My thoughts on Constantine — “The Darkness Beneath”

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Well, we’ve moved beyond the Constantine pilot and seen Liv off to greener pastures so as to make way for a new chica in town: Zed Martin. I guess you might call “The Darkness Beneath” Pilot 2.0. And it shows.

The Constantine premiere had its rough edges, to be sure, and despite my high hopes, they were still present for the second episode. To be honest, the first pilot felt to be the stronger of the two, with “Darkness” descending into a monster-of-the-week procedural.

It’s funny, while that’s what I miss about CW’s Supernatural, it feels like the wrong approach for Constantine. John should be wrestling with bigger issues, with angels and demons and the like. “Darkness”, for all Matt Ryan’s charm, felt flat and unimaginative.

Do I even need to discuss the plot? Not that I hate the idea of coal mines and Welsh kobalds, but c’mon, make me care about somebody in the bloody thing. Between the two shows that have aired, one had promise. The other… not so much.

In a nutshell, “Non Est Asylum” came off as an exciting and vibrant take on the occult detective genre. “The Darkness Beneath” felt like a visit from the Ghost of Cancellations Past. Tired. Trite. More of the bloody same old nonsense we’re being force fed on Sleepy Hollow and Grimm and Supernatural, etc, ad nauseam.

Angélica Celaya didn’t help matters much. While she’s easy on the eyes, her acting chops seemed a bit off, like she’s pinching herself because she can’t believe she scored such a cool gig. Time to wake up Angélica. You may have won the job, but if you want it to be a steady paycheck you’re going to have to up your game.

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If Constantine is to survive beyond its freshman season, it’s going to take more than Matt Ryan’s impressive turn to get the show’s back nine and a season two pick up.

If we see more episodes like “The Darkness Beneath” I don’t like its chances.

Look, I’m an easy mark for this stuff. If I’m doubting you, you’re doing something wrong. My sincerest hope is that the writers sense it early enough to right the train and it get things rolling before audiences tune out completely.

We need John Constantine on TV.

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