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This review was written by the newest member of Team Animockery, Ryan Jones! Ryan is a talented writer and we’re pleased he decided to join Animockery Studios.  Welcome Ryan!

Constantine_TV_show_logoExorcist… Demonologist… Master of the Dark Arts… John Constantine.

NBC debuted the new series Constantine on Friday based on the classic Hellblazer character of yore who has been an oddity in the comic book world since first appearing back in the day alongside “Swamp Thing.” Now that was a man who proved it really isn’t easy being green – sorry Kermit. And if his tale of woe and mosquitos wasn’t enough, writers used it as a way to introduce us to the wise-cracking, novice- magician, chain-smoking, Brit everyone loves to hate.

So, what did I think and why does my opinion matter? Because it’s me and if you’ve stumbled upon this page, you’ve clearly found yourself bored with the reviews written by comic book geniuses, professional mudslingers, and neo-punk mommy bloggers. Who am I? Well I’m admittedly not an Exorcist, Demonologist, or Master of the Dark Arts – though even just being one of them would be pretty cool and trust me, I’ve looked into them. But what I am is a guy like you, or like your boyfriend of husband if you are a member of the more awesome gender, who after flipping through the channels for the hundredth time came upon Constantine. Well, maybe you were looking forward to it, or had seen the movie with Keanu, or have a buddy who writes a blog and is too busy to write one on this awesome new show because he’s too busy podcasting about Gotham. Did you catch that? Yes, I said the show was awesome. Now a warning – and I have never gotten to use these words in print of my own before – the following review may contain spoilers.

Score! I can check that one off the list. But onto the meat of this before it exceeds the undetermined length at one point I had planned on this being…come on, doesn’t everyone need a niche? Ryan’s Rants…Ryan’s Reviews…Ryan’s Rants and Reviews in 500 words or less? I considered them all and future posts may be more to the point but since this is the first, I thought I’d do you the privilege of expounding a bit first on both some randomness – it is me after all who is writing this and who I am.

The show starts off running. Who doesn’t love a little electroshock therapy? Especially when it was voluntary. Not wanting to waste anyone’s time, we get to see John come to odds with his psychiatrist – a scene I thought was excellently done without being over dramatic – this is based off of a comic book after all. And the early jolt to your senses, John’s outburst to the shrink not the shock therapy, leads quickly to an exorcism and a reason for his departure from a mental asylum – hence the name of the episode “No Est Asylum.”

While I didn’t love the portrayal of Liv Aberdeen, I didn’t hate her performance. No never mind, because any simple Google search or Wikipedia will tell you she has already been written out. Maybe knowing that will encourage you to keep watching the show. So while we are on the topic of “other” characters…Chas Chandler, who at first looks like your drunk uncle Dave, offers a basic performance so I hope to see more. Then there is Manny…why can’t they give angels their proper name? Do they think using more Medieval or Ancient sounding versions will scare people off? An angel named “Manny” – I quiver at the thought and the strange eyes that are an understandable if cliché addition. Even after an appearance by Jeremy Davies, who I can’t help be still be mad at for his role in “Saving Private Ryan,” as the nerdy and unstable former colleague of John’s, I did have a hole in my opinion that could only be filled by another great character appearance. I loved John, a.k.a. Matt Ryan, so why not see him again as the embodiment of the demon he is facing. Why pay someone else when Ryan can clearly pull it off? It left me hoping they do it again.

So, ultimately, it left me wanting more and hoping they can eke out a season or two since I’m sure this niche show won’t last long, but in light of its similarity to Dresden I’d be surprised if it lasts very long. But, that doesn’t mean it deserves a short run. So if you don’t feel like watching Blue Bloods, 20/20, or Fox News (the local version) at 9pm next Friday (October 31st) I highly recommend you check Constantine on NBC.

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