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Please Don’t Save Constantine…

Constantine1_0Dear Internet,

I don’t ask you for much. Really I don’t. I mean, sure I bitch and complain a lot, but I never really ask for anything. But this is important. So just this once, I’m asking you for this favor… Please don’t try to save Constantine.

For those of you who don’t know. It’s Upfront season! That’s pretty exciting if you’re a big TV nerd like me. The Upfronts are that time of year when the network executives look over the TV landscape and they decide who shall stay and who shall go. Like the mighty Claw!

I haven’t really seen that many surprises this year. Honestly, the network television landscape is a barren wasteland these days, particularly for dramas, but also for comedy. Cable television and their lack of regulation has created kind of a second golden age of TV. Internet TV (Read: Netflix) has made this even better in the last couple years. I don’t want to get off on too much of a tangent here, so I’ll save my thought on why FCC regulation of the airwaves needs to be killed for another time, but for now, i highly recommend the book The Revolution Was Televised by Alan Sepinwall for an explanation of how cable changed the TV landscape in the 21st century (yes, I read scholarly texts on television for fun… I’m a nerd, leave me alone…)

Anyway, like I said, I was browsing the internet, looking at the cancellations and renewals coming down the pipeline and I didn’t see too many surprises. I got to NBC and that was kind of exciting. NBC literally cancelled their entire sitcom lineup except for one show. Luckily, it was my favorite show in the bunch, Undateable. I’m not going to say Undateable is a good show. It’s not. It’s a goofy guilty pleasure. It’s kind of a throwback to the 80s sitcom. Literally NO THOUGHT is required to watch it. I enjoy it. There’s even a rumor going around that next season is going to be all live episodes, based on the success of their live episode they did last week. I kind of hope not, it was kind of a train wreck. Unlike the cast of Roc, who famously and brilliantly produced a whole live season of episodes back in 1992, the cast is full of stand-up comedians who are not trained actors. So, the fun of watching the Undateable live episode was watching how bad the cast was at it — watching them break and fall apart. It was actually quite adorable and I even watched the West Coast feed on Hulu to see the differences. It was fun for a one-time thing, but trying to base the whole season on it would kill the show. Of course, as a summer burn-off show last season that was never supposed to see a season 2, I guess anything they can out of a season 3 is gravy. But still, the fact that NBC… Must See TV. The House that Cosby, Seinfeld and Friends built would cancel (almost) their entire sitcom lineup in one season is pretty much crazy.

Anyway, then I got to NBC drama cancellations and I saw it. Finally, after speculation that it would (should?) be since the very first episode, Constantine has been cancelled. I started worrying as soon as I saw the headline. I knew what was to come. And sure enough, there was already a tweet from the show runner, David Cerone, asking fans to stay tuned as he tries to shop it around to other networks. He even tossed in hashtag, #SaveConstantine to try to drum up some grassroots support:

No! NONONONONONONONO!!! NO!!!!!

For the love of all that is holy. For the good of the comic book subculture. In the name of all geek programming currently on the air and that might be in the future, Constantine must die!!!!

Do you see those 1500 retweets that Cerone got? Those are all the people on the planet who are still watching Constantine! Ok, not quite. Those are the 1500 people who care. As I type this, I know that that number will never go about 3000. It actually is getting about 3million viewers a show. That’s not the worst show on the air, but its pretty bad. For context, it’s season (well, now series) finale pulled 3.3M. That finished third in its times slot after Undercover Boss (8.53M) and a forty year old rerun of Be My Valentine Charlie Brown (4.5M).

So back in October I posted this thing where I started worrying about the networks being overrun with superhero and comic book shows. Its actually getting worse. Supergirl has officially been greenlit to series by CBS. AMC is picking up Preacher. CW has another Arrow spinoff called Legends of Tomorrow. Heroes is returning to NBC after five years off the air. SHIELD, Agent Carter, Gotham, Arrow, The Flash, iZombie and the Walking Dead are all slated to return. Netflix also has renewed Daredevil, is yet to release Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Defenders and they’ve hinted that they’re interested in other future Marvel properties (rumor is Punisher). There’s a few other things in preproduction or pilot phase, but as of now, the 2015-6 season is expected to have no less than 16 comic book shows on the air.

Do you know what superhero shows geeks were watching in 1983? Automan and Manimal. I know because I was there. I watched every single episode of both Automan and Manimal. I loved them. It’s not that I thought they were good. They weren’t. But with the cancellation of the Greatest American Hero, there were just no other options. If you were a comic book fan, you best be watching Manimal. It probably won’t make it past this season, and you don’t know when you’re going to get another show. (Spoiler Alert, Manimal and Automan were both cancelled after one season).

The point is, we would have loved to have one even mediocre show based on an actual Marvel or DC comic on the air in 1983. Just one! It wouldn’t have had to even been good. Just mediocre. Watchable. That would have been great. If you’d told me that in 2015, there’d be 16 comic book shows on the air I would have said you’d lost your mind. Then you’d start going down the list: “well, lets see, there’s a show about Green Arrow and one about the Flash and they’re making one about Supergirl next year.” and I’d go “wow, that’s cool. There could be neat stuff done there.  What else?” and you’d say “there’s a Batman show” and I’d say “ok, I guess that makes sense… Batman is popular” and you’d say “well, Batman isn’t really in it, it’s more about a young Commissioner Gordon. Every once in a while you see a kid Bruce Wayne, but he won’t be Batman for years.” and I’d go “Whaaaaaa?!?!?” and then you’d say “oh, and there’s this whole show about the Agents of SHIELD” and I’d say “shut the fuck up!” Because I was 9 and I knew how to swear. “There’s no SHIELD tv show because no one but huge comic book nerds know who SHIELD is.” and you’d say “well, they know them from the movies. SHIELD is part of the supporting cast of all the Avengers movies. Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and so on… in the future, superheroes are in all of the biggest movies ever made. They make like a billion dollars because everyone wants to see them all” and my head would explode.

See, that’s the thing. Geeks…. WE’VE WON! We’re mainstream now. Take a bow. People actually respect comic books. Do you know how huge that is? But in order to make this thing last, I need your help. I’m sure that pretty soon you’re going to start seeing campaigns to “#SaveConstantine” There will be petitions. There will be requests for retweets. People will ask you to mail some token show of support to random network execs at NBC or prospective other networks. DON’T DO IT!

Constantine must be allowed to die.

Look, I’m sure a few of you out there actually like the show. There has to be like one or two of you, right? But most of you… you just watched it because it’s a comic book show. And you think you must show your support. I get it. I watched Birds of Prey.

But when you’re mainstream, the rules change. See, if I’ve learned anything, it’s that popular culture is cyclical. Especially when it comes to Network TV shows. Let me explain: in 1958, eight of the top ten shows on the air were westerns. In the early 80s, it was all about the nighttime soaps (Dallas, Dynasty, Knots Landing, Falcon Crest) but then by the late 80s it was the family sitcom (Cosby, Growing Pains, Roseanne, Married With Children, Full House, Family Matters, Step by Step and a million shows just like them). Do you remember what was on the air in the late 90s? The answer is Law & Order and Seinfeld. Any show that wasn’t one of those shows was an exact copy of Law & Order (NYPD Blue, CSI, NCIS) and Seinfeld (Friends, Just Shoot Me, Suddenly Susan). And then those things got replaced by the reality TV elimination competition show.

And that leads us up to today.

When something becomes popular, the network TV inclination is to clone it ad nauseam. Marvel’s MCU ushered in an acceptance for comic book fiction the likes of which have never been seen before. And when it’s gone it’s not coming back. TV is trying to kill it for you.

I love TV. TV is my oldest and dearest friend. So believe me when I tell you, TV is a selfish, bloodthirsty bitch. TV does not respect the tragedy of the commons. TV will take the golden goose and cut it the fuck open without blinking an eye.

So admit it. Constantine isn’t a good show. It’s really bad. That’s why no one is watching it except for the comic devotees. If you’re a comic devotee, admit it… you like SHIELD, Gotham, Agent Carter, Arrow, Flash and Walking Dead all way better. Because if you’re watching Constantine, I know you’re watching the others.

The reason the police procedural and the competition reality show is still going strong is that they’re not afraid to kill the shows that aren’t working. Law & Order:Trial by Jury, gone! Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, gone! Even the original Law & Order, when it had run its course, Dick Wolf put a bullet in it’s head and started the Chicago Hope series. Reality TV competition shows come and go so fast that I can’t even think of good examples to use here. When is the last time you watched a good old fashioned western on primetime television? Bonanza?

The reason you don’t see family sitcoms anymore (think about it, Modern Family is basically all there is) is because the market was flooded with them for way too long. When there are bad shows in a subgenre on the air, people see that they’re just there to get money out of people. Have you ever seen the final few seasons of Family Matters? They don’t even have plots. They’re just half an hour of Steve Urkel repeating the same catch phrases over and over. It’s so bad that they literally forgot about one of the kids on the show. Stop mentioning her as though she never existed and No one even noticed.

If Constantine is allowed to survive, it will be the Family Matters of comic book shows. It will burn people out on the genre all that much faster. Sometimes for the greater good, some things need to be sacrificed. You know who would understand that? The Hellblazer, John Fucking Constantine.

So I beg you… no, the nine-year-old boy that was me in 1983 begs you… we’ve got a good thing going here. Let Constantine Die!

Thank you.

117 comments for “Please Don’t Save Constantine…

  1. avatar
    May 8, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    We had a superhero show in 83: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9Q3orQhEcA

    • avatar
      May 8, 2015 at 6:35 pm

      Shelby: Nope. That was cancelled in ’83. Automan and Manimal were the 83-84 season. For completeness 84-85 was Steet Hawk. Which was actually more of a Knight Rider rip off. Which was on the air at the same time and I decided not to count it because it was kinda something different.

    • avatar
      May 8, 2015 at 6:35 pm

      Man, way to ruin my joke with research. Now I just have that song stuck in my head for no damn reason.

    • avatar
      May 8, 2015 at 6:45 pm

      I just noticed the Facebook version of this post was truncated (I just fixed it) so you might not have see where I referenced Greatest American Hero. Now it should be clear.

    • avatar
      May 8, 2015 at 6:46 pm

      No, I just didn’t read it all because I’m lazy

      • avatar
        briggs
        May 11, 2015 at 2:14 pm

        Me niether someone gimme the gist of it as it seems to me this person way too much time on thier hands to write such a tombe against something

  2. avatar
    May 8, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    Oh cool, I didn’t know Sepinwall finally wrote a book. I loved his weekly reviews back during NYPD Blue.

  3. avatar
    May 8, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    I am with you on this Mav. I actually have not watched Constantine I never thought it looked appealing and quit frankly I didn’t think the movie was that great either.

    • avatar
      May 8, 2015 at 6:45 pm

      I have heard from people that haven’t read the comics that the movie was good. I’ve read the comics and the movie was so so, and I have low standards in movies. I stopped watching the series after the second episode.

    • avatar
      May 8, 2015 at 6:46 pm

      See, and that’s great… do you know how amazing it is that we live in a world where we don’t have to like every geeky show on the air?

