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A. Heathen

The Good The Bad and The Constantinian

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Having failed to get any positive suggestions on the facebook Hellblazer forum, I'll try this here.

 

Have you watched the trailer?

Have you watched the pilot?

 

What don't you like (list three things) about what you have seen so far?

 

What do you like? (list a different three things, not the same three things, that would be silly)

 

Your bonus questions:

 

What one thing MUST be in this series to make it suitably Hellblazerish* ?

[NB you will be punished if you say he must smoke etc etc, we've covered that. Okay? Be incisive and creative.]

 

Which one story would make a good episode for the first series?

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I have watched the trailer and the pilot.

 

I don't like superpowers for Chas.

I don't like the impression created that they might use magical scrying maps to find acts of demonism and malefaction.

I don't like "Do you mean I could save my soul?"

 

I liked Matt Ryan as John Constantine

I liked the atmosphere created around the magical entities (angel Manny and demon Electro)

I liked the introduction's balance of mystery for newbies and familiar clues for us Nerdzzz.

 

I'd like to see A Game of Cat and Mouse - preferably on a trip to London, but around New York or somewhere suitably subterranean.

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The Chas superpower business was one of the things I liked least, but I can see why the Chas of the comics - a married man tied to one city with no interest in, and little ability to deal with, the supernatural - wouldn't work in a show based around travelling the US and fighting monsters. Since the character as seen in the comics would never work in the show (without a major retooling), it's not as severe a problem to change him - especially compared with Chaz LeBeef from the movie.

 

Er, anyway...

 

I have watched the trailer and pilot.

  • I like that they got the characterisation, background and most of the motivations for John spot-on.
  • I like the general tone of the thing - it's a bit campy, but so was the comic, much of the time, stretching right back to John vs demonic yuppies in issue three.
  • I like seeing all the little bits of Hellblazer poking through - mostly from the most obvious issues (Dangerous Habits and Original Sins), but the production crew have a poster of Paul Jenkins' Difficult Beginnings mounted on their writing-room wall, so I'm hopeful that there's some wider reading going on.

  • I don't like the predominantly Judeo-Christian angle of the pilot, or John's description of himself as an exorcist (not least because 'occultist' sounds way cooler), but I have hope that this is just to make it an easier sell to a US audience and that the universe will broaden out in future episodes. A remark by one of the producers that Constantine's abilities are based on knowledge of spells and magic is promising.
  • I don't like the clumsy dialogue or plotting - everything that wasn't taken from the comics seriously needed polishing up, and giving away everything that happened in Newcastle over three (or more, I forget) separate scenes of dialogue was astonishingly amateurish. Viewers CAN deal with having background revealed in drips, writers! Supernatural took that route and it's currently on season seventeen billion.
  • I didn't like Liv - or, rather, I was given no reason to like her, since she lacked any notable characteristics, interests or desires. But it looks like they'll be fixing this in future episodes, so that's good.

The one thing that could be added to make it more 'Hellblazerish' would be a bigger universe - don't just give me angels and demons! Give me vampires, pagan gods, Hindu deities, fairies, the Aboriginal Dreamtime, governments dabbling in occultism, urban legends come alive, anything, everything, more, more, more!

 

Oh, and bring in Charles Dance as Ghant.

 

As for a story to be adapted... Well, if it's one episode, as you imply, Ade, then Gaiman's Hold Me might make for a nice change from all the explosions and that, though realistically it'd probably be a B-plot to something a bit more whizzy. Or High on Life, if that's not too dark. If we're allowed to have a two-parter then I'd love to see a big, widescreen version of Red Sepulchre, complete with gangsters, Map, Kali and Gemma.

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That's five things you don't like !

 

I agree with you on changes to Chas based on location etc. It's just a shame they feel the need to drop that bombshell so soon - without new people getting that he's a regular.

And also two non-superpowered dudes chasing magical demonic villains ... that won't fly without them being cursed brothers or Mulder & Scully and that's just not the Constantine/Chas relationship.

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Have you watched the trailer? si

Have you watched the pilot? da

 

What don't you like (list three things) about what you have seen so far?

  1. the quest to save his soul, or rather that John seems fixated on same.
  2. chas is a yank with special death defying powers of rejuvenation--but at least he isn't a shia
  3. i don't really have a 3rd bone to pick, so i'll combine the 2 things everyone hates - the smoking ban and say mah name right, beeyatch! cont-stan-T ī NE. but really, the potential from the possibilities diminish the sting from these two.

What do you like? (list a different three things, not the same three things, that would be silly)

  1. i love that the production staff from the creators and producers down to the lowly PAs seem driven to bring us a HELLBLAZER tv show. i'm stealing this line, but it's like they really want us (hellblazer fans) specifically to like them, like they are shamelessly seeking our approval. in ordinary life, i dislike such felatio-esque behavior, but when somebody done me wrong (as they did in 2005), then i accept them trying to gain my (our) favor. they owe us!
  2. Matt Ryan. I think he's better than most of us expected, he plays the character naturally, it doesn't seem like he's acting (and that's high praise for any actor, their mission really - to become that character naturally).
  3. this might really be part of my first point, but i also enjoy the hellblazer easter eggs, the references and all which help solidify my first point.

Your bonus questions:

 

What one thing MUST be in this series to make it suitably Hellblazerish* ?

