Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Constantine Review/Recap Episode One Pilot: Non Est Asylum

A little late, but better late than never

All right, I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of the series, judging from the first two episodes. Maybe it'll get better as it goes along (Gotham, has, I admit) but I have problems with this show.

I don't know anything about the comic; I've only heard the basic background of John Constantine -that he is a damned soul brought back to earth to save others, that he's British, bi-sexual and snarky. Ingredients that make for, what you would think, an excellent story. So let's look at the tv series

We start our adventure in an insane asylum, with John being strapped down to a gurney and undergoing shock therapy. At first I was pissed because I was pretty sure they stopped doing electroshock therapy like, in the 60's seeing how it mostly did harm rather than good. But then 30 seconds of googling led to some interesting information about it and that the show uses it all wrong. IF and when a hospital uses electroshock therapy (and they still do, for extreme cases of depression, as an absolute last resort and with the full consent of the patient, as it causes amnesia) they do NOT just hook you up to a car battery and let er' rip.

Okay, could you BE any more of a drama-llama?

So John writhing around on the gurney is a load of shit. Doctors give the patient a sedative and use low voltage, NOT enough to make them jump around like an electrocuted frog - so strike one. Also it seems like, well, I'm not even sure why hell John is there. He has issues, hell yes, but it seems like he doesn't actually need to be at the asylum. He screams at his therapist to prove that demons don't exist, and then leans back with this smug, 'No? can't prove it? HA, I will remain perma-angry and snarky then'

John follows the bugs to a possessed patient and we get a little taste of good ol' theatrical exorcism. I'm surprised the possessee didn't spew green bile and have her head spin because HOLY FUCK over dramatic much?

Turns out it was an old buddy of John's sending the message to help save his still living daughter. So John decides he's cured and leaves the asylum (totes works that way in real life)

Ah meet the heroine of the story; whatsherface. Because I can't, for the love of GOD, remember what her name is, and have pretty much zero interest in her as a character.

What's her face is a Normal Girl, paying college debt with a shitty job when! The spooks are after her! I like how she just brushes off the ground opening up and spewing flame as a mild inconvenience that she just walks away from.

Totally normal, the ground opens up all the time, I'm SURE, and bleches forth giant balls of flame, nothing to worry about - oh, there's John leaping out from a taxi to proclaim he's here to help! and he's as ass. and she brushes him off like a good heroine and just goes home, chalking it up to a weird day.

Mysterious Men lurk in the hallway.

This next bit cracks me the hell up; that she goes from normally dressed to fanservice fodder in .02 seconds, with full butt shot. Because when creepy men lurk in the hallway AND I be have demons after me I know I like to dress as vulnerably as possible, HEY, why not cover yourself in lamb's blood and stake yourself to the ground? Yes, she's THAT kind of heroine.

So back to John, who climbs down the fire-spewing hole only to be met by, er, an angel? A really angry kind of evil looking angel? Who brings great tidings of 'YOU'RE ALL GONNA DIIIEEEE'.

I guess there's a THING coming that's bad.

Turns out Hallway Creeper was there on John's orders to carve Egyptian symbols into her door so she doesn't die horribly. Instead her friend and neighbor die horribly. Then get possessed. Then kills the driver of the ambulance and makes a really hilarious and horrible assassination attempt to drive the truck into whatsherface's workplace, hitting her desk even though SHE WAS STANDING RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE BUILDING, IN BROAD DAYLIGHT!!!

So this was a truly creepy portion of the show, I felt, as her very dead, very possessed friend is now a hood ornament on the truck, with her head nearly snapped off her body. She's breathing like an asthma patient doing the whole creepy demon thing when Whatsherface goes, 'LIKE, OMIGOD IT'S MY DEAD FRIEND!"

WHAT?! That is not a normal reaction, if I saw shit like that I would firstly puke, because EW, then scream. and scream some more, and spend the next fifteen years in therapy because that shit ain't normal.

I noticed very definite underwhelming acting throughout this entire show. This was the most blatant example.

So John is an ass. And gives whatsherface an amulet because Reasons.

Turns out whatsherface has the Shinning (You mean the SHINING? SHUSH, DO YOU WANT TO GET SUED??) and can see ghostly ghouls and...trains.

John continues to be an ass, as he grasps her wrists and she freaks out because she thinks they're about to get hit but ghost train just goes right through them.

Ass.

So Hallway Creeper, John and Whatsherface are now driving because REASONS, when they are attack by invisible demon who ...possesses a broken cable and stabs Hallway Creeper with it (no worries, he lives because REASONS).

Annnd, the original Ghost Busters had better visual graphics and was less cheesy.

John brings Whatsherface to a cabin in the woods (NOTHING ever went wrong with an isolated cabin in the woods, EVER) and we do some more magical girl, the demons are after you plot building.

John has an idea. John brings in more sketchy friends to help catch the demon.

John's brilliant plan is the equivalent of setting up a box with a carrot tied to a stick underneath it. Their demon of the week will get caught in the circle he's drawn and then he can send it back to hell.

Showdown!

So demon of the week takes the appearance of Dead John and taunts him. There is a really poor attempt at character building and sympathy with John - apparently he failed to save a little girl, bla bla bla really shitty story telling, I'm not feeling any sympathy for him annnnnd the demon goes 'NEENER NEENER, I WILL PICK AT ALL YOUR INSECURITIES' and John wins.

Demon of the week is cast back the hole whence it came and John gets really pissy and drives away Whatsherface.

He's having an existential crisis, OKAY?? SO BUGGER OFF!!

This whole...ending of the episode confused me. Wasn't whatsherface supposed to be the golden child of That Which Will Save All Humanity, or something? She has this power, she has this THING for attracting dangerous entities that want to kill her, or drink her soul or whatever and John's fucking brilliant plan is to DRIVE HER AWAY from the one person who can help her learn to protect herself!??!

There is not enough WHAT?!?!? in the world to follow that logic.

And we end the episode with a pint of beer and John being an ass.

Yes, I watched the second episode and honestly, it was so bad I don't even know what happened. I couldn't watch the entire thing. There. I suffered so you don't have to. let me know if this get's any better because right now it's a horrible show.

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