Special Edition Podcast

Special Edition – Constantine

Show Notes

The Season of the Comic Book TV Show concludes, for now, with NBC’s Constantine! Conor Kilpatrick and Paul Montgomery have conjured up a spoiler-filled discussion about the pilot episode that stars Matt Ryan as John Constantine! Listen as they try to review a pilot whose core concept and female lead have been scrapped before the second episode!

Running Time: 00:20:48


“The Ghost Inside”
Broken Bells


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  1. Constantine needs to be more of a bastard, they really should take a cue from Capaldi on this season of Doctor Who.

    I clocked Pandora’s box/skull and Ivy University (where Ray Palmer taught) in addition to Fate’s helmet if we’re counting DCU references.

    Two questions:

    1. What’s Liv’s apartment hitting for? Because her and her friend’s places looked sweet
    2. If this fails what’s the likelihood of the next adaptation actually being called Hellblazer?

    • Good catch with the pandora’s box. I knew I recognized it but couldn’t place it.

      Didn’t love the show but didn’t hate it. I could have been watching blue bloods over a show staring one of my all time fave comic characters so I’ll gladly take John albeit a flawed version of him. (Nothing against BBs, just not my bag.)

  2. I enjoyed, and I thought they captured pretty much the essence of the comic. The movie never worked much for me, due to Reeves. I also think Friday night is a great time slot for it. For me, the best comic adaptation yet over Flash, Gotham, SHIELD, or whatever.

  3. It was pretty much what I expected. I love the character so much that I’ll stay with it even though it’s not Vertigo Constantine. I’ve also got a lot of hometown pride at the moment that could be clouding my judgement. It’s cool to see a show set in Atlanta that shows the city and even calls out street names! Edgewood Avenue baby!

  4. It should be noted that the version Paul and Conor watched is different than what actually aired. Not by a huge amount, but I can’t say it made it better. Bizarrely they made the demon at the end now take John’s shape, which I guess was to remind the viewers of the stakes of John being damned to hell? Because the audience needs to be reminded that hell is bad? I dunno. The other noteworthy change was they entirely reshot the scene in the bar where we’re told that Liv, after seeing the place that she scried, is now scared away from the supernatural world, thus answering why she won’t be in future episodes. I suppose it was a necessary patch job, I doubt the actress was really interested in coming back to film a scene giving her character some closure after being fired, but it still felt really sloppy.

    I think the series has potential, I’m definitely going to keep watching, but yeah out of the five (!) current comic related tv series, this was definitely the weakest and the only one I won’t be surprised by if they cancel before the season’s up.

    • Yeah, I watched the new version when it aired and I actually quite liked the demon John as compared to the CGI creature. Matt Ryan was really strong as an evil demon version of John.

      The new final scene at the bar, though? Woof. I mean, I get it, they had to shoehorn in that scene, it was just awkward.

  5. Did you guys watch the second episode? It is loads better than the first. the actress they hired to play Zed – Angélica Celaya – is really good, way better than Lucy Griffiths (Liv from the pilot). The difference between their acting ability is astounding.

    I found it funny that they decided to keep Liv’s dad’s shack as their homebase. I suppose it sort of goes without question given the money they pumped into that set but it is still a bit odd given the unceremonious way the producers had Liv exit the show.

    I suppose the original intent for the show was to have Liv scry on the map at the beginning of each episode and that would be the adventure for the week. I guess the blood becoming wet serves the same purpose, even if it is a bit less dramatic.

    Constantine’s clothing still bugs me. At the beginning of the show, his shirt looked pressed and starched, which does not fit the way they are portraying the character at all (the guy slept in his clothing and only changed his outfit after getting covered in sludge). The coat looked to be getting dirtier as the episode progressed, so maybe they are just choosing not to wash the coat? That would be a good way to make it look worn and old without necessarily having to do it before the first episode. I imagine by the last season the coat will be threadbare and barely holding itself together.

    • Yeah, the second episode was much stronger. It was a lot of fun.

      I thought the same thing about the home base set. “Well, I guess we’ll just keep hanging out at this chick’s dad’s house?”

  6. I have no background with the Constantine character in the comics, so for me the show was something totally new. I’ve seen episodes 1 & 2 and they remind me of Supernatural (when it was good) crossed with Dresden Files. Both were shows I liked for the characters. So far so good with Constantine.

    I usually agree with your opinions on shows (including Paul’s Fuzzy Typewriter reviews), but on this one I think you guys bring too much Constantine comics baggage to the table. I’m not saying it’s a *great* show by any means, but way too early to dismiss it the way you guys did in your review.

    Consider for me, how many interesting character questions there are:

    1. How did Constantine get his knowledge of the “dark arts?”
    2. How did he get damned? Why does he still seem to care about helping people?
    3. How and why did he get to America?
    4. Any ladies in his life?
    5. Who is the sidekick, what’s his deal?
    6. What’s with the angel? Can he be trusted?

    Maybe you guys know all this from the comics, but for me it’s uncharted territory.

    • I actually bring very little Constantine baggage to the show. I thought the pilot was poorly constructed and rushed. Clearly, the producers agreed that there were problems because they scraped the female lead and started over.

      My problem was with the structure of the show and not Constantine himself–I like Matt Ryan as Constantine a lot.

      I thought the second episode was much stronger and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

    • Personally, not knowing the meta about the Liv thing made the pilot all the more interesting for me. Why isn’t he going after her? I assumed she’ll come back someday, and the how and why would be interesting (indeed, she still can, even if it’s not the same actress who winds up playing her). Jealousy/rivalry between Liv & Zed over Constantine’s affections, who knows. The fact that she didn’t stay on the team right away was unexpected, and the unexpected is good.

      I didn’t know that was a last minute audible, but it worked out for me at least.

  7. For those curious about the home base, for the pilot at least it was a location shoot at one of my favorite Atlanta venues, the Masquerade. The link goes to the area of the bar that I’m *pretty* sure they used.


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