TV Review: NBC’s ‘Constantine’

The latest TV adaptation of a comic book series — in this case, DC’s "Hellblazer” — stars Matt Ryan (Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior) as John Constantine, the antihero exorcist who is doomed to hell. Constantine, developed by Daniel Cerone (Dexter) and David S. Goyer (Batman Begins), debuts Friday at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The following are reviews from TV critics around the web, compiled by B&C.

“The new show is a perfectly adequate, even above-average example of the genre, but at this late date, it’s hard to stand out from the crowd.”
Mike Hale, New York Times

“Where there's smoke, there's fire. Where smoking's not allowed... well, here's hoping there's another way for ‘Constantine’ to generate some heat.”
Alan Sepinwall, HitFix

“Unfortunately, while ‘Constantine,’ which premieres Friday on NBC, gets a lot of little things right, overall it feels too much like a mishmash.”
Patrick Kevin Day, Los Angeles Times

“The challenge here will be keeping that formula fresh enough to prevent ‘Constantine,’ the series, from prematurely sharing the same destiny that awaits Constantine, the man. Put another way, it’ll likely come down to the very earth-bound matter of lead-in retention to determine just how long Hell can wait.”
Brian Lowry, Variety

“Falling somewhere in the middle of the dark/light scale between Gotham and Flash, tonight's promising premiere boasts a few good jolts, a welcome bit of visual flair, and an appealing star turn from Welsh actor Matt Ryan, who conveys just the right mix of tortured soul, biting wit and hunky hero.”
Robert Bianco, USA Today

“If Cerone and Goyer need an example of how to make this kind of thing work well, they need only look to NBC’s Friday night hit, ‘Grimm,’ whose fourth season will be the lead-in for ‘Constantine.’ That show’s healthy audience will stick around for the newbie, at least for the first episode, and maybe longer if some of the smaller problems are fixed. If they aren’t, demons aren’t going to be the only thing getting exorcised on Friday night.”
David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle