Constantine, Episode 2

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Well, the second episode of NBC’s Hellblazer adaptation was at least marginally better than the first. More X-Filesy than Hellblazerish, with a slight touch of American Gothic, I was surprised to see the rating bumped down from TV-14 to TV-PG.  (The John Constantine I’m familiar with is hardly a ‘PG’ sort of character.)

Chas’s accent continues to rub me the wrong way — it’s just hard to imagine ol’ Chas as anything other than a bloody Londoner — and Constantine’s is a horror in its own right.  Though Constantine is originally supposed to be from Liverpool, the actor who plays him (Matt Ryan) is Welsh, so I more or less expected him to adapt a sort of hybrid Northern accent.  Instead it’s like some bizarre fucking “Taste of the UK” tour — he sounds as if he’s gargling marbles as he test drives close to half a dozen different accents.  He even does Irish.  I swear, I am not making this up.

I wasn’t a fan of comic-book Zed beyond her initial story arc, but this one was just painful to watch.  I take back what I said about the first female victim lead being axed as an act of mercy — this one was like watching Kristin Stewart make funny faces in front of her bathroom mirror.  Now, I understand the American Prime Time mentality of substituting talent for a pretty face, but in all frankness, this woman is about as sexy as Maria from Sesame Street.  In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if half her lines were dubbed over by Maria from Sesame Street.

Hell, I think giving John Constantine some legitimate screen time is an awesome idea.  Unlike other Vertigo titles (e.g. Sandman or Lucifer), Hellblazer is just the sort of title that could thrive as a television series — I just don’t think the clowns over at NBC have the cojones to get it right.

Hellblazer TV Adaptation

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Just watched NBC’s Constantine pilot and I have to say, the decision to axe the female lead (who couldn’t play the role to save her soul) after the first episode was an act of outright mercy.  The possessed humans were unoriginal and unconvincing, both in appearance and in mannerism.  (WTF were they supposed to be, deadites?) Constantine wasn’t enough of a bastard, and Chas’s American accent just fucked with my head.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: “mature” comics do NOT translate well into regular network television, and this couldn’t be more true of titles featuring a chain-smoking, lecherous exorcism junkie who unintentionally brings death and destruction down upon anyone unlucky enough to be acquainted with him.

Oh, and they totally fucked up Newcastle.

On the bright side, my assumption that it would be exceedingly better than the 2005 Keanu Reeves flick proved correct.  Then again, watching a caged monkey eat its own excrement would prove exceedingly better than the Constantine movie. Watching vultures tear out my own liver would be preferable as well.

Hyperbole and a Half Book

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Most exciting Christmas present of 2013: Hyperbole and a Half book.

I love Allie Brosh’s blog, and her new book was everything I hoped it would be and more.  From my Amazon.com Review:

I was initially very excited to have received this from myself for Christmas (thanks, self!) only now I feel as if Allie has failed me.

I cannot communicate the sheer excitement and wonder I felt to be finally holding this book in my hands.  Despite having a family that obviously expected to spend some time with me on Christmas Day, I found myself holed up in my bedroom (and at times, the bathroom), unable to put this @#$ @#$! book down.  I finished it in one sitting.

Afterwards, I felt empty inside.  Empty because I’d enjoyed this book so much, a book I’d promised myself I would enjoy one chapter at a time, savoring the delightful anecdotes and sage reflections which originally drew me into Allie’s blog and have kept me coming back for more — hungrily… like, velociraptor hungrily — ever since.  Instead, I yielded all self-control and ended up binging on this work.

If my brain were like a dog and I had the option of regurgitating the experience of this book and then re-ingesting my own brain-spew, I would do so over and over and over again.  However, my brain is not like a dog, and even if this were a possibility, I imagine it could only be accomplished a finite number of times before my brain completely turned to mush.

Which brings me back to my original point: that I feel Allie has in some way failed me.  No, I take that back; the truth is that she has failed us all.

It’s downright cruel to force someone to transition from the highly pleasurable state of Reading This Book to the dull and empty state of No Longer Reading This Book.  True, Hyperbole and a Half can and most certainly will be read over and over and over again, but the effect just isn’t quite the same.  It’s the difference between meeting someone new and exciting (before the novelty of it wears off and you discover they were lying about their marital status) and visiting old friends.  You’d better believe I’ll be revisiting this book, but I still want more.  From Allie Brosh.  A Part Two.  NOW.

If Allie truly cared about her fans, she would have found some means of communicating with her future self (like, her super-distant future self — from so far into the future that half her organs are made of synthetic materials and the other half have been cloned from canine stem cells), instructing her future self to send all future volumes of the Hyperbole and a Half book series back in time to Christmas 2013 so that they may be enjoyed sequentially and without delay, thus sparing us the dreadful inconvenience of waiting for Allie to write material before we can read it.

But Allie didn’t do this.  Thus, she has failed.  Which means that she must not truly love us — or that her future self does not have access to a time machine and/or synthetic canine organs with which to preserve her life indefinitely (or at least until time machines have been invented).  But that is a possibility I refuse to accept.

I’m rating this book five stars, because that’s the lowest rating I can give… right??

If you’ve yet to visit Hyperbole and a Half, there is likely something very wrong with you, or else you are probably new to the Internet (and to civilization in general).  Whatever your personal shortcoming, it can be rectified by immediately clicking here to visit Allie’s most recent anecdote about the awesome destructive power of dinosaurs… and of four-year-olds, for that matter.

Ugly Klingons or Racist Romulans? You Decide.

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It’s remarkable how the Klingon makeup has evolved over time.  But what do you say; are these true Klingons or simply Romulans in blackface?