Television: Constantine, "Non Est Asylum"

So, for the few who might not know: Constantine is derived from the comic book Hellblazer. There was the Keanu Reeves movie back in 2005, but based on the pilot TV episode, I'd say this comes closer to the comic than the movie did.

John Constantine is . . . Well, in the show he calls himself an exorcist, but really he's just a guy who manages to get caught up in getting rid of other people's demons while constantly having to fight his own. His friend Jasper, who had a gift for seeing "truly," meaning he could see the souls still wandering the earthly plane, has died but his daughter Liv apparently carries the same gene . . . Constantine goes to save her from a demon intent on . . . Killing her, I guess? Dragging her into Hell? I don't know, something bad anyway.

Constantine is aided by looooong-time friend Chas, and he's pestered by an angel named Manny who wants Constantine to fight for "their" side, whoever "they" are.

Rather like Sleepy Hollow, the setup is along the lines of an approaching apocalypse. I'm guessing each week will feature yet another demon to be put down, though whether there is an overarching mythology remains to be seen. There is the through-line of Constantine trying to retrieve the soul of 9-year-old Astra.

The pilot entertained me enough that I'll continue to watch for now. Liv departed at the end of the episode, and apparently Zed (from the comics, a former lover of Constantine's) will take up the token female role.

For more on Constantine's comics book origins, go here.

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