The Winchester brothers have become a [Supernatural](series:200506) success on television screens, even in the international markets, where there are very few of such shows broadcast. But is Supernatural's success a one-time deal with the devil or can its success be replicated by others of the same genre?
The brooding "exorcist, demonologist and dabbler of the dark arts" was given his launch last year, but he failed to see the same success as Supernatural. Despite the similarities I find between both shows, the resurrection of Constantine for the second season seems to be in doubt.
According to Seriable.com, the show's executive producer Daniel Cerone plans to pitch to NBC for the second season of Constantine in May this year. But the show's low ratings have raised concerns.
The last update from Seriable.com on the show is a Tweet from Cerone, stating that reports of Constantine's demise are "greatly exaggerated."
If the second season is made, would it be possible for Constantine to pull a Supernatural out of his hat?
Let's compare the two shows:
Both shows are part of the same supernatural-fantasy-horror genre filled with ghosts, ghouls, angels, demons and all other things that go bump in the night.
Neither Supernatural or Constantine are the firsts of this genre which stretches from the X-Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Kolchak: The Night Stalker.
This genre is not for everyone and has a distinct, niche following. X-Files, for me being the exception, obviously succeeded in capturing a larger audience both in the U.S. and internationally.
Supernatural has successfully captured its own hardcore fans and Constantine stands a chance of doing the same, especially since its comic has already established a cult following before the series.
- A tough, egomaniac with a heart of gold who wallows in self pity and secretly despises himself - Check (Get possessed by a demon - Double Check)
John Constantine / Dean Winchester
- A completely opposite, sensitive, mature and all-round dependable character who plays the role of a moral conscience - Check
Zed / Sam Winchester
- An angel who is trying to grasp what and why humans do what they do, is a follower of rules, and is later forced to break some of the rules to help humanity - Check
Manny / Castiel
- A self serving character from the evil camp that does occasionally do the right thing and has a friction-filled relation with the protagonist(s) - Check
Papa Midnite / Crowley
Just like most other shows, both Supernatural and Constantine have a new story to tell in every episode that builds into an overarching plot extending all the way to the season finale. The new story in each episode keeps the occasional viewer entertained and the regular viewers immersed in this parallel world have something to look forward to until the season finale.
From the first season, Constantine's story mimics the comic Hellblazer, which makes it even more interesting. The comic's cult following gives the series a ready-made audience which is well familiar with the characters and the plot. The comic is also filled with unexpected twists and turns that reflect in the show and should keep even viewers who have never read the comic well engaged.
The downside to this is that the Constantine series needs to live up to the expectations of Hellblazer fans and merely mimicking the comic's storyline may not be enough.
The number of viewers for each episode in the first season of Constantine ranged from 2.96 million to 4.28 million. The number of viewers for each episode of Supernatural's first season ranged from 3.26 million to 5.82 million. So, Supernatural definitely had the upper hand here from the first season itself.
However, considering the niche audience that Constantine targets, which has already had a taste of a similar show, the viewership isn't too bad.
Rotten Tomatoes reported a 69% approval rating with an average rating of 6.8/10 based on 13 reviews for Supernatural's first season, while the website reported a 72% critic approval rating with an average rating of 6.2/10 based on 46 reviews for Constantine's first season.
The Fan Connection
One of the best things about Supernatural has been its ability to connect to its fans and engage them. In return, fans have given the show their unfettered love.
However, Supernatural has had a long period of success to be able to do that. Constantine is just beginning to walk and will stumble many times before it can reach those heights of fan craze.
Again, its comic has established a fan base for it. The show now needs to keep up to their expectations in the second season.
Conclusion: Difficult Beginnings
Based on all this, Constantine does have the potential to do a Supernatural in the future and maybe more i.e. if the show gets a second season.
Also, if you've seen the first season of Constantine, the pace of the show is really quick compared to Supernatural. Of course, Constantine is following the comic and not Supernatural, but I just can't help notice the pace of twists and turns, as well as the similarities.
The storyline has already hashed out most of the surprises and other stuff that Supernatural put out throughout its multiple seasons.
There's a tragic backstory for the protagonist(s) of both shows.
Dean gets possessed by a demon. Constantine's been there, done that.
Sam takes a long time to get accustomed to being in the 'family business.' Zed just jumps right in without hesitation and is on a crash course to being a demon hunter.
Castiel takes his own sweet time to understand humans and does not break angel rules until much later. Manny has already become a rebel of sorts.
Even though I'm a fan of the quick pace of Constantine, which I think is one of its USPs, it might be just a little too fast for the audience to get attached to the characters. Remember, this is a television series not a comic book. Season two should slow down a tad and allow the audience to connect with the characters.
The last thing I think that works for Supernatural - and that there is not enough of in Constantine - is humor, even awkward humor if possible. I'm not saying it's not there, but it just needs to be turned up a bit more. This is something that keeps Supernatural way above other shows out there.