  4. avatar
    May 8, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    Heh. I had this conversation with myself not that long ago. It might have been about Agent Carter. (It was sold to me as a mini series which I was willing to commit the time to. I am not so willing to commit to a series. More parts than not at painful to watch. 🙂

    • avatar
      May 8, 2015 at 7:21 pm

      I like Agent Carter. The renew is (assumed to be) another 8 episode miniseries. I think it works perfectly like that. It doesn’t need to go any longer. it’s perfect for a short burst like that. Honestly, I’d even be ok with 6. I think it’s the perfect study in “less is more” and its a nice little mid-season breather from SHIELD.

      What I’m worried about is what they do after last season. What I really want is for the to move forward and have her running the early version of SHIELD, which we know she does eventually from the One Shot that got the series produced in the first place and from comments on the main SHIELD series and in Cap2.

      What I don’t want is for them to do another season of all the men in the office marginalizing her and her sneaking around to save the world behind their back. Since they know she’s super competent by the end of the series, it makes no sense for them to just forget so they can go back to the status quo of ordering her to get coffee. Sure that’s realistic for the time period, but it no longer is “in context” of the show.

    • avatar
      May 8, 2015 at 7:24 pm

      And that was the part that I didn’t like about it.

    • avatar
      May 8, 2015 at 7:25 pm

      what that it’s sexist? I’m ok with it being sexist. it’s a story about 1945. It SHOULD be sexist. But it has to be realistic too. When they don’t know what she can do then fine order her to get coffee… but when they know that she out-skills them, their sexism will need to be more fear based than ignorance

    • avatar
      May 9, 2015 at 1:59 pm

      Oh, perhaps my problem is that I think that they should already know that she’s plenty kickass. Who the hell trained her?

  5. avatar
    May 8, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    Here’s the thing. There are a lot of brilliant, finite comic series that would make great TV shows. Instead of trying to make comic books shows from scratch instead of adapting existing stories.

  6. avatar
    May 8, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    Hell Mike Baron and Steve Rude’s NEXUS could easily be the next GAME OF THRONES.

  7. avatar
    May 8, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    I would love a Hunter Rose Grendel Netflix series, because he is NOT a superhero, and he eventually… Well not going to spoil it. 😉 just saying.

  8. avatar
    May 8, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    One word. TRANSMETROPOLITAN. $$$$$$$

  9. avatar
    May 8, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    Yeah, but then only a handful of people get it and it cost mad bucks that no one wants to fund and the producers look at it and say, “shit man, you’re a crazy bastard.”

  10. avatar
    May 8, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    As a non-comic book reader, I say let Constantine die. Maybe it could have been, but it’s not a good show. Brimstone and Reaper were both better. Sure they were slightly different in premise, but close enough.

  11. avatar
    May 8, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    I will say that one of the best things about writing this was that I linked it to a discussion about saving constantine and someone has now threatened to beat me up. I love the internet.

    • avatar
      May 9, 2015 at 5:57 am

      Just because you don’t like the show doesn’t mean other people don’t. Why are you asking people not to save it? You don’t like it? don’t watch it then, don’t fucking try to convince people that actually like it, to not save it. Idiot.

      • avatar
        mav
        May 9, 2015 at 12:17 pm

        Peter: Why? Because it’s not very good. I think I explained my reasons in detail. Keeping bad shows on the air hurts the good ones. Why is it “more idiotic” for me to try to convince people not to save a show than for people who like it to try and convince people to save it.

  12. avatar
    May 8, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    Easy to be deadly in a swarm or behind the screen as it were… But Chris Maverick, I dig all your points. And I too miss GAH and I sorta loved Manimal for all its scars.

  13. avatar
    May 8, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    My 1st thought was people lining up to get digitized ala tron to find you. Maybe you should post con appearances in your next reply

    • avatar
      May 8, 2015 at 8:09 pm

      That would be awesome!!! I should totally print up a nice sign to hang above the Cosmic Hellcats banner that says #CancelConstantine and then hit the Wizard World circuit!

    • avatar
      May 8, 2015 at 8:12 pm

      List your appearances and have a sign for death threats/haters line up here to the right

  14. avatar
    May 8, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    (I got all nostalgic thinking of Manimal and Automan and Greatest American Hero. (Misfits of Science didn’t hit the airwaves for another couple years.)

  15. avatar
    May 8, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    Chris Maverick I’m going to bed so will continue tomorrow but I wanted to throw this out there. Rumor is the next ABC Marvel series might be MS MARVEL. Thoughts about a Muslim Super Hero?

    • avatar
      May 8, 2015 at 8:47 pm

      Andy: As far as I know that’s still just a rumor. I’m fine with it. In fact, I even might love it. That is one of my favorite books right now. My only worries would be for how it would play out on screen. I kinda would rather see Kamala Khan as a cartoon because I think her powers are more fun that way.

      Part of me wonders whether the ABC section of the braintrust is ready to front a Muslim character as the lead in primetime. But if they are, I’d welcome the attempt, sure.

  16. avatar
    May 8, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    Darker and grittier is fine. But that doesn’t make up for poor storytelling (which I felt the show’s problem was).
    I agree that Gotham is very mediocre. There are 1.5 interesting characters being developed, in my opinion. The half is Gordon. Gotham, at least so far, is really about the origin of Penguin.
    Agent Carter was fun in that nostalgic setting kind of way. It was more like a miniseries. Decent storytelling, a fun main character. Great plot? No, but it was good enough of one to be a hook for a few weeks.
    I wrote off SHIELD after about six episodes. Mostly for being dull, but poor writing and poor acting didn’t help its cause.
    But all that being said, if Constantine had better writing, then the characters might be interesting enough to watch, and the story might be enough to get me invested. I don’t know if it’s because it was handcuffed by trying to stick to the comic book, or alternately by writers intentionally straying from it.
    As for comic book-based shows, do you, Mav, in this discussion, draw distinctions in genre, or are they all being addressed under one big umbrella? Are Superhero shows (Flash and Arrow) different from the battling demon shows (Dominion and Constantine) different from an apocalypse show (Walking Dead), different from…[as it pertains to this discussion]?

  17. avatar
    May 8, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    Heck, I’m a Batman fan (which says a lot since I typically have no love for DC, which I blame on Superman and Aquaman), yet I only watched the first two episodes of Gotham. I might watch more if I have the time and am truly bored at some point this summer, or if people I trust convince me that it is really worth it, but for now I’m sticking the the MCU, and if I ever get around to it Arrow/Flash* (I still haven’t seen the Arrow season one finale, nor anything thereafter). If I can get my non-cable having hands on Preacher when it comes out that might also join the list. But I haven’t bothered with one minute of Constantine yet and don’t intend to change that. At no point did a single commercial even begin to grab my interest.

    *I think I like Arrow for much the same reason I like Batman, which is to say the characters aren’t boring, unlike my opinion of most other DC properties I’ve been exposed to (though I hear good things about the Green Lantern comics).

  18. avatar
    Mikel
    May 9, 2015 at 12:21 am

    Many people think Gotham and Agent Carter are very mediocre, the latter with low ratings for a big network: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agent_Carter_(TV_series)#Episodes

    Many fans would argue that Constantine is better than both for being darker, etc… the problem is, the comics are even grittier and more interesting, but NBC was the wrong network for the show. Constantine would fit better at HBO or Netflix, so maybe it will get a second chance if Warner really wants to save it, the series has great potential if written properly.

    • avatar
      mav
      May 9, 2015 at 12:44 am

      Mikel: Oh those are certainly fair points. I’ll address them all.

      Gotham gets better ratings than Constantine pretty much across the board. One thing that helps is that Fox is targeting a different market than NBC is, so it’s allowed to be a little darker. But even then, I wasn’t sure Gotham would make it. It did end up being a much better show than it started out being, and much better than Constantine (at least in my opinion).

      Second, Agent Carter. It got better ratings than Constantine. Not MUCH better, but better. But more importantly, is in a different boat than Constantine. It (and SHIELD) are owned and produced by the network that airs it. It’s just cheaper to keep it on the air than it is to keep Constantine on the air, because NBC has to pay for the episodes. ABC is, in effect “paying themselves.” If they Constantine moved to a WB owned network (more on this in a bit when I get to your second comment), that would actually help. But there’s another issue. Since SHIELD and Carter are MCU tie-ins they effectively act as hour long commercials for the film properties that are owned by the same conglomerate. Ultimately Disney WANTS Carter and SHIELD on the air because it advertises for Avengers movies. And that’s worth something. They’d be worth it to keep on the air even if they were losing a little money, so long as they’re not losing a lot. NBC has no such connection to any external DC property, so if they can’t make the the money on advertising, the show goes away. That’s the simple economics of it.

      Last and biggest other networks. I actually addressed the WB owned networks on a friend’s Facebook page earlier today before I wrote this, so I’ll just copy what I said to here. Then I’ll add one for Netflix.

      CW won’t want it. It would be a horrible fit for there too. They’re going after an entirely different audience than Constantine was on NBC or should be (if they wanted to stick to comic roots). CW is going to have 3 DC superhero properties in its lineup next year (Arrow, Flash and Legends) plus one Vertigo (iZombie… which is really just inspired by… but still) They’re not going to confuse their fanbase by putting in a fifth show that’s completely out of bounds with their demo. And CW is co-owned with CBS. Even if there were some champion at WB holding the Constantine torch (And there’s not) there’s no way CBS would allow it. Too much damaged goods.

      HBO: No way in hell. I’ve made no secret that I didn’t care for Constantine. But I’ll be fair and say “sure it has an audience.” HBO is currently the most prestigious network on the air. They rule the Emmys. Even if you like Constantine you can’t make a reasonable argument that it is of the critical value that True Detective, Girls, Veep, or even Game of Thrones is. They’re not going to waste the time on it without MASSIVE retooling, and even that’s not worth it because of the taint on the name. They’d rather develop new stuff. There was a time, where you might have held out hope that it would be picked up by Cinemax, since that’s HBO’s B-League and it would only have to content with softcore porn, but those days are over. Now Cinemax is showing stuff like Banshee and Strike Back which have lesser critical acclaim but still a great deal of it and they’re fighting for more. They can’t afford the misstep. So the HBO family is less likely to want to water down their brand than CW is.

      TBS: That’s your best shot… well, really TNT, but they’re in the same business silo. TBS tends to stick more towards comedy though, I think all the dramas are currently on TNT. I say I think, because no one is really watching them. So, if someone at WB REALLY REALLY REALLY wants to save Constantine as his pet project, that’s where it’s going to go. That said, it’s going to end up even worse than the NBC version production value-wise because the company isn’t going to sink the money into it on such a limited stage. TNT just doesn’t have the viewership as a market to justify it. Also, the Turner silo is currently debating a Teen Titans show… so Constantine would have competition from there.

      Then there’s netflix: They won’t want it. They’re in the same position as HBO but their stance there is much more volatile because they’re new to the game. They have too many good shows and aren’t going to risk their brand on a failed quantity. Plus they’re in bed with Marvel. Its not that I don’t think they could do the show justice. I just think they 1) won’t because it’s damaged goods right now. 2) They’d retool it so much it wouldn’t be recognizable. Think about it. What are you really asking for? Do you want there to be a Hellblazer show or do you want THIS show on the air. Because THIS show wasn’t Hellblazer. It wasn’t even close, and any actual fan of that series knows it. If Netflix were going to do the show, they’d jettison the network safe sanctified version that was on NBC entirely. Their version of Hellblazer would bare as much resemblance to that show as Daredevil does to the Affleck version. And if Netflix was going to do that much work to create a grim and gritty street level occult private investigator character in a trench coat, then why bother with Constantine at all? Instead they would just leverage the Marvel relationship and make a Hannibal King show or something.

