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My Brief Thoughts On Constantine, “Non Est Asylum”: For Now, I Give It A “Meh.”

Usually I work late on Fridays. Sucks, right? But last night, I happened to be home at a decent time and I found myself asking that timeless question, “WHAT DO I WATCH?”

Oh! Doesn’t that new Constantine show start, tonight? Yes. Yes, it does. It did.

I obviously hadn’t planned on setting aside time to watch it to begin with. But I did have the opportunity to be a part of the whole Constantine Experience at Comic-Con, this year. They had a really neat attraction that showed you an extended video on what the show was set to be about, if you weren’t already familiar with it. Most of it was animated, lots of underworld and demons, and shots of a digitally animated asylum, and then oh, hey, a hot British guy! The majority of the shots of Matt Ryan were actually him and not animated, and Constantine was explaining that he was a ‘Master of The Dark Arts’, and what that meant, and how he felt about it, and what he was going to do about the demons wreaking havoc on the earth.

The Constantine Experience (the blue dome shaped structure toward the bottom right)

The closest thing that I can think of to compare the screen at the experience to is a planetarium. The video was literally all around the small audience (they only let about 50 people in at a time); the underworld was over us, above us, to our right, and to our left. It spun out of control sometimes, and I remember having to close my eyes because it made me dizzy, not unlike the thrill of riding a roller coaster. It was quick, it was fast-paced, and it was exciting.

When I watched the pilot episode, last night, it was quite the opposite feeling. In fact, it was pretty simple. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel like I wasted my evening, but it also didn’t leave me wanting too much more.

Let me start by saying that I am not familiar with the comics at all, so I have nothing to compare the show to. After watching the pilot episode, “Non Est Asylum”, my overall feeling was cool, he fights demons, he damned a little girl to hell, and now he regrets it. But nothing really grabbed me. The acting wasn’t anything too special– until Matt Ryan got to play a demon pretending to be Constantine. That was the most interesting part of the whole episode to me: the last 5-10 minutes.

Other than playing a demon playing Constantine, it kind of seemed like the character was out of place. To me, it felt like Constantine didn’t belong in that TV show. You know how some shows have a character that just doesn’t seem to fit in the same world that the makers of the show have created for you? Constantine isn’t necessarily of that world, I get that; And he is the lead character and he should stand out. But not so far out that he no longer fits in with everyone else. He seemed, to put it lightly, very Jack Sparrow-y in a trench coat most of the time.

There was a John Constantine walking the line at the Experience, and passing out his business card from time to time. The number IS a working number.

I was slightly interested in Constantine’s sidekick Chas, played by Charles Halford (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., True Detective, Luck of The Irish), but then I am usually intrigued by the quieter characters. The ones that hang out on the sideline and make you wonder what their story is. I’m sure we’ll get more from him in the episodes to come since he’s Constantine’s “oldest living friend”. Spoiler alert, he apparently can’t die, or die easily– and that makes him a pretty interesting character already. When Harold Perrineau (Lost, 28 Weeks Later, Sons of Anarchyshowed up with wings, it definitely piqued my interest. If I’m going to stick with the show for a while, I WILL want more from his character, Manny. Is he an angel? Is he a fallen angel? What’s his story?? If for no other reason, I’d watch the next few episodes just to see Ryan and Perrineau interact some more.

It’s a very dark show, and usually I find myself enjoying dark shows. But this one felt like it was trying too hard to be something that it can’t really be on NBC. So I’m not giving up on Constantine just yet, but I’m also not sure it’s worth the space on my DVR if it doesn’t rope me in soon…

I’m no expert in the other shows, and I’m not comparing it to them, but I liken the tone to that of Supernatural and Gotham. If you like or if you enjoy keeping up with either of those, then maybe you’ll have a good time with Constantine! And if not? Stick to the shows that you love. Don’t force it! It’ll hurt. Fronkensteen


About ifronkensteen

Zombie Slayer, Theatregoer, Instagrammer, and all around Adventurer with a McGuyver-like craftiness.

2 comments on “My Brief Thoughts On Constantine, “Non Est Asylum”: For Now, I Give It A “Meh.”

  1. Joie Fatale
    October 27, 2014

    As a pilot episode, I feel like there was a lot crammed into it. But, In away I enjoy that because rather than dragging out the elements in the pilot throughout the season, I feel as though there is likely to be some seasonal progress.
    However, I did not care for Live…which is GREAT because she was supposedly only in that episode!
    I feel like episode 5 is going to be my tell-tale. I don’t find most pilots to be too indicative of neither the jist of the story, nor the development. (Also, I enjoyed the music on the show, so…they have me currently).
    And I agree MORE MANNY & JOHN!!!

    • Joie Fatale
      October 27, 2014

      Also: Helmet of Fate!!! That was awesome!!!

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This entry was posted on October 25, 2014 by in TV, Weekly Series and tagged , , , , , , , .
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