So it looks like, even if the show has died an abrupt and cliff-hangar-esque death, the show Constantine is now legally available to watch again! http://nerdist.com/cw-seed-is-now-streaming-the-constantine-tv-series-for-free/ This has me excited, I want to sit down and watch it again to catch the little things that I may have missed.
I loved this series. It was true to John Constantine in a way that Keanu only managed in a single moment.
Angela: Well, I thought that with your background, you could at least point me in the right direction?
Constantine: Yeah, okay. Sure.
[points to the door]
That was a beautiful, truly Constantine moment. That was all I really got out of that movie when looked at through the filter of the comic book – and I’m not even a real Hellblazer reader!
See I have a mildly addictive personality. I delve into things hardcore, and comic books are a thing with millions of spin offs, connected stories, sub-stories, and so on. If I allowed myself to delve into them fully, I would never have money for food and rent. So back in High School I made a personal rule – no buying comic books for myself. At all. If I were buying them as a gift, they had to truly be a gift, not just so I could proceed to borrow them but really be what the person wanted.
So I did get Hellblazer for my boyfriend at the time (now my husband), since he was a fan – and when he was done with that selection I did borrow and read them, and enjoyed them greatly. The anti-hero or reluctant hero trope has always been one I loved, it’s why I feel Han Solo is a deeper character than Luke Skywalker. John Constantine is, in all ways, a truly reluctant and not-so-heroic protagonist/hero. His wry wit, snarky attitude, and British punk nature make him so much fun. When he does the thing that furthers the plot because it’s a bad idea, you really believe it since it’s a Constantine thing to do, not an obvious McGuffin. I was sold. At that point, looking back on the somewhat enjoyable 2005 movie, I was now disappointed, because I could see what it lacked, and what it could have been.
This meant I was skeptical when they brought it to TV. Sure, John was British again, and bleached blonde as he should be. Matt Ryan was, visually, a good choice, sure – but that does not a character make! And a friend got a preview copy of the pilot, to be shared as a group, at a time that I was out of town for work travel. Reports back from that same boyfriend were that, yes, this was indeed the Hellblazer John Constantine we knew and loved, and the show was moving in a good direction. So I waited, on pins and needles, for the actual air date. Well, though there were some changes from the pilot they saw and the one that aired, it was still a true interpretation of what I wanted, it was worthwhile and I knew I had to watch it!
Ryan’s Constantine was dry, sharp, drove people away, gathered people together, manipulative, lying, a good guy with a bad streak a mile wide. The cast that supported him had their reasons, but also their regrets. The world was a dark and difficult place, and it wasn’t getting any better. This was Hellblazer, TV edition!
I’m trying not to give anything away, in case you haven’t seen it yet, but while it takes liberties from the comic, I feel the spirit is utterly there. And now, the good news is, if you missed it – go catch up! Maybe this bodes for a digital future for our beloved devil-may-care cad?