In the past few weeks, we’ve seen two of DC’s latest comic book based television shows get leaked on the web: The Flash and Constantine. Interesting, since the shows are from two different studios, The CW and NBC, which has people (like me) thinking that these leaks might be more purposeful than unintentional. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a way to garner interest early for both properties which could also backfire if they don’t deliver.
So did they?
I would give The Flash pilot a solid B+. Now this, of course, takes many things into account, such as how you feel about Arrow. If you like or love Arrow, then you’ll probably really love this show, unless you don’t like the lack of gloom and doom. If you’re not a fan of Arrow like I am, then you’re going have a few knee-jerk reactions to the pilot, like the really awful lines that seemed to slowly creep up in frequency towards the end.
What The Flash has that Arrow lacks is an engaging and lovable lead. Grant Gustin is a great Barry Allen, despite taking beats from the personality of Wally West (the second Flash in the comics). You can tell there are layers in his character aside from the genuinely happy guy and he just can’t help but pull you in. There’s a dangerous power to that, since it allows for audiences to be far more forgiving for any faults he may possess. Detective West (Jesse L. Martin) and Iris West (Candice Patton) are fabulous and their interactions with Barry will be a highlight for me. Tom Cavanagh’s Harrison Wells was interesting until he got cartoon-y near the end, but I blame writing more than anything else. The pacing was off: it felt like they were trying to force the origin story into one episode while also setting up the future of the series. I had high hopes before the pilot, but I think they’ve become more manageable, given what I’ve seen thus far and my history with Arrow.
I actually watched the Keanu Reeves version of Constantine on TV for the first time a few days before the episode leaked online. I preface what I am about to write by saying that I haven’t read the Constantine comic or any comics that featured John Constantine, so I don’t know anything about him.
Now let’s talk. I’d give Constantine a C+. As someone who is unfamiliar with the character, I was just put off by how hard they seemed to be trying. Again, the pacing was off and there seemed to be a lot of declarations and exposition going on to speed up the origins. I think Keanu Reeves was a better Constantine, which says something, since he was basically playing Constantine who was in turn playing Surfer Keanu Reeves. I didn’t care about anyone in the show, and I’m still not sure about how the world of the supernatural as told by DC works. I was happy when a particular easter egg showed up, but that’s about it. That being said, I think I’ll give episode 2 a try before making any final decisions.
What about you guys? Interested in seeing either of these shows? Have you seen the leaked episodes and, if so, what did you think?