issues of Hellblazer.
I would give this first story 7.5 out of 10. It really felt like a zero issue of a comic. So I reckon next week is when the story really kicks off. Also if you want to learn more about John Constantine especially in relation to this season, I would suggest you pick up the first two trades of the Hellblazer.