Features TV

REVIEW: Constantine 1×05 “Danse Vaudou”

Tonight’s the night that everyone has been waiting for. Young kids and adults alike are rejoicing over the release of Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U. It seems like Brawl was released a lifetime ago, and everyone is ready to move past the worst installment of the series…wait a second…I am supposed to review Constantine, though I don’t know why. I don’t know anyone that actually watches this show and I rarely read of any praise for the series. Just staring at the case for Smash was more fun than watching Danse Vaudou. 

Constantine (Matt Ryan), Zed (Angélica Celaya), and Chas (Charles Halford) start an investigation in New Orleans after several people are killed by supernatural forces. John and Papa Midnite (Michael James Shaw) have to put aside their differences and team up in order to put an end to the murder spree.

I try to see the good in shows when I write these reviews…but this episode just had to go and make it so difficult! Well, here we go. Matt Ryan, once again, plays his character well and is a charm to watch. Michael brings some charisma to the show as well and is a welcome addition. The cinematography looks nice, as always, but these good aspects of the show just, in a way, serve to further upset me. It makes me think of what the show could have been: if only the writing was good, if only Zed and Chas were interesting, if only the writing was good, if only these good aspects weren’t wasted, if only the writing was good. If only.

We finally get to see Chas’ “survival skills,” which apparently includes a healing factor. This knowledge is passed on to us by having him stabbed several times. While it is nice to finally see his character participate in John’s shenanigans, his scenes should have been more intriguing than they were. At no point did it seem as if he might die, which describes the entire episode. There is no mystery or tension this week. Everything is straight forward and, honestly, kind of boring and forgettable. The cop that looks like Ben Affleck (Emmett J. Scanlan playing Jim Corrigan) and the teenage ghost both have the same emotionless expression on their faces throughout the episode. It’s as if they woke up just seconds before the camera started rolling. Half the time I had trouble hearing Jim’s dialogue. At one point he talks to Zed about how he recognizes her from years ago, before she changed her name, but that was so boring that I won’t waste time writing about it.

The biggest problem that the episode has, which it normally does well, is it’s tone. The score in this episode is too over-the-top dramatic: it makes scenes funny when they should feel scary. In previous episodes only a select few scenes would feel like this, yet this entire episode suffered from that problem. It’s time that they learned their lesson. Less is more. If you don’t overuse the score, and choose the right moments to use it, then it will work better, and, you know, have better writing and acting.

Random thoughts:

– John casually mentions to Zed that they will sleep together, which is the first time that either of them has mentioned the idea to the other. Normally they just give each other subtle hints.

– In one scene John is able to free himself from handcuffs with little effort, then in another scene he struggles to pick the lock on some. Though, he probably did the same the first time and simply waited to free himself to show that he could. Unless it was just magic.

– Zed is a psychic and can see things that most people can’t, but can she see why kids love Cinnamon Toast Crunch?

They say laughter is the best medicine. That was not funny at all, but I needed that small chuckle in order to make myself feel better after sitting through this episode.

Final Grade: C-

What did you think of this episode? Did you enjoy the new characters? Did you like the return of Papa Midnite? Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Twitter!

About the author

Nick Doblovosky