A couple of nights ago I was having a chat with a friend of mine who works in the music industry, about how the general consensus for bands these days is to arrive on the scene and be as polished, in terms of their EP/CD/MP3/Demo production, as they can possibly be. This is understandable in a world where being in a band is more popular than ever, and everyone needs to do their best to stand out. But the funny thing is (according to my friend), that labels would rather hear bands in a more raw form; a primal sounding iteration that will allow the A&R teams to see the potential of the band once they are signed up and then properly polished.
Whilst that paragraph may seem like total waffle, it applies to the first trailer released for NBC’s Constantine series. As a show it has clearly arrived polished, generally expensive looking and attempting to fit in with the current crop of outstanding TV. But Constantine isn’t that.
Constantine is rough, dirty, grimy and dealing with worlds that are anything but pretty. So to produce an aesthetic that seems to be pulled straight from Supernatural’s playbook serves to both undersell and immediately date what this great comic book property could be. Take a look.
Just look at lead actor Matt Ryan’s hair. It’s messy but in an over styled way. His tie has been loosened, but in a very purposeful, make up chair kind of way and even his jacket collar has been artistically upturned. These are only a couple of examples of over polishing that you can see in the trailer above, and feels wrong.
I don’t think I’m quite on board with Ryan’s accent either. Don’t get me wrong, I know he’s speaking in his mother tongue, it just feels like the US executives said something like “This guy’s British ok, so make sure he enunciates everything………more enunciation…….more……still not enough but that’ll have to do”. There’s so much enunciation! It comes across a bit like an independent short filmmaker had to employ his best mate, who had never acted before, to deliver dialogue.
That said there are some great things going on. There are some genuinely scary looking demon effects and an exciting cast including Harold Perrineau and Jeremy Davies. There’s also the fact that Neil Marshall (The Descent, Game of Thrones, Dog Soldiers) has directed the opening episode, so hopefully that will ensure plenty of enjoyment once the season kicks off.