Hello, fanboys and fangirls, I’m Robert, but to those dozens of loyal Hold 322 listeners I’m better known as Ultimate Bob. As our show’s “staff of writer” it is my obligation to bring to you a weekly blog containing my ideas and opinions concerning comic books and all other things nerdy / geek. This week’s blog will be about why Constantine is a great TV show, and how we, the fans, can do our part to ensure it gets a second season on the air.
A couple of weeks ago I stumbled across a tweet from Constantine producer and showrunner Daniel Cerone that mentioned his efforts to convince NBC to renew the series for a second season. He will (if he hasn’t already) be pitching his ideas for a second season to the network this month, most certainly suggesting ways he’ll improve on what is already a damn good show—thus (hopefully) boosting disappointing ratings—and then NBC will decide the show’s fate; by the end of May, at the latest. This will be a fairy monumental task for Mr. Cerone, and not because the show is terrible (it’s good, but there are ways it could be even better), but because, as I stated earlier, ratings for Constantine have been a bit too low.
I could blame the poor ratings on a Friday night time-slot, or poor marketing on NBC’s part (I know DC has been consistent in running ads for the show in all their books), but that may not be entirely fair. Most people these days (not me, I’m poor and don’t have cable or the internet at home, alas) don’t have to stay home on Friday night (or any other night for that matter) to watch a TV show, because they can watch it later on Hulu, On Demand, or recorded on their digital recording devices, etc. If enough fans were watching Constantine this way, it would offset poor ratings of a live broadcast; at least it should. I don’t work for NBC and don’t know how they operate when it comes to post-live-broadcast viewership, but if I did run a TV network, I’d place a lot of value on it.
Anyhow, I really have enjoyed watching Constantine this past year—though I wish we’d have gotten a full 22 episode
season, because I don’t feel the show had enough time to realize its potential. I think it’s a fair criticism that Constantine, far too often, fell prey to the “freak-of-the-week” formula, but it almost always takes a network show most of a full length season to find its unique voice and really hit its stride. What I feel has worked for Constantine thematically is that it (as Jeff Bell said on this week’s Hold 322) uses elements of religion and mythology without alienating believers or non-believers. It’s a show with protagonists who are not at all saintly–aren’t anywhere close to perfect—but they realize it is their responsibility to stand against the forces of darkness, even at great loss to themselves, simply because they know that if they don’t, no one else can.
The show’s cast is also tops, in my opinion. Last year, when they first announced that a Constantine TV show was in development, all of us on Hold 322 had opinions on which actors could or should play the title character, but none of us had Matt Ryan of our radars. To be honest (as JC carter admitted on this week’s Hold 322), none of us even knew who he was, but he is absolutely spot on as John Constantine. I can no longer imagine anyone else being able to play the role as well as he has. The other three members of the show’s regular cast: Charles Halford as Chas Chandler, Harold Perrineau as Manny, and the beautiful Angelica Celaya as Zed, are all also very well suited for their roles, and have provided many memorable moments to the series so far.
In the service of full disclosure, as I’ve mentioned on the podcast (and to strangers on the bus), Charles Halford was my acting teacher way back in 2001. He taught me a lot about acting for film, and I still consider him a friend, though we haven’t hung out in years. This said, the fact that I know him personally may have heightened my curiosity to watch the show, but has no effect on my esteem for his performance as Chas. True, there have been episodes where he has had little more to do than say “hi John”, but on episodes where Chas has been more central to the story (such as when he had to defend his daughter’s soul from the nefarious Felix Faust), Charles has shown superb depth of character and a strong screen presence.
If you agree with me that Constantine deserve a chance at a second season, you can help in a few ways. You (and all your friends whom you can convince to join with you in the effort) can watch past episodes of Constantine on whatever (legal, non pirated) services it might still be available on; you can use the hash-tag #SaveConstantine on twitter (be sure to tweet it @NBC while you’re at it), and you can sign the Save Constantine petition online at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/save-constantine/
Well, I think that concludes this week’s blog. Remember to subscribe to this here blog so you can join us for next week’s awesome bloviation from yours truly. Be sure also to listen to each and every episode of Hold 322, available every Tuesday from iTunes, Stitcher and Hold322.com; and if you wanna be just as cool as all the other cool kids are, you can follow me on the Twitter for all my insightful and zany tweets @Robert_A_Easton. Thanks for reading, friends.