      • avatar
        Mikel
        May 9, 2015 at 1:59 am

        Mav, if by chance TNT likes the idea of crossovers, then Constantine would be a good fit because the Teen Titans have Raven, the half-human and half-demon daughter of the interdimensional demon Trigon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raven_(comics)

        As I said, the potential for great stories is there, they just need good writers.

        I’m sceptical about Supergirl on CBS… Gotham’s ratings are nothing spectacular despite the popularity of the Batman mythos, and Supergirl is not as popular, the show will be very expensive with all the special effects involved, so if ratings are mediocre (around 5 million or less), it will probably get cancelled.

        Regarding the movies, I think by 2020 people will get tired of the genre, like we all know, nothing lasts forever. After several alien invasions, similar villains, plots, heroes fighting each other… next year alone, Batman vs Superman (March 25, 2016) and the Avengers Civil War (May 6)… is only a matter of time before the public says: No más!!

        • avatar
          mav
          May 9, 2015 at 2:21 am

          Mikel:
          As far as I know, Titans hasn’t actually been picked up yet. It was just in the works. Nothing may ever come of it. So it’s still a question of does TNT want to commit to even on comic show, much less two. It COULD happen, but a lot of “ifs” have to be met first.

          Supergirl I am skeptical about as well. What they do have going for it is that there will be plenty of Superman hype over the movie, but you’re right 5million is a big number. I don’t know that it has to be THAT big, but CBS isn’t the CW and it’s not even Fox. They have more options. And with CSI and NCIS shows pulling twice that (and sometimes three times that), that’s a heavy order.

          Yes, people will burn out eventually. That was my entire point. Let’s not hurry it along.

          • avatar
            aditya
            May 10, 2015 at 3:03 pm

            if you have seen the show….in one episode john constantine (i should NOT call him that) threatened to drop a baby in the sewers to get the bad bitch to talk…..you know the real john would have submerged the baby underwater till the bitch spoke…….and the only reason i watched all the episodes was with the hope that he would actually smoke instead of pretending………

          • avatar
            mav
            May 10, 2015 at 5:07 pm

            Aditya: I actually don’t much care about comparison to the comic. There is no “real John Constantine” different media and different writers will always have varying interpretations. Expecting the show to be a direct analogue of Hellblazer is a mistake. Remediation means you much adapt to better fit the new media. Arrow isn’t the Ollie Queen of Mike Grell either. And he shouldn’t be.

            My problem with the show is that i don’t find it to be good even in it’s own context. As much of a comic book fan as I may be, i am more a fan of good literature. I have a broad definition there. TV is included.

            So judging them on their own merits arrow is a pretty good hardboiled soap opera. SHIELD is a really good Superspy show (though it had no real competition right now). Gotham is a middle of the pack police procedural.

            Forgetting that it’s a comic, Constantine has to be viewed on how good it is at being an occult detective show. It’s not. Grimm and supernatural are killing it.

            If all the shows I mentioned changed their names. If we had the CW’s William Tell of Starling city, ABC’s Agents of UNCLE and Fox’s Car 54 of Gotham City, I’d still be watching them. I would not be watching NBC’s John Thustone: Occult detective if it had the Constantine storyline.

      • avatar
        aditya
        May 10, 2015 at 5:20 am

        you know i think you read my mind…….i’m a big fan of hellblazer and this show was not about an anti-hero who gets innocent people killed…..it was about a pussy who pretends to smoke , has a bag of magical artifacts ……..oooooohhh………….and a card which says “master of the dark arts”….people keep saying the movie was bad because it wasn’t HELLBLAZER…..i’m like watch the show fellas , you’ll know what bad is

        • avatar
          mav
          May 10, 2015 at 10:45 am

          aditya: As I’ve said to other people… for anyone who actually LIKES the show as is, then I feel bad that you’re losing your show. But the show ISN’T Hellblazer. You’re right. And I honestly do believe that pretending it’s Hellblazer, or hoping that it might one day be Hellblazer is what keeps people watching it.

          The best way I can think about it is this: If the show was called “Joe Cook, Paranormal Investigator” would people still be trying to save it? I mean, it could functionally be the exact same show, but without any pretense of a connection to the DC property. Some people would… geeks like their shows (hence the campaigns to save Chuck and save Fringe over the years. But in this show’s case, I believe that without the connection to the name, it loses a LOT of it’s audience.

          • avatar
            aditya
            May 10, 2015 at 2:57 pm

            the only thing i am worried about is the cw……it is co-owned by warner bros tv…..if by any chance it gets renewed ……uh-oh

  19. avatar
    May 9, 2015 at 4:21 am

    Mikel commented on ChrisMaverick dotcom:

    Many people think Gotham and Agent Carter are very mediocre, the latter with low ratings for a big network: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agent_Carter_(TV_series)#Episodes

    Many fans would argue that Constantine is better than both for being darker, etc… the problem is, the comics are even grittier and more interesting, but NBC was the wrong network for the show. Constantine would fit better at HBO or Netflix, so maybe it will get a second chance if Warner really wants to save it, the series has great potential if written properly.

  20. avatar
    anon
    May 9, 2015 at 12:31 am

    The Goldbergs, The Middle, and Fresh off the Boat are all family sitcoms. Modern Family is not “basically all there is”.

    New Girl and The Big Bang Theory are group-of-friends sitcoms akin to Seinfeld/Friends/etc., as was the still-recent HIMYM.

    I wonder how these fit into your theory, which is interesting, but I don’t get why Constantine, a show “no one is watching it except for the comic devotees” would “burn people out on the genre”. How would the majority of people get burned out by a show they don’t watch? I think the burn-out would be from movie studios doing what you said network TV did/does, “clone” “popular” things “ad nauseam”. Every year until 2020 and maybe beyond, there’s going to be 2 or 3 films EACH from DC and Marvel, plus there’s the X-Men and FF franchises, and probably some smaller titles I can’t think of any at the moment.

    • avatar
      mav
      May 9, 2015 at 1:40 am

      Anon: That’s totally fair criticism. I’ll go through yours one by one as well

      So I though about the Middle when I wrote this and decided not to mention it. I actually kinda figured nobody would notice. But you’re right. I admit, I forgot about Goldbergs. I would NOT count Fresh off the Boat in that cycle because it’s not really a family sitcom in the same way. Goldberg, the Middle, Cosby, Family Ties, etc are shows about a family. There’s nothing more to them really other than exploring the family dynamic. Fresh off the Boat is indicative of the immigrant struggle. It’s a different kind of show. In cultural terms, their “otherness” is important. That said, there are actually LOTS of family sitcoms and there always will be. Arguably, the Simpsons even fits in here, for example. I was gesturing broadly there for effect, and you’re right to call me on it. My real point is that the reason these genres still work is that when a show has run it’s course, be it after one season or ten, they get pulled so that the market isn’t flooded with them. For the record, About a Boy was basically this show as well (until it got cancelled this year). I say basically, because like Fresh Off the Boat, it’s not a pure family show. The situational makeup is important to it. It’s an artificial family. Diff’rent Strokes, Gimme a Break and Punky Brewster are closer analogues than Cosby or Married With Children.

      For the friend group shows, the same thing is true. I actually didn’t say that it was extinct because it’s more clearly not. Undateable, which i mentioned in the article in the first place is exactly that show. As is Big Bang Theory and New Girl, as you pointed out. And HIMYM was too, but it has been cancelled, as what One Big Happy or instance. Which is exactly my point. They shows need to be killed to make room for new shows of the same genre in order to keep the genre from being flooded. You don’t want people to feel like they’re watching the same thing over and over because then they tend to give up on all of it.

      I used Police procedurals (NYPD Blue and Homicide are gone Criminal Minds and Blue Bloods continue) for my example there because they’ve done a pretty good job of controlling the market place for two decades now. That’s really hard to do. Family shows and friend group shows would have fit here as well.

      For the flooding the market place shows I could have used westerns (and in fact, I kinda did) or I could have used Lawyer procedurals, which have also all but dried up despite their once total control of nighttime drama (LA Law, Ally McBeel). The only remaining vestige there is the occasional trial scene on Law & Order:SVU, but mostly they keep to police work, and the CSI shows pretty much ignore the trials altogether.

      Anyway, I am aware of the MCU future plans and that is part of the worry. The reason there are 17 comic book shows in production for next season (I didn’t know Lucifer had been greenlit when I wrote the original post) is because those movies are so popular. Comic books are a part of our culture now. What that means is that some of them are going to be good and some are going to be bad. That’s actually a good thing. When you’re a niche, your fans are forced to like what they get, hence my childhood love of Manimal. But when you reach mainstream you get to a point where you’re actually allowed to say something is shitty.

      You’re anonymous, so I don’t know you and I assume you haven’t seen other posts of mine, but I’ve been very clear about the fact that I felt Man of Steel was a shitty movie. It was awful. I also felt that way about the most recent Transformers movie. And Green Lantern. And the first Wolverine. All horrible. Like beyond bad. And I’m a geek. I WANT to like all of these things. But I’m not just a comic geek, I’m also a literature critic and I can’t lose all credibility by pretending something is good when it isn’t. Even if the geek in me wants to keep it around just to save it.

      I’ll close with a couple examples that really drive this home. Do you remember when Smallville was on the air. I was a big Smallville fan, but lets face it, a lot of Smallville was really really dumb. And people in comic book shops across America criticized a lot of the really stupid bits every week. But we watched it, because we wanted it to have good ratings because it was the only game in town.

      Remember when the Star Wars prequels came out. remember the Phantom Menace? Phantom Menace is horrible. Almost every Star Wars fan acknowledges that. But people went and saw it multiple times, because we WANTED it to be good. We wanted there to be more Star Wars. And because of that, to this day Phantom Menace is the 5th most successful film of all time. We did that. The geeks. And we know it was wrong.

      But, because of the success of Smallville we got stuff like Arrow, Dark Knight and eventually the Avengers. That happened because studios realized “hey, there’s a market for this.” Because of the success of Phantom Menace, Disney express interest in buying Star Wars and we’re going to at long last get the sequels and I hope to god that they are good.

      We Won! Seriously, we did…. and that’s a good thing.

      But there’s a flip side. And that flip side is Transformers Age of Extinction. That flip side is Wolverine Origins. The flip side is Star Wars I and II.

      The third transformers movie was bad. It really was. X-men 3 was also really bad. Phantom Menace, despite being the 5th most successful movie of all time, is almost unwatchable. But they both made a bunch of money. And when something makes a bunch of money, the studios say “this must be what people want!” and they make a bunch of stuff just like it. They throw things at the screen because fuck it, you’ll buy a ticket anyway. So you end up with Wolverine Origins, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith and Age of Extinction. Crap… and there’s diminishing returns. And all the people who aren’t lifelong geeks who we fought so hard to get on board say “hey, maybe those geek shows are crap after all” and the go away, and we are left with really crappy movies.

