The holiday season marks the beginning of a long waiting period for television fans, with most shows now on hiatus until 2015. NBC’s Constantine ended the first half of its debut season on a strong note, despite a decidedly uneven run. We thought its ratings might be on the upswing before the network halted production on additional episodes, making the prospects for additional seasons dicey at this point.
Still, the cliffhanger mid-season finale, ‘The Season of Last Resorts Part 1’ seemed to take steps in the right direction with its move away from the Supernatural-Lite, monster-of-the-week format and embracing some of the story arcs from the DC Comics source material.
We’ll have to wait until January to find out if the showrunners can deliver on any of this, but in the meantime NBC has released a longer look at ‘The Season of Last Resorts Part 2’ while announcing that the show will ring in 2015 in a new time slot.
But we’re moving to 8/7c!— Constantine (@NBCConstantine) December 20, 2014
Stacked against the other DC-inspired television adaptations which debuted this year – Fox’s Batman-prequel Gotham and The CW’s The Flash – Constantine has had the toughest time finding both its voice and its audience. The show’s pilot episode built up the significance of the character Liv (Lucy Griffiths), only to see her written out and replaced with Zed Martin (Angélica Celaya) as the show’s female lead.
While the cast led by Matt Ryan is generally strong, supporting characters Zed and/or John Constantine’s seemingly immortal driver/best mate Chas Chandler (Charles Halford) tend to vanish from one episode to the next due to flimsy plot devices (“art class,” “visiting his daughter”), all of which possibly hint at a floundering batch of writers.
Moving the series to an earlier air time is a signal that NBC wants the show to work – but that won’t matter if Constantine sticks to the strategy of playing it safe and remaining relatively toothless. Some of the better episodes – like the New Orleans-set ‘Danse Vadou’, which teased the eventual appearance of The Spectre – found a fun balance of magic, con artistry and a willingness to dip into the Hellblazer comic’s sense of the grotesque.
The weaker entries shy away from the latter aspect of the source material, which might appeal to a wider audience but arguably turn off fans of the comic books who tuned in to finally see a blond Englishman in a tan trenchcoat play their favorite Master of the Dark Arts. We’ll find out if a new airtime can win over new viewers in 2015.
Constantine will return to NBC on January 16, 2015 @8/7c.