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.