      I am afraid Batman v Superman will be bad for that reason. It will be just like Man of Steel and Man of Steel was awful. But it will make half a billion dollars and so they’ll make Man of Steel 2, just like they’re planning and the new Batman series and all the others, because “obviously that’s what the people want”

      Don’t let Constantine be that flip side. Nearly every person who I’ve seen respond to the Save Constantine thread has said “and I hope it gets moved to Netflix or HBO where it can be what it really needs to be.” But that means that you don’t really like Constantine. You are holding up hope for some other show. Some better show. But if you save Constantine you’ll never get that better show. You’ll get more of the same. Because it’s easier to write mediocre stories than good ones. Why put in the effort to make Daredevil (which was AMAZING) if people are just as happy to watch Constantine? So you’ll keep getting more of the same… until no one wants to see it anymore.

      • avatar
        Mikel
        May 9, 2015 at 3:02 am

        MOS is a good movie, most people like it, it got an A- Cinemascore, it was the third highest-selling Blu-ray of 2013:

        1 Despicable Me 2
        2 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
        3 MAN OF STEEL
        4 Fast and Furious 6
        5 Monsters University
        6 Skyfall
        7 The Little Mermaid
        8 Star Trek Into Darkness
        9 Wreck-It Ralph
        10 The Wolverine
        11 Pacific Rim
        12 Iron Man 3

        http://www.the-numbers.com/home-market/bluray-sales/2013

        Best four superhero movies according to AMC poll:

        1) Avengers: 12,722
        2) The Dark Knight: 10,105
        3) Man of Steel: 6,365
        4) Iron Man: 3,748

        https://www.amctheatres.com/movie-news/2014/04/march-movie-madness—round-4—the-final-four-for-the-best-comic-book-superhero-movie

        MOS voted best summer movie: http://movies.yahoo.com/blogs/movie-talk/ultimate-summer-movie-poll-man-steel-saves-day-222445002.html

        Is not a surprise, Christopher Nolan produced the movie and helped with the story, he was very involved: http://www.superherohype.com/features/articles/177083-from-the-set-of-the-man-of-steel?start=4

        It fits with the grounded tone of The Dark Knight trilogy, that’s why is the best Superman movie so far. The Reeve movies are too campy and silly, and have not aged well, but to each its own. 😉

        I don’t think is a coincidence the best movies and shows are more grounded and grittier. Daredevil is darker than any other comicbook show or movie, that’s why many critics and fans think is the best superhero series and the best thing Marvel has done so far. The problem with most Marvel movies is the tone, too many lame one liners, dumb juvenile humour, weak villains… it takes the tension away, so you don’t really care because there’s no real danger, the humour should be organic, not forced. The Russo brothers did a good job with the Winter Soldier, so maybe they will make better Avengers movies, time will tell.

        • avatar
          mav
          May 9, 2015 at 3:49 am

          oh I’m aware that people liked Man of Steel. I just said it wasn’t very good. It was certainly successful. I realize that puts me in a a slight minority. I also didn’t care for the Hobbit movies (despite the fact that I love the book even more than I like the LOTR books).

          That said I think the comparison to Phantom Menace is a pretty strong one. There’s a built in fan base to a Superman movie, just like there is to a Star Wars movie. It’s nearly impossible for either not to be a success. Transformers 3 & 4, X-men 3, and Wolverine 1 were all profitable too. Like I said before, Phantom Menace is like the 5th most successful film of all time domestically. That doesn’t make them “good.”

          Let me make it clear that I like a lot of things that aren’t “good.” I even said in the article that I enjoy Undateable even though its mindless, dumb and formulaic. In fact, that’s part of what I love about it. I like that it isn’t “good.” I just didn’t like MoS because in it’s case, it’s badness annoyed me. I feel much the same way about Constantine, actually. On the other hand, there are lots of “bad” things about Arrow…. there’s a WHOLE LOT of “bad” things about Arrow and I love that show to death. Embracing your “badness” can actually do a lot. Even to take the same director (Zach Snyder), I love Sucker Punch and it’s an absolutely horrible movie.

          I would argue that the continued success of the MCU franchise has been that they’ve made a dedicated attempt to be “good.” Same thing with Nolan’s Dark Knight series. They made good films with super heroes in them.

          I’m not alone. MoS currently has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 56 and a Metacritic of 55. For comparison, Superman Returns got a 76 and a 72 and has nearly identical box office returns to MoS. Avengers 1 blows almost everything else in the world out of the water with a 92 on RT and has a 66 Meta. Avengers 2 settled down a little with an RT 75 and a Meta 66.

          And by the way, Phantom Menace has a 57 on RT and a 51 on Metacritc (pretty close to what MoS did).

          Obviously those sites didn’t exist in 1978, but adjusted for inflation, Superman 1 made almost double what MoS did.

          For the record, I like Superman 1, Superman Returns and even Phantom Menace (Jar Jar and all) far better than I liked MoS.

          My contention is that financial returns have very little to do with quality of the film as a piece of literature or a work of art. Boyhood and Birdman are two of the best films made in years and they can’t even come close to touching X-Men: DoFP at the box office, even though they’re far more popular movies.

          What I’m say though is that what got us to the point where superhero movies were popular is that Nolan and Favreau figured out how to make “GOOD” movies that had superheroes in them with Iron Man and Batman Begins. They proved that it was possible to have a blockbuster with artistic merit. That means that 10, 15, 30, 50 years down the line, I expect them to still be watchable and fun and good… just like say Casablanca. I also put Star Wars IV in this camp. And I expect that Avengers I will fit here as well, though somewhat lower down on the list.

          On the other hand, Star Wars I — the 5th most popular movie of all time — when’s the last time you sat through that? In 2023, I expect MoS to be right there with it.

          • avatar
            May 9, 2015 at 2:09 pm

            I saw MoS at a drive-in theater and mocked it A LOT during the showing. Potentially to the point that my SO wanted to get out of the car *grins*

            I probably enjoyed it to some extent. I’m not really sure that I have a desire to see Superman vs. Batman when it comes out. If I do it will likely only be because of Wonder Woman.

  21. avatar
    May 9, 2015 at 4:31 am

    anon commented on ChrisMaverick dotcom:

    The Goldbergs, The Middle, and Fresh off the Boat are all family sitcoms. Modern Family is not “basically all there is”.

    New Girl and The Big Bang Theory are group-of-friends sitcoms akin to Seinfeld/Friends/etc., as was the still-recent HIMYM.

    I wonder how these fit into your theory, which is interesting, but I don’t get why Constantine, a show “no one is watching it except for the comic devotees” would “burn people out on the genre”. How would the majority of people get burned out by a show they don’t watch? I think the burn-out would be from movie studios doing what you said network TV did/does, “clone” “popular” things “ad nauseam”. Every year until 2020 and maybe beyond, there’s going to be 2 or 3 films EACH from DC and Marvel, plus there’s the X-Men and FF franchises, and probably some smaller titles I can’t think of any at the moment.

  22. avatar
    May 9, 2015 at 4:44 am

    Mikel: Oh those are certainly fair points. I’ll address them all.

    Gotham gets better ratings than Constantine pretty much across the board. One thing that helps is that Fox is targeting a different market than NBC is, so it’s allowed to be a little darker. But even then, I wasn’t sure Gotham would make it. It did end up being a much better show than it started out being, and much better than Constantine (at least in my opinion).

    Second, Agent Carter. It got better ratings than Constantine. Not MUCH better, but better. But more importantly, is in a different boat than Constantine. It (and SHIELD) are owned and produced by the network that airs it. It’s just cheaper to keep it on the air than it is to keep Constantine on the air, because NBC has to pay for the episodes. ABC is, in effect “paying themselves.” If they Constantine moved to a WB owned network (more on this in a bit when I get to your second comment), that would actually help. But there’s another issue. Since SHIELD and Carter are MCU tie-ins they effectively act as hour long commercials for the film properties that are owned by the same conglomerate. Ultimately Disney WANTS Carter and SHIELD on the air because it advertises for Avengers movies. And that’s worth something. They’d be worth it to keep on the air even if they were losing a little money, so long as they’re not losing a lot. NBC has no such connection to any external DC property, so if they can’t make the the money on advertising, the show goes away. That’s the simple economics of it.

    Last and biggest other networks. I actually addressed the WB owned networks on a friend’s Facebook page earlier today before I wrote this, so I’ll just copy what I said to here. Then I’ll add one for Netflix.

    CW won’t want it. It would be a horrible fit for there too. They’re going after an entirely different audience than Constantine was on NBC or should be (if they wanted to stick to comic roots). CW is going to have 3 DC superhero properties in its lineup next year (Arrow, Flash and Legends) plus one Vertigo (iZombie… which is really just inspired by… but still) They’re not going to confuse their fanbase by putting in a fifth show that’s completely out of bounds with their demo. And CW is co-owned with CBS. Even if there were some champion at WB holding the Constantine torch (And there’s not) there’s no way CBS would allow it. Too much damaged goods.

    HBO: No way in hell. I’ve made no secret that I didn’t care for Constantine. But I’ll be fair and say “sure it has an audience.” HBO is currently the most prestigious network on the air. They rule the Emmys. Even if you like Constantine you can’t make a reasonable argument that it is of the critical value that True Detective, Girls, Veep, or even Game of Thrones is. They’re not going to waste the time on it without MASSIVE retooling, and even that’s not worth it because of the taint on the name. They’d rather develop new stuff. There was a time, where you might have held out hope that it would be picked up by Cinemax, since that’s HBO’s B-League and it would only have to content with softcore porn, but those days are over. Now Cinemax is showing stuff like Banshee and Strike Back which have lesser critical acclaim but still a great deal of it and they’re fighting for more. They can’t afford the misstep. So the HBO family is less likely to want to water down their brand than CW is.

    TBS: That’s your best shot… well, really TNT, but they’re in the same business silo. TBS tends to stick more towards comedy though, I think all the dramas are currently on TNT. I say I think, because no one is really watching them. So, if someone at WB REALLY REALLY REALLY wants to save Constantine as his pet project, that’s where it’s going to go. That said, it’s going to end up even worse than the NBC version production value-wise because the company isn’t going to sink the money into it on such a limited stage. TNT just doesn’t have the viewership as a market to justify it. Also, the Turner silo is currently debating a Teen Titans show… so Constantine would have competition from there.

    Then there’s netflix: They won’t want it. They’re in the same position as HBO but their stance there is much more volatile because they’re new to the game. They have too many good shows and aren’t going to risk their brand on a failed quantity. Plus they’re in bed with Marvel. Its not that I don’t think they could do the show justice. I just think they 1) won’t because it’s damaged goods right now. 2) They’d retool it so much it wouldn’t be recognizable. Think about it. What are you really asking for? Do you want there to be a Hellblazer show or do you want THIS show on the air. Because THIS show wasn’t Hellblazer. It wasn’t even close, and any actual fan of that series knows it. If Netflix were going to do the show, they’d jettison the network safe sanctified version that was on NBC entirely. Their version of Hellblazer would bare as much resemblance to that show as Daredevil does to the Affleck version. And if Netflix was going to do that much work to create a grim and gritty street level occult private investigator character in a trench coat, then why bother with Constantine at all? Instead they would just leverage the Marvel relationship and make a Hannibal King show or something.

