The acting is great, and the showrunners have surrounded Matt Ryan with other characters, who all feel like they have been given room to grow. The character of Zed, played by the talented and beautiful Angélica Celaya, is the perfect foil for Constantine, as an ally who will actually call the wizard on his bullshit when needed. She has a mysterious past that turns out ‘great’ in the comics, and feels like she belongs in this dark and magical world. Chas, played by Charles Halford, is the constant loyal friend who is more than dedicated to the cause, giving numerous lives in some of Constantine’s insane ideas. Zed and Chas make up John’s moral compass, a role one might think the angel would fill. Manny—what an odd name for an angel—is played by one of my favorite actors, Harold Perrineau. The counterbalance to the hell our heroes deal with is constantly spouting off rules and reasons why God cannot intervene, and comes across as almost trolling Constantine at some points. The episode where Manny is temporarily made human is still one of my favorites. The guest stars steal the screen though, whether it is Jeremy Davies as Richie, Mark Margolis portrayal the evil of Felix Faust, or Michael James Shaw’s killer interpretation Papa Midnite, these characters add so much to Constantine’s world.
Each of these characters feels three-dimensional and is given at least one episode of solid backstory, even if little is answered about them. Interactions are key here. The writers have provided some great dialogue, and the actors do not waste it or their screen time. Zed’s conversation with Manny about mortality, Richie explaining enlightenment, or anything between John and Midnite just has a chilling intensity to it. This element adds more meat to the individual episodes and makes me care about them, especially when their futures look so dark. I want so much more of this.
This series is thirteen episodes of awesome work, with little for me to complain about. There are a few scenes I would have loved to have seen handled differently, and they need a better special effects budget, but do some cool things with what they have. Some fans have complained that the show is paced quite slow, but that did not bother me. As of this writing though, Constantine has not been renewed for a second season, and NBC is running out of time if they want to resurrect it. Syfy has shown some interest in the show, discussing a name change—to Hellblazer—but there are several hurdles to jump first. So for now, fans wait to see if the callous Brit will return. If that is it though, it will be a series I revisit multiple times.
I am rooting for the show though. There is a lot I want to see them do. Will they address his bisexuality that Brian Azzarello introduced, that time he tricked God, or his cancer? Not everything from the comics was gold though. All I am asking for is an episode with Jason Blood, better known as the demon Etrigan, or maybe Swamp Thing. Oh, no! Give us The Question or Zatanna! Okay, so there is a ton they could do, but for anyone who just cannot wait for more of this, read the comics.