Welcome to the first full season wrap-up here at Channel: Superhero as Constantine unfortunately didn’t get picked up for a full season and only came away with 13 episodes. There’s still a chance that it will return in some form or another, though fans will have to wait until May when NBC decides on the new crop of pilots to know if they will try their hand at a new show, give Constantine another shot, or ship it off to SyFy which wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. Though the head of SyFy on Twitter recently said that he hadn’t heard anything about the rumor that Constantine was being considered there. As for my own opinion on the show, I enjoyed it quite a bit. While I don’t rate the episodes or the shows, I would rank it probably just below the Flash as my favorite show for this season. It has some horror elements, but it generally takes a police procedural approach with some magic and humor thrown in for good measure.
Even though I haven’t read any of the Hellblazer comics, I still think that Matt Ryan in the lead role was much better than Keanu Reeves at playing John Constantine. He’s got the accent for it, the look, and the right attitude. He pulls off the comedy just as well as he does the dramatic and the action beats. And while it’s hard to say how the female lead from the pilot would have played out if she had remained throughout the rest of the series, I also quite liked Angelica Celaya as Zed. Liv wasn’t fully a damsel in distress, but she was completely new to the spiritual and magical world. Zed had a background with it, however minor, so she acclimated to the role of Constantine’s accomplice much quicker. Meanwhile Chas was just a lot of fun, with his mysterious ability to survive rather deadly experiences. He’s not the same comic relief as Shia LaBeouf, but is rather the loyal sidekick that helps keep Constantine grounded.
Even though it was fairly early on in the show’s run as the fourth episode, I feel like this episode really gets to the heart of Constantine’s character. He knows that everything magical has a price, and sometimes that cost is pretty high. Here, that cost is the life of one of his old friends. Even though he does ultimately make the final decision to sacrifice himself, it was a part of Constantine’s plan from the very beginning of the climax. It also discusses one of the defining elements that happened to the characters before the events of the show with the exorcism gone wrong. Which I just realized hasn’t been brought up in the past several episodes.
The format of the show in general felt a lot like one of the early seasons of Supernatural, where Constantine very much has a bit of a Dean Winchester vibe to him, with his frequent one night stands with a random “bird”, and his generally flippant attitude. There’s also the overarching sense of this rising darkness which I believe was an element in more than one season of the other show. They even have the elements of the angel interacting with them, though instead of Castiel this show has Manny. Manny is an interesting element to the show for certain, most of the season he has been a relatively non-issue. He would merely make his presence known, say a few words to Constantine about the rising darkness, and be off. As time went on, Constantine has tried to force his hand at taking a stand, and he has begun to play a more active part in the show including the final reveal at the end of the season that he may not be who he has appeared to be all this time.
While there are some fun side characters, like Zed, Chas, and Manny, it’s probably a good sign that Constantine takes the top spot as far as my favorite character on the show goes. Matt Ryan is just so completely likable and fun in this role, but also handles the more dramatic moments effortlessly. It nearly wipes the memory of Keanu Reeves out of my mind, but while I do still like that version of the character, I think of him as a very different version of the character. Matt Ryan just works in all the right ways on this show.
While the show did often feel like a demon of the week police procedural, it generally wasn’t an issue. The characters were all quite strong, and there were enough of the supporting players who didn’t ultimately die to come back on occasion and further the overall plot of the show with La Brujeria. Poppa Midnight was a very different character compared to the movie version. Here he is much more of an antagonist towards Constantine and only works with him on rare occasions. There’s also Jim Corrigan who will eventually become the Spectre who plays a great role, especially in the season finale. The way this show handled the Spectre is far and away much more appropriate than Gotham has ever handled any of the foreshadowing of their future Batman characters. Overall, this was a really great season and I enjoyed where it has been and where it is going. I truly hope that it doesn’t end here, but if it does then there are 13 excellent episodes that can always be watched. Well, maybe 10 excellent episodes and 3 or so pretty good ones.