  23. avatar
    May 9, 2015 at 4:51 am

    Heck, I’m a Batman fan (which says a lot since I typically have no love for DC, which I blame on Superman and Aquaman), yet I only watched the first two episodes of Gotham. I might watch more if I have the time and am truly bored at some point this summer, or if people I trust convince me that it is really worth it, but for now I’m sticking with the MCU, and if I ever get around to it Arrow/Flash* (I still haven’t seen the Arrow season one finale, nor anything thereafter). If I can get my non-cable having hands on Preacher when it comes out that might also join the list. But I haven’t bothered with one minute of Constantine yet and don’t intend to change that. At no point did a single commercial even begin to grab my interest.

    *I think I like Arrow for much the same reason I like Batman, which is to say the characters aren’t boring, unlike my opinion of most other DC properties I’ve been exposed to (though I hear good things about the Green Lantern comics).

  24. avatar
    anon
    May 9, 2015 at 1:10 am

    (continued) You just need a couple of big-budget films, not a TV show, to flop and then it wouldn’t be unreasonable to think that maybe people are burned out. That’s what happened for me after the 3rd X-Men and first Wolverine solo. Fox had to make First Class to keep the rights to the X-Men and fortunately it turned out pretty good, but I honestly think the popularity of genre might have died if the first Iron Man didn’t come out when it did and set up the MCU.

    • avatar
      mav
      May 9, 2015 at 1:50 am

      anon: Yes, exactly, that’s what I’m getting at in my (much longer) reply to your other message.

  25. avatar
    May 9, 2015 at 5:10 am

    anon commented on ChrisMaverick dotcom:

    (continued) You just need a couple of big-budget films, not a TV show, to flop and then it wouldn’t be unreasonable to think that maybe people are burned out. That’s what happened for me after the 3rd X-Men and first Wolverine solo. Fox had to make First Class to keep the rights to the X-Men and fortunately it turned out pretty good, but I honestly think the popularity of genre might have died if the first Iron Man didn’t come out when it did and set up the MCU.

  26. avatar
    May 9, 2015 at 5:40 am

    Anon: That’s totally fair criticism. I’ll go through yours one by one as well

    So I though about the Middle when I wrote this and decided not to mention it. I actually kinda figured nobody would notice. But you’re right. I admit, I forgot about Goldbergs. I would NOT count Fresh off the Boat in that cycle because it’s not really a family sitcom in the same way. Goldberg, the Middle, Cosby, Family Ties, etc are shows about a family. There’s nothing more to them really other than exploring the family dynamic. Fresh off the Boat is indicative of the immigrant struggle. It’s a different kind of show. In cultural terms, their “otherness” is important. That said, there are actually LOTS of family sitcoms and there always will be. Arguably, the Simpsons even fits in here, for example. I was gesturing broadly there for effect, and you’re right to call me on it. My real point is that the reason these genres still work is that when a show has run it’s course, be it after one season or ten, they get pulled so that the market isn’t flooded with them. For the record, About a Boy was basically this show as well (until it got cancelled this year). I say basically, because like Fresh Off the Boat, it’s not a pure family show. The situational makeup is important to it. It’s an artificial family. Diff’rent Strokes, Gimme a Break and Punky Brewster are closer analogues than Cosby or Married With Children.

    For the friend group shows, the same thing is true. I actually didn’t say that it was extinct because it’s more clearly not. Undateable, which i mentioned in the article in the first place is exactly that show. As is Big Bang Theory and New Girl, as you pointed out. And HIMYM was too, but it has been cancelled, as what One Big Happy or instance. Which is exactly my point. They shows need to be killed to make room for new shows of the same genre in order to keep the genre from being flooded. You don’t want people to feel like they’re watching the same thing over and over because then they tend to give up on all of it.

    I used Police procedurals (NYPD Blue and Homicide are gone Criminal Minds and Blue Bloods continue) for my example there because they’ve done a pretty good job of controlling the market place for two decades now. That’s really hard to do. Family shows and friend group shows would have fit here as well.

    For the flooding the market place shows I could have used westerns (and in fact, I kinda did) or I could have used Lawyer procedurals, which have also all but dried up despite their once total control of nighttime drama (LA Law, Ally McBeel). The only remaining vestige there is the occasional trial scene on Law & Order:SVU, but mostly they keep to police work, and the CSI shows pretty much ignore the trials altogether.

    Anyway, I am aware of the MCU future plans and that is part of the worry. The reason there are 17 comic book shows in production for next season (I didn’t know Lucifer had been greenlit when I wrote the original post) is because those movies are so popular. Comic books are a part of our culture now. What that means is that some of them are going to be good and some are going to be bad. That’s actually a good thing. When you’re a niche, your fans are forced to like what they get, hence my childhood love of Manimal. But when you reach mainstream you get to a point where you’re actually allowed to say something is shitty.

    You’re anonymous, so I don’t know you and I assume you haven’t seen other posts of mine, but I’ve been very clear about the fact that I felt Man of Steel was a shitty movie. It was awful. I also felt that way about the most recent Transformers movie. And Green Lantern. And the first Wolverine. All horrible. Like beyond bad. And I’m a geek. I WANT to like all of these things. But I’m not just a comic geek, I’m also a literature critic and I can’t lose all credibility by pretending something is good when it isn’t. Even if the geek in me wants to keep it around just to save it.

    I’ll close with a couple examples that really drive this home. Do you remember when Smallville was on the air. I was a big Smallville fan, but lets face it, a lot of Smallville was really really dumb. And people in comic book shops across America criticized a lot of the really stupid bits every week. But we watched it, because we wanted it to have good ratings because it was the only game in town.

    Remember when the Star Wars prequels came out. remember the Phantom Menace? Phantom Menace is horrible. Almost every Star Wars fan acknowledges that. But people went and saw it multiple times, because we WANTED it to be good. We wanted there to be more Star Wars. And because of that, to this day Phantom Menace is the 5th most successful film of all time. We did that. The geeks. And we know it was wrong.

    But, because of the success of Smallville we got stuff like Arrow, Dark Knight and eventually the Avengers. That happened because studios realized “hey, there’s a market for this.” Because of the success of Phantom Menace, Disney express interest in buying Star Wars and we’re going to at long last get the sequels and I hope to god that they are good.

    We Won! Seriously, we did…. and that’s a good thing.

    But there’s a flip side. And that flip side is Transformers Age of Extinction. That flip side is Wolverine Origins. The flip side is Star Wars I and II.

    The third transformers movie was bad. It really was. X-men 3 was also really bad. Phantom Menace, despite being the 5th most successful movie of all time, is almost unwatchable. But they both made a bunch of money. And when something makes a bunch of money, the studios say “this must be what people want!” and they make a bunch of stuff just like it. They throw things at the screen because fuck it, you’ll buy a ticket anyway. So you end up with Wolverine Origins, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith and Age of Extinction. Crap… and there’s diminishing returns. And all the people who aren’t lifelong geeks who we fought so hard to get on board say “hey, maybe those geek shows are crap after all” and the go away, and we are left with really crappy movies.

    I am afraid Batman v Superman will be bad for that reason. It will be just like Man of Steel and Man of Steel was awful. But it will make half a billion dollars and so they’ll make Man of Steel 2, just like they’re planning and the new Batman series and all the others, because “obviously that’s what the people want”

    Don’t let Constantine be that flip side. Nearly every person who I’ve seen respond to the Save Constantine thread has said “and I hope it gets moved to Netflix or HBO where it can be what it really needs to be.” But that means that you don’t really like Constantine. You are holding up hope for some other show. Some better show. But if you save Constantine you’ll never get that better show. You’ll get more of the same. Because it’s easier to write mediocre stories than good ones. Why put in the effort to make Daredevil (which was AMAZING) if people are just as happy to watch Constantine? So you’ll keep getting more of the same… until no one wants to see it anymore.

  27. avatar
    May 9, 2015 at 5:59 am

    Mikel commented on ChrisMaverick dotcom:

    Mav, if by chance TNT likes the idea of crossovers, then Constantine would be a good fit because the Teen Titans have Raven, the half-human and half-demon daughter of the interdimensional demon Trigon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raven_(comics)

    As I said, the potential for great stories is there, they just need good writers.

    I’m sceptical about Supergirl on CBS… Gotham’s ratings are nothing spectacular despite the popularity of the Batman mythos, and Supergirl is not as popular, the show will be very expensive with all the special effects involved, so if ratings are mediocre (around 5 million or less), it will probably get cancelled.

    Regarding the movies, I think by 2020 people will get tired of the genre, like we all know, nothing lasts forever. After several alien invasions, similar villains, plots, heroes fighting each other… next year alone, Batman vs Superman (March 25, 2016) and the Avengers Civil War (May 6)… is only a matter of time before the public says: No más!!

  28. avatar
    May 9, 2015 at 6:21 am

    Mikel:
    As far as I know, Titans hasn’t actually been picked up yet. It was just in the works. Nothing may ever come of it. So it’s still a question of does TNT want to commit to even on comic show, much less two. It COULD happen, but a lot of “ifs” have to be met first.

    Supergirl I am skeptical about as well. What they do have going for it is that there will be plenty of Superman hype over the movie, but you’re right 5million is a big number. I don’t know that it has to be THAT big, but CBS isn’t the CW and it’s not even Fox. They have more options. And with CSI and NCIS shows pulling twice that (and sometimes three times that), that’s a heavy order.

    Yes, people will burn out eventually. That was my entire point. Let’s not hurry it along.

  29. avatar
    May 9, 2015 at 3:01 am

    You shut your god damn hole about Age of Extinction, or I’ll digitize myself and kick your ass Tron-style!

    • avatar
      May 9, 2015 at 7:14 am

      You know full well age of extinction was not good. It wasn’t even pretty. Like forgetting the horrible storyline… They took the villains and mad the morph instead of transform. In a movie called transformers…. THEY CUT OUT THE TRANSFORMING!!!

    • avatar
      May 9, 2015 at 12:26 pm

      The Grid. A digital frontier.

    • avatar
      May 9, 2015 at 12:29 pm

      Yeah, I saw it… but I’m seriously asking. Did you actually like it? I’m not judging your love of transformers, but of every tranformers property that I’ve personally seen (4 movies, comics, cartoons, etc) Age of Extinction was easily the worst. I know Max hated it too, and he’s a big fan.

      Now I’ll grant that you certainly have seen more TF stuff than I have, but my question is did you actually LIKE “Age of Extinction” as opposed to just feeling like any TF is better than no TF?

    • avatar
      May 9, 2015 at 7:03 pm

      I tried to picture clusters of information as they moved through the computer. What would they look like?

    • avatar
      May 9, 2015 at 7:04 pm

      So are you saying that you are blue pilling yourself into liking TF4?

    • avatar
      May 9, 2015 at 7:35 pm

      I actually liked Age of Extinction.