 

 

for me, i want the other significant characters to be a part of the show as well as john and chas. i want to see cheryl, gemma,, nigel, header, ric the vic, kit, angie, map, clarice. revamping the pilot to include zed goes a long way at seeing to this point, and again, to support my stance in "what do you like" subhead #1. i also don't want every week for john to save the world from armageddon. we can all agree that what makes hellblazer HELLBLAZER isn't the grand epic story arcs, but the single issues about the smaller stories, the strange one-off tales that glue all those epics together. those are the stories in which we really got to know john.

 

Which one story would make a good episode for the first series?

 

 

"Early Warning," grant morrison's story. it could easily be set in the US - maybe nawlins - some deep south town, maybe sprinkle some voodoo thematically, and link the whole town's freakout to mk ultra or some other cia psyop that has been established historically, or keep the real story about the missile silos and vibrations making the town mad. or that some military plane crashed in a swamp nearby and released chemical warfare compounds into the water supply, the reason the town freaks out can be anything, but the focus of the episode would be the crazy town people freaking out.

 

"Hold Me" would be a good character developing episode, too. would help the newbs get to know john.

 

I am adding a personal postscript to this questionnaire for myself since ade mentioned facebook. personally, I've stopped going to the John Constantine group on facebook because many of those people are clueless as to what they want from this show. like ade mentioned, that's where the "the show will be rubbish if John doesn't smoke" crowd hold fort. they are so fixated on that aspect they can't see beyond it. the post that chased me away was from the guy who says he made it 21 minutes in and couldn't watch it any more. really? so i watched it again, focusing on the first 21 minutes and at that point, i was still pretty geeked at all the old school hellblazer references dropping like bird poop from a tree at the end of autumn as they congregate before flying south for the winter. i put it to you that if you stopped watching it 21 minutes in, you got most of the best parts of the pilot. what the fuck are you seeking if that doesn't please you? and the john is bisexual crowd who gather on tumblr piss me off too. folks, just like we aren't labeled by the sports we play, the food we eat or the movies we watch, we aren't defined by the sexual orientation of the person leaving our beds in the walk of shame in the morning. who we fuck isn't who we are. it doesn't define me, it doesn't define you - in fact, the only ones it does define are those who make victims out of those they have sex with - rapists, pedophiles and chicken fuckers. but back to my first point, on the NBC Constantine facebook group, the other Constantine group, or page, whatever, every single post made by the admin of that page had a response from a different person bitching about john not smoking, if he doesn't smoke the show is shit. yeah, i wish he smoked too but if that's your dealbreaker, then please don't watch it so we don't have to see you bitch about it online. and that's why i no longer check the facebook Constantine pages. i hate facebook for many reasons, but this is just the newest reason for my facebook disdain.

 

sincerely and with hope and best wishes,

 

romeo s. lincoln, esq (my real name, not my facebook name)

 

(now you get "slinker" don't you?)

 

PS - I typed all this before reading the other responses which I will do now.

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haven't seen the pilot. Agree with most of you, especially what slinker said. don't know about red sepulchre, didn't give me that much...

 

and slinker: have you ever considered writing pulp fiction stories, because you could not have a more fitting name for that if you tried ;)

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Well said, dude!

 

I'm over the ciggies and those loonies should be too. Then again, they'd still find something to bitch about even if show was shopped to FX, WGN America, AMC or even BBC America and the Silk Cuts still in one piece.

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I'm just going to answer the question of what issue I'd like to see:

I think I'd enjoy seeing the John Smith issue. It'd work very well for a TV show. I just hope the mood and tone of the show are right so that a quieter episode like that would work.

 

"Hold Me" would work perfectly as a character-driven ghost story also. You could see that as being one of those episodes fans really enjoy in between the bigger stories on a TV show.

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the laundromat episode? old ladies?

yes, yes and double yes. also the one with the nuclear plant, to drunk right now to look up the name, but that one stuck with me, it's still up to date too.

And the Horrorist. I found that one to be particulary awesome. It was as close to art as I have ever seen a comic.

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I think that The Horrorist would probably be impossible to film, and would strip out so much of the relevance that makes that story, it'd defeat any purpose to the source material.

 

Do you mean Delano's "On the Beach" issue, about the post-apocalyptic future after the nuclear war? Why not, Delano said the same thing about the Nevil Shute novel, in the 1980s. heh

Or, the Grant Morrison two-parter?

Or, am I forgetting one?

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Or When Johnny Comes Marching Home?

 

That was the story about the ghosts of the Vietnam war.

 

Which could be reconfigured to the Iraq saga

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Or When Johnny Comes Marching Home?

 

That was the story about the ghosts of the Vietnam war.

 

Which could be reconfigured to the Iraq saga

could work...

 

 

I think that The Horrorist would probably be impossible to film, and would strip out so much of the relevance that makes that story, it'd defeat any purpose to the source material.

 

Do you mean Delano's "On the Beach" issue, about the post-apocalyptic future after the nuclear war? Why not, Delano said the same thing about the Nevil Shute novel, in the 1980s. heh

Or, the Grant Morrison two-parter?

Or, am I forgetting one?

Yep meant the On the Beach one. And as sad as it is I think you are right about the horrorist. I think i only suggested it because i was drunk and happy and the book is really awesome :D

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Oh, and bring in Charles Dance as Ghant.

 

That is such a good idea. I'm annoyed I didn't think of it first.

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