    • avatar
      May 9, 2015 at 7:37 pm

      wow… ok… I mean, it’s fine that you do, but plot holes and horrible acting aside, I thought you’d hate if for no other reason than the lack of “transforming”

  30. avatar
    May 9, 2015 at 7:05 am

    Mikel commented on ChrisMaverick dotcom:

    MOS is a good movie, most people like it, it got an A- Cinemascore, it was the third highest-selling Blu-ray of 2013:

    1 Despicable Me 2
    2 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
    3 MAN OF STEEL
    4 Fast and Furious 6
    5 Monsters University
    6 Skyfall
    7 The Little Mermaid
    8 Star Trek Into Darkness
    9 Wreck-It Ralph
    10 The Wolverine
    11 Pacific Rim
    12 Iron Man 3

    http://www.the-numbers.com/home-market/bluray-sales/2013

    Best four superhero movies according to AMC poll:

    1) Avengers: 12,722
    2) The Dark Knight: 10,105
    3) Man of Steel: 6,365
    4) Iron Man: 3,748

    https://www.amctheatres.com/movie-news/2014/04/march-movie-madness—round-4—the-final-four-for-the-best-comic-book-superhero-movie

    MOS voted best summer movie: http://movies.yahoo.com/blogs/movie-talk/ultimate-summer-movie-poll-man-steel-saves-day-222445002.html

    Is not a surprise, Christopher Nolan produced the movie and helped with the story, he was very involved: http://www.superherohype.com/features/articles/177083-from-the-set-of-the-man-of-steel?start=4

    It fits with the grounded tone of The Dark Knight trilogy, that’s why is the best Superman movie so far. The Reeve movies are too campy and silly, and have not aged well, but to each its own. 😉

    I don’t think is a coincidence the best movies and shows are more grounded and grittier. Daredevil is darker than any other comicbook show or movie, that’s why many critics and fans think is the best superhero series and the best thing Marvel has done so far. The problem with most Marvel movies is the tone, too many lame one liners, dumb juvenile humour, weak villains… it takes the tension away, so you don’t really care because there’s no real danger, the humour should be organic, not forced. The Russo brothers did a good job with the Winter Soldier, so maybe they will make better Avengers movies, time will tell.

  31. avatar
    May 9, 2015 at 7:49 am

    oh I’m aware that people liked Man of Steel. I just said it wasn’t very good. It was certainly successful. I realize that puts me in a a slight minority. I also didn’t care for the Hobbit movies (despite the fact that I love the book even more than I like the LOTR books).

    That said I think the comparison to Phantom Menace is a pretty strong one. There’s a built in fan base to a Superman movie, just like there is to a Star Wars movie. It’s nearly impossible for either not to be a success. Transformers 3 & 4, X-men 3, and Wolverine 1 were all profitable too. Like I said before, Phantom Menace is like the 5th most successful film of all time domestically. That doesn’t make them “good.”

    Let me make it clear that I like a lot of things that aren’t “good.” I even said in the article that I enjoy Undateable even though its mindless, dumb and formulaic. In fact, that’s part of what I love about it. I like that it isn’t “good.” I just didn’t like MoS because in it’s case, it’s badness annoyed me. I feel much the same way about Constantine, actually. On the other hand, there are lots of “bad” things about Arrow…. there’s a WHOLE LOT of “bad” things about Arrow and I love that show to death. Embracing your “badness” can actually do a lot. Even to take the same director (Zach Snyder), I love Sucker Punch and it’s an absolutely horrible movie.

    I would argue that the continued success of the MCU franchise has been that they’ve made a dedicated attempt to be “good.” Same thing with Nolan’s Dark Knight series. They made good films with super heroes in them.

    I’m not alone. MoS currently has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 56 and a Metacritic of 55. For comparison, Superman Returns got a 76 and a 72 and has nearly identical box office returns to MoS. Avengers 1 blows almost everything else in the world out of the water with a 92 on RT and has a 66 Meta. Avengers 2 settled down a little with an RT 75 and a Meta 66.

    And by the way, Phantom Menace has a 57 on RT and a 51 on Metacritc (pretty close to what MoS did).

    Obviously those sites didn’t exist in 1978, but adjusted for inflation, Superman 1 made almost double what MoS did.

    For the record, I like Superman 1, Superman Returns and even Phantom Menace (Jar Jar and all) far better than I liked MoS.

    My contention is that financial returns have very little to do with quality of the film as a piece of literature or a work of art. Boyhood and Birdman are two of the best films made in years and they can’t even come close to touching X-Men: DoFP at the box office, even though they’re far more popular movies.

    What I’m say though is that what got us to the point where superhero movies were popular is that Nolan and Favreau figured out how to make “GOOD” movies that had superheroes in them with Iron Man and Batman Begins. They proved that it was possible to have a blockbuster with artistic merit. That means that 10, 15, 30, 50 years down the line, I expect them to still be watchable and fun and good… just like say Casablanca. I also put Star Wars IV in this camp. And I expect that Avengers I will fit here as well, though somewhat lower down on the list.

    On the other hand, Star Wars I — the 5th most popular movie of all time — when’s the last time you sat through that? In 2023, I expect MoS to be right there with it.

  32. avatar
    anon
    May 9, 2015 at 4:45 am

    (reply to post on May 9, 2015 at 1:40 am)

    Whoops, sorry I skipped the first few paragraphs to get to the meat of your essay. But it’s interesting that you mention Undateable and are obviously aware of other friend group sitcoms but then say they were “replaced by the reality TV elimination competition show”. I guess it’s subjective, but there are enough current/recent friend group sitcoms that I wouldn’t consider them to be replaced by another one.

    I don’t mean to criticize and it’s hard to not look like I’m nitpicking, especially after your very thorough reply, which is 99.9% good btw, but I’m just curious about a few more things.

    Are you saying that New Girl and Big Bang should be canceled, or are you speaking more generally? New Girl, I can understand as it’s not that popular. Big Bang, though, is extremely popular, even though it looks average to me. Maybe it was good in earlier seasons but now it’s emotional investment in the characters more so than quality that keeps people tuning in, and in that case I could also understand it needing to end in the near future.

    Are you comparing HIMYM ending to One Big Happy being cancelled? I feel like the way they ended is not comparable. Cancellation suggests an abrupt, unplanned end after a few seasons at most. Whereas, I think HIMYM knew the 9th season was the last and so they had 20+ episodes to wind down the show in the way they had envisioned.

    And for fun, what did you think of the Spider-Man films (both Raimi and Webb)?

    Thanks!

    • avatar
      mav
      May 9, 2015 at 12:02 pm

      anon: Not a problem at all….

      What I was saying was that the friend group sitcom at one point was king of the airwaves. In 1996, the top 5 shows were ER(not an example), then Seinfeld, Suddenly Susan, Friends and Naked Truth. #6 was Fired Up (more of an odd couple show…. it was a work place comedy…), #7 was Football and #8 was the Single Guy… Other top shows around that time included Caroline in The City, Frasier, Spin City, The Drew Carey Show, and Ellen (not her talk show. Her TV show… which was essentially Seinfeld… starring Ellen). Then in 1999, 3 of the top 5 shows were Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Then you started getting Survivor clones the next couple years, And then American Idol. That’s actually still going on today… think about all of the reality singing/dancing/talent show competitions that are on.

      My point was more that in order for a trend to continue, some shows have to go away. Do New Girl and Big Bang need to be cancelled? Not necessarily. (I actually watch both shows, btw). Because the friend show landscape is currently under control. There are a small number of options, which means there is more variety in the market. There’s actually fewer sitcoms on network TV than traditionally is the case at all right now. Compare this to the 17 comic book shows that will be on the air in the next year. That’s A LOT. And of this 17 shows, 15 of them are superhero based. Add in a couple shows that are clearly “in the genre” even though they aren’t really comic based (Grimm, for instance) and you can see how the market is flooded.

      HIMYM vs One Big Happy: yes, I am comparing them in this aspect because I’m not talking about quality of the show or completion. I’m simply referring to whether or not it is on the air, and therefore taking up space that some other show might have. A show runs it’s course after a long time (Seinfeld, Friends, HIMYM) and goes off the air, it creates the same hole in the schedule as one that lasted a short time (Whitney, One Big Happy, Happy Endings)

      as for the Spiderman movies, I feel as though they are ok, but with diminishing returns. If they had been made in 80s or early 90s, they’d have been amazing. In a world where they only have to compete against one other property because there’s either a superman movie every 3 years or a Batman movie and that’s it. But in the 21st century we have QUALITY superhero movies. And the volume is higher. We have like at least 5 or 6 super hero movies every year, and it’s starting to ramp up even higher. So, a movie needs to be better than “ok” to be notable. The first Raimi movie endeavored to be really good. So did the first Webb. The other three rely too heavily on “Look, it’s Spiderman… and he’s in a movie!!!! Give us money.” That doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy them. But again, they’re not actually “good”

  33. avatar
    May 9, 2015 at 8:45 am

    anon commented on ChrisMaverick dotcom:

    (reply to post on May 9, 2015 at 1:40 am)

    Whoops, sorry I skipped the first few paragraphs to get to the meat of your essay. But it’s interesting that you mention Undateable and are obviously aware of other friend group sitcoms but then say they were “replaced by the reality TV elimination competition show”. I guess it’s subjective, but there are enough current/recent friend group sitcoms that I wouldn’t consider them to be replaced by another one.

    I don’t mean to criticize and it’s hard to not look like I’m nitpicking, especially after your very thorough reply, which is 99.9% good btw, but I’m just curious about a few more things.

    Are you saying that New Girl and Big Bang should be canceled, or are you speaking more generally? New Girl, I can understand as it’s not that popular. Big Bang, though, is extremely popular, even though it looks average to me. Maybe it was good in earlier seasons but now it’s emotional investment in the characters more so than quality that keeps people tuning in, and in that case I could also understand it needing to end in the near future.

    Are you comparing HIMYM ending to One Big Happy being cancelled? I feel like the way they ended is not comparable. Cancellation suggests an abrupt, unplanned end after a few seasons at most. Whereas, I think HIMYM knew the 9th season was the last and so they had 20+ episodes to wind down the show in the way they had envisioned.

    And for fun, what did you think of the Spider-Man films (both Raimi and Webb)?

    Thanks!

  34. avatar
    May 9, 2015 at 9:58 am

    Peter James Cooper commented on ChrisMaverick dotcom:

    Just because you don’t like the show doesn’t mean other people don’t. Why are you asking people not to save it? You don’t like it? don’t watch it then, don’t fucking try to convince people that actually like it, to not save it. Idiot.

  35. avatar
    May 9, 2015 at 6:51 am

    I loved greatest American hero. The only thing I watch now is big bang and sports… actually, I stuck the TV in the basement. If it doesn’t stream for free, I don’t see it.

  36. avatar
    May 9, 2015 at 8:31 am

    As you probably know, I utterly disagree with this (and found CONSTANTINE infinitely more entertaining than the renewed-again AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. any day).

    • avatar
      May 9, 2015 at 8:33 am

      Mikey: Sure… I’m aware you don’t like SHIELD. And I’m actually ok with you here, because you AREN’T watching a show you don’t think is good just because it’s a comic book show.

      So even though you disagree on the targets, you agree on the premise, which is what I’m really writing about.

    • avatar
      May 9, 2015 at 8:33 am

      I mean, you’re still wrong for liking Constantine… but no one is perfect. 🙂

    • avatar
      May 9, 2015 at 8:34 am

      Right. I’m not watching POWERS, either, for example. The pilot was terrible.

    • avatar
      May 9, 2015 at 8:35 am

      Shit! I forgot Powers. That’s another one. So 18 shows. Powers is easy to forget because I don’t pay for the PSN.

    • avatar
      May 9, 2015 at 8:37 am

      Neither do I. So the way I’d view it (were I to view it) wouldn’t “count”, ratings-wise.

    • avatar
      May 9, 2015 at 8:48 am

      That’s the other thing. I’m betting a lot of the so called fans of Constantine are not willing to watch the show in a way that helps it.

  37. avatar
    May 9, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Interesting! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. You raise some good points.

  38. avatar
    May 9, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    anon: Not a problem at all….

    What I was saying was that the friend group sitcom at one point was king of the airwaves. In 1996, the top 5 shows were ER(not an example), then Seinfeld, Suddenly Susan, Friends and Naked Truth. #6 was Fired Up (more of an odd couple show…. it was a work place comedy…), #7 was Football and #8 was the Single Guy… Other top shows around that time included Caroline in The City, Frasier, Spin City, The Drew Carey Show, and Ellen (not her talk show. Her TV show… which was essentially Seinfeld… starring Ellen). Then in 1999, 3 of the top 5 shows were Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Then you started getting Survivor clones the next couple years, And then American Idol. That’s actually still going on today… think about all of the reality singing/dancing/talent show competitions that are on.

    My point was more that in order for a trend to continue, some shows have to go away. Do New Girl and Big Bang need to be cancelled? Not necessarily. (I actually watch both shows, btw). Because the friend show landscape is currently under control. There are a small number of options, which means there is more variety in the market. There’s actually fewer sitcoms on network TV than traditionally is the case at all right now. Compare this to the 17 comic book shows that will be on the air in the next year. That’s A LOT. And of this 17 shows, 15 of them are superhero based. Add in a couple shows that are clearly “in the genre” even though they aren’t really comic based (Grimm, for instance) and you can see how the market is flooded.

    HIMYM vs One Big Happy: yes, I am comparing them in this aspect because I’m not talking about quality of the show or completion. I’m simply referring to whether or not it is on the air, and therefore taking up space that some other show might have. A show runs it’s course after a long time (Seinfeld, Friends, HIMYM) and goes off the air, it creates the same hole in the schedule as one that lasted a short time (Whitney, One Big Happy, Happy Endings)

    as for the Spiderman movies, I feel as though they are ok, but with diminishing returns. If they had been made in 80s or early 90s, they’d have been amazing. In a world where they only have to compete against one other property because there’s either a superman movie every 3 years or a Batman movie and that’s it. But in the 21st century we have QUALITY superhero movies. And the volume is higher. We have like at least 5 or 6 super hero movies every year, and it’s starting to ramp up even higher. So, a movie needs to be better than “ok” to be notable. The first Raimi movie endeavored to be really good. So did the first Webb. The other three rely too heavily on “Look, it’s Spiderman… and he’s in a movie!!!! Give us money.” That doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy them. But again, they’re not actually “good”

  39. avatar
    May 9, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    Sorry Mav, gotta disagree. Constantine’s a really good show, especially in comparison to most of the other shows out there. It’s just in a bad time slot on a bad station. I think it would thrive on a station like Syfy.

    I know a lot of non-nerds who watch and enjoy Constantine, which also kind of cool because these are the types of people who look at Flash or Arrow and roll their eyes at “Another Nerd Show”, most people don’t really think of Constantine as “nerd” territory. If anything I think Constantine gets us out of our masturbatory inner-circle of comic show fandom more so than any other show out there because it has a broader appeal.

    • avatar
      May 9, 2015 at 4:07 pm

      Link: If you honestly believe that then I have no qualms. That puts you somewhere around where I put Mikey. If you see it and you say “this is a good show. I wouldn’t change a thing” then by all means, be upset! #letchrismaverickdie!

      But then it doesn’t make sense for people to be wishing it could go to another network where it could thrive and be different. Most of the people who are clamoring for it want it to to CW, HBO or Netflix because it could “be darker there.” And while that may be true, that’s not “saving” Constantine, that’s replacing it with a different show… a better show.

      That’s my worry. When you say “it could thrive on Syfy” then my question is “why?” Do you think they’d change the show and make it better? Because that’s the “different show” argument.

      Are you saying “I wouldn’t change it, but I think it’s a niche program so it needs a smaller niche.” Because that’s really saying “it’s not good enough for network TV, but I like it” (Which is a fine stance, that’s basically Syfy’s market (Sharknado, anyone?) And that’s a completely fair argument, so long as you sort of understand that shows on Syfy aren’t actually “good” for the most part. Enjoyable maybe, but not “good.” Remember, Syfy is owned by NBC Universal. If they had any faith in the shows, they’d put them on the flagship network (and this has happened before, They brought in Battlestar Galactica because of its success on Syfy and American Ninja Warrior because of its success on G4). But then you’re essentially countering your own “its not a nerd show” argument. Sigh is by definition a network dedicated to nerd shows. And again, that’s fine. But that’s not the same as hoping it shows up HBO to compete with shows that are trying to get an Emmy. GoT is a nerd show. But anyone who is trying to make a reasonable argument that Constantine is in that league is insane. Much less HBO’s non “nerd shows” in their current lineup (Girls, Veep, True Detective). It’s just not there.

      As for the timeslot part of the argument, that’s a copout. They had a great timeslot. They originally had Grimm a lead-in which matches its perceived genre and was getting about 5million viewers to Constantines 3M. They couldn’t hold Grimm’s audience. The network moved them to BEFORE Grimm and they pulled the same numbers. And when Constantine got pulled from the slot at the end of its run, Grimm took it over and maintained their 5M viewers. All of those numbers (for both shows) are post DVR. in those same slots, CBS had Amazing Race (6M) and Undercover Boss(8M). ABC has Shark Tank (7-8M). In other words, people just didn’t watch it. If there was something in that timeslot they wanted to watch, they found it.

    • avatar
      May 9, 2015 at 5:47 pm

      If they made Constantine “darker” I’d be fine with that, at least in regards to them being able to do stories they wouldn’t be able to do on NBC (although, honestly, Grimm gets away with a lot so I don’t know what they couldn’t do.) I suppose what I’m saying is that the ratings for Constantine are pretty good when compared to shows on Syfy and CW.

      I don’t think Constantine is the type of show to play in the “big leagues” at this current time as much as I like it. It’s not going to pull in Lost numbers or Heroes numbers. I don’t think that is necessarily because of the show’s quality itself, but more so the fact it’s “just another Grimm” at face value. It’s another “supernatural spooky tv series” and TV isn’t really lacking in those at the moment. That was probably always my biggest concern with Constantine, Grimm was already filling that niche/scratching that itch.

      I do see your point about it being on “nerd” stations or “nerd show tie-in universes” it defeats my argument that it appeals to non-nerds. But I suppose I’d rather have a show I enjoy still exist than not exist, or at the very least wrap up a small season and give me closure.

      Anyways, long story short, I think if Constantine ended up on Syfy it would do fine, especially with Helix getting cancelled, it’s not like Syfy isn’t in need of a replacement show or two. If it ended up on CW and could play in the Arrow/Flash/Supergirl territory it’d do great as well and probably help expand that universes spooky/mystic stuff well.

    • avatar
      May 9, 2015 at 6:24 pm

      Link: Granting that Stephen Amell is campaigning for it, I don’t think Constantine (in its current form) would actually do as well on CW. It’s a question of demographics. Yes, the barrier to acceptance is lower on CW. Flash is pulling 3.5-4M and Arrow is pulling 2.5-3M most weeks. The 100 is only pulling about 1.5M and CW is totally behind it.

      That makes Constantine nice and competitive with them. But the tone of the show is different. Sure, geeks are watching it on NBC, but the failing of the show was that they couldn’t get it to play to a the wide non-geek audience that Grimm relies on (for the reasons you said, and others, probably). CW wouldn’t go for the wide audience, but they DO have a demo they play towards. And that’s the teens. I love Arrow, I really do. But it isn’t exactly fine thoughtful programming. It’s Gossip Girl with superheroes. And that’s fine. Smallville was Dawson’s Creek with superheroes (there’s no way I can find the reference again without putting way more work into this than I have time to right now, but if I remember correctly that’s exactly how it was pitched). Arrow and Flash’s success or failure on CW are based as much on how well they can sell clothes (see http://arrowfashionblog.com) and whether girls drool over Stephen when he takes his shirt off as anything else. Constantine would have to be a much different show in order to fit in to that network.

      Again, I’m not ragging on those shows. I love love love love love The 100. And it’s the least successful of all four, probably because it can’t cash in on the current superhero craze. But it really is Gossip Girl in the apocalypse.

      So I think moving to CW would necessitate a change in tone that would again make it a different show. I’m actually really curious about how CW plays next year. With Legends, they’re coming dangerously close to being “The superhero network” instead of “The Gossip Girl network” and if they want that, fine. But that’s a huge commitment in direction change. They might be ready for it. Even outside of the super hero shows, they’re very dug into their gossip girl style sic-fi/fantasy niche these days (100, Supernatural, Vampire Diaries, Originals and holy shit, how is Beauty & The Beast still on the air?!?!?). But I think it’d be a different show. You’re going to see Constantine take off his shirt a lot more.

      SyFy might keep the show a little closer to the original format, but it’s going to lose a little bit of production value just out of necessity. SyFy is a niche. They measure their viewers in the 100s of thousands instead of millions. When they have a show that pulls a million viewers, they’re ecstatic. But it’d be hard for Constantine to “bring those people with them.” It’s still basic cable. I do think it could pull a million viewers there though. But then you have to wonder if it’s worth it. One of SyFy’s traditional problems is not being able to afford the shows that make them money. This was one of the problems they had with Galatica. It was pulling a couple million viewers every week, but the show was so expensive that they couldn’t afford it. So when it ended they tried to go with Caprica and that … wasn’t the same. 🙂

    • avatar
      May 9, 2015 at 6:28 pm

      Fun Fact: I really really liked Caprica. But, yeah I see what you’re saying and I definitely agree.

  40. avatar
    mav
    May 9, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    So I posted a link to this blog on a couple random #SaveConstantine style posts on comicbook.com and Facebook. As expected I several people threatening to kill me, or calling me a faggot… a guy even suggested they start the hashtag #letchrismaverickdie which, if anyone knows me, you’d probably guess that I’m completely behind that. Go for it!

    I got a few people calling me a faggot, which you know, totally hurt my feelings and I’m sobbing uncontrollably now… One particular inventive guy told me that he “hopes I eat 9 bags of dick and choke.” That amused me. I told him giving me death threats was fine, but there’s no reason to be homophobic. What about all the people who like eating bags of dick.

    Anyway, there was one guy, “JMiller” who asked me what I thought was a really important question so I’m copying it and my response to him here so that I remember it and other people might see his thoughts and mine:

    JMiller said:

    Ok so I read the blog….so what 4 shows at most do we keep and while we are it what movies do we get rid of…thats what you say right not as many so as not to saturate the market to much…so what show get the axe and which dont….

    My response:

    Not exactly. I don’t care if it is 4 shows or 40, so long as they’re good. As I said on my site (in the comments) if someone really considers Constantine their favorite show, or even one of their favorite shows, I feel bad for them. Most people though just see potential for it to be good. “It would be so much better if it were on CW/HBO/Netflix where it could be dark…” and such. That’s not wanting to “Save Constantine” that’s wanting a Hellblazer show, and that’s a different thing.

    Let me be clear… I would have loved for there to be a good Hellblazer show on TV. That’s not what Constantine is. Constantine is a shell based on a comic that was good, and for whatever reason it isn’t really connecting with that many people (there are lots of reasons, really, but that’s not what we’re talking about).

    What will make the comicbook adapatation genre succeed is having shows that non-comic fans relate to. Avengers isn’t a blockbuster because of people like us who will see every movie anyway. It’s a blockbuster because geeks loved it AND non-geeks loved it. Same thing with Dark Knight. Daredevil wasn’t good because of comics fans. It was good because it was an excellent and well crafted show. It also would be possible to make a BAD Daredevil show. Afterall, they made a bad Daredevil movie 12 years ago.

    Constantine has the potential to be good, sure. But saving it just because it’s a comic show won’t make that happen. For it to be good, it needs to be torn down and recreated from scratch (like Daredevil or the Hulk for instance). Saving it just tells the network execs “there are people out there who will pay just to see anything comic related” and that’s how you end up with X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

    So if you honestly and truly like Constantine just how it is (was) then yeah, you should be upset. You should tell me #letchrismaverickdie (seriously, that made my day… the eloquence of that guy… sheer brilliance!). If you honestly believe that of the 9 comic shows on the air this year, Constantine was best, you should write the networks and tell them how much like it and we’ll end up with more shows like it.

    But, if you look at Constantine and say “if only it was more like Walking Dead, Daredevil, Arrow, Gotham, Flash or SHIELD” then the best way to have that happen is let the show die. Then the execs will say “Ok, Daredevil people raved about. Constantine they hated. What was different here?”

    It might be a long time before Constantine comes back, and yeah, maybe that sucks. But I ask you, which would you rather have AMC’s Preacher look like: Constantine or Daredevil? Because they make these decisions by seeing which people respond to.

  41. avatar
    May 9, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    So I posted a link to this blog on a couple random #SaveConstantine style posts on comicbook.com and Facebook. As expected I several people threatening to kill me, or calling me a faggot… a guy even suggested they start the hashtag #letchrismaverickdie which, if anyone knows me, you’d probably guess that I’m completely behind that. Go for it!

    I got a few people calling me a faggot, which you know, totally hurt my feelings and I’m sobbing uncontrollably now… One particular inventive guy told me that he “hopes I eat 9 bags of dick and choke.” That amused me. I told him giving me death threats was fine, but there’s no reason to be homophobic. What about all the people who like eating bags of dick.

    Anyway, there was one guy, “JMiller” who asked me what I thought was a really important question so I’m copying it and my response to him here so that I remember it and other people might see his thoughts and mine:

    JMiller said:
    Ok so I read the blog….so what 4 shows at most do we keep and while we are it what movies do we get rid of…thats what you say right not as many so as not to saturate the market to much…so what show get the axe and which dont….

    My response:

    Not exactly. I don’t care if it is 4 shows or 40, so long as they’re good. As I said on my site (in the comments) if someone really considers Constantine their favorite show, or even one of their favorite shows, I feel bad for them. Most people though just see potential for it to be good. “It would be so much better if it were on CW/HBO/Netflix where it could be dark…” and such. That’s not wanting to “Save Constantine” that’s wanting a Hellblazer show, and that’s a different thing.

    Let me be clear… I would have loved for there to be a good Hellblazer show on TV. That’s not what Constantine is. Constantine is a shell based on a comic that was good, and for whatever reason it isn’t really connecting with that many people (there are lots of reasons, really, but that’s not what we’re talking about).

    What will make the comicbook adapatation genre succeed is having shows that non-comic fans relate to. Avengers isn’t a blockbuster because of people like us who will see every movie anyway. It’s a blockbuster because geeks loved it AND non-geeks loved it. Same thing with Dark Knight. Daredevil wasn’t good because of comics fans. It was good because it was an excellent and well crafted show. It also would be possible to make a BAD Daredevil show. Afterall, they made a bad Daredevil movie 12 years ago.

    Constantine has the potential to be good, sure. But saving it just because it’s a comic show won’t make that happen. For it to be good, it needs to be torn down and recreated from scratch (like Daredevil or the Hulk for instance). Saving it just tells the network execs “there are people out there who will pay just to see anything comic related” and that’s how you end up with X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

    So if you honestly and truly like Constantine just how it is (was) then yeah, you should be upset. You should tell me #letchrismaverickdie (seriously, that made my day… the eloquence of that guy… sheer brilliance!). If you honestly believe that of the 9 comic shows on the air this year, Constantine was best, you should write the networks and tell them how much like it and we’ll end up with more shows like it.

    But, if you look at Constantine and say “if only it was more like Walking Dead, Daredevil, Arrow, Gotham, Flash or SHIELD” then the best way to have that happen is let the show die. Then the execs will say “Ok, Daredevil people raved about. Constantine they hated. What was different here?”

    It might be a long time before Constantine comes back, and yeah, maybe that sucks. But I ask you, which would you rather have AMC’s Preacher look like: Constantine or Daredevil? Because they make these decisions by seeing which people respond to.

  42. avatar
    May 10, 2015 at 9:21 am

    aditya commented on ChrisMaverick dotcom:

    you know i think you read my mind…….i’m a big fan of hellblazer and this show was not about an anti-hero who gets innocent people killed…..it was about a pussy who pretends to smoke , has a bag of magical artifacts ……..oooooohhh………….and a card which says “master of the dark arts”….people keep saying the movie was bad because it wasn’t HELLBLAZER…..i’m like watch the show fellas , you’ll know what bad is

  43. avatar
    May 10, 2015 at 8:47 am

    @chrismaverick- you make some very well informed points. Your knowledge of the topic really drives home my own opinions. I just wish people would listen. I hate all of these money grabbing movies/shows that just don’t stand up to critical reviews.

    Hope to read more from you in the future.

    • avatar
      mav
      May 10, 2015 at 10:36 am

      tacosanonymous: Thank you, and yes, feel free to drop in on anything. I tend to write these rants on a variety of topics once or twice a week

  44. avatar
    May 10, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    tacosanonymous commented on ChrisMaverick dotcom:

    @chrismaverick- you make some very well informed points. Your knowledge of the topic really drives home my own opinions. I just wish people would listen. I hate all of these money grabbing movies/shows that just don’t stand up to critical reviews.

    Hope to read more from you in the future.

  45. avatar
    May 10, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    aditya: As I’ve said to other people… for anyone who actually LIKES the show as is, then I feel bad that you’re losing your show. But the show ISN’T Hellblazer. You’re right. And I honestly do believe that pretending it’s Hellblazer, or hoping that it might one day be Hellblazer is what keeps people watching it.

    The best way I can think about it is this: If the show was called “Joe Cook, Paranormal Investigator” would people still be trying to save it? I mean, it could functionally be the exact same show, but without any pretense of a connection to the DC property. Some people would… geeks like their shows (hence the campaigns to save Chuck and save Fringe over the years. But in this show’s case, I believe that without the connection to the name, it loses a LOT of it’s audience.

  46. avatar
    May 10, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    aditya commented on ChrisMaverick dotcom:

    the only thing i am worried about is the cw……it is co-owned by warner bros tv…..if by any chance it gets renewed ……uh-oh

  47. avatar
    May 10, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    aditya commented on ChrisMaverick dotcom:

    if you have seen the show….in one episode john constantine (i should NOT call him that) threatened to drop a baby in the sewers to get the bad bitch to talk…..you know the real john would have submerged the baby underwater till the bitch spoke…….and the only reason i watched all the episodes was with the hope that he would actually smoke instead of pretending………

  48. avatar
    May 11, 2015 at 1:55 am

    I remember even in the 90s our culture had such an uphill battle, especially in small towns like mine. By far, I’ve been ignoring the problem, just sort of sitting back and enjoying the fruits of our long won labor. I almost feel after reading this there is an incredibly conspiracy going on. However I will simply state you make a fair and valid point, despite my personal interest in seeing more Constantine perhaps it’s time to delve into other things, and hope that for the love of all things nerd culture doesn’t take a hit for the sudden loss in interest if they keep this up.

    • avatar
      mav
      May 11, 2015 at 11:34 am

      Eric: Thank you.

      For everyone on who ever says that I’m a “faggot” for posting anti-geek things and that I should let people enjoy the show, this is why I do it. I don’t honestly expect that people will suddenly see the error of their ways and not start some petition, or not support a show they like. That would be ridiculous. The hope is for every 100 people who gut reaction jump to “geek shows are awesome. You’re a faggot if you disagree” I get one who thinks it through… you don’t even have to change your mind. Just think it through.

      So thank you.

  49. avatar
    May 11, 2015 at 5:55 am

    Eric Micheal Rollins commented on ChrisMaverick dotcom:

    I remember even in the 90s our culture had such an uphill battle, especially in small towns like mine. By far, I’ve been ignoring the problem, just sort of sitting back and enjoying the fruits of our long won labor. I almost feel after reading this there is an incredibly conspiracy going on. However I will simply state you make a fair and valid point, despite my personal interest in seeing more Constantine perhaps it’s time to delve into other things, and hope that for the love of all things nerd culture doesn’t take a hit for the sudden loss in interest if they keep this up.

  50. avatar
    May 11, 2015 at 5:25 am

    SHIELD does kind of suck. It might not “suck ass” but…he’s got a point.

    The people who comment on your website aren’t the most eloquent of types, are they?

  51. avatar
    BatmanOfJapan
    May 11, 2015 at 9:11 am

    That’s a God Damn lie. SHIELD is not better than Constantine. SHIELD sucks ass, and the only reason it is watched because of the tie-ins with the MCU. Anyone that thinks it is good has been brainwashed by it. But you are right about all those other shows being better than Constantine.

    • avatar
      mav
      May 11, 2015 at 11:38 am

      BatmanOfJapan: This isn’t really a Marvel vs. DC thread. You’re welcome to like whatever show you like, but I assure you, I am not brainwashed by Marvel. I have it on good authority that their brainwashing machine is still weeks if not months from completion.

  52. avatar
    May 11, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    BatmanOfJapan commented on ChrisMaverick dotcom:

    That’s a God Damn lie. SHIELD is not better than Constantine. SHIELD sucks ass, and the only reason it is watched because of the tie-ins with the MCU. Anyone that thinks it is good has been brainwashed by it. But you are right about all those other shows being better than Constantine.

  53. avatar
    May 11, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    Eric: Thank you.

    For everyone on who ever says that I’m a “faggot” for posting anti-geek things and that I should let people enjoy the show, this is why I do it. I don’t honestly expect that people will suddenly see the error of their ways and not start some petition, or not support a show they like. That would be ridiculous. The hope is for every 100 people who gut reaction jump to “geek shows are awesome. You’re a faggot if you disagree” I get one who thinks it through… you don’t even have to change your mind. Just think it through.

    So thank you.

  54. avatar
    May 11, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    briggs commented on ChrisMaverick dotcom:

    Me niether someone gimme the gist of it as it seems to me this person way too much time on thier hands to write such a tombe against something

  55. avatar
    g2592116
    September 9, 2016 at 10:38 am

    you know you can fuck yourself

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