Comics · Queer · TV & Movies

I Don’t Care About NBC’s Constantine (#queerpop)

#queerpop (5)I had thought to start #queerpop with a post on why representation matters, something “intro”-y like that… But there are so many timely topics to post about that for the moment, my assumption is that you know why representation matters. So let’s jump right in to the pop culture discussion!

NBC's ConstantineJohn Constantine is a DC Comics character, a working-class magician. He was letter J for my A to Z of LGBT Comics Characters in April, because he’s bisexual. He got his own TV show on NBC, and it just got cancelled. Cue “save our show” campaigns. Now, if you love Constantine, and you’re upset it’s cancelled, I certainly hope your campaign is a success and you get your show back. But other than that I really can’t find it in me to care. Because this Constantine is not bi.

Maybe this is hypocritical of me. I know people who really like the show. I kinda really liked the 2005 Constantine movie, and he wasn’t bi in that either, but at the time I didn’t know any better… And even now that I know better, I love plenty of other shows with terrible-or-absent bi representation. There’s just something about how this one was handled that really puts me off.

I don’t insist that everything I watch be about a bi person, or even a queer person! By no means! But Constantine is a bi person, and the people behind the NBC show purposefully made him not be a bi person, have said repeatedly in interviews that they know about this aspect of the character but on this show, he is not and will not be a bi person. That is called erasure, and it’s a problem in itself, but it also makes me feel unsafe with the show. I am a bi person, and this clearly indicates that I am not welcome.

I don’t get NBC, or any other channels… When I’m watching an ongoing show, I’m either bumming it off friends’ TVs or I have to buy each episode as it comes out. Nobody I know is watching Constantine, so I only have one option. Do you think I’m spending money on a show when its creators don’t want me to? No I am not.

What do you think? I’ve heard the first season is pretty good once it gets going, and I’ve attempted to convince myself to try it out on several occasions, but I just can’t do it, and this is why. Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Not into comics? No problem. Next week we’re talking about Lip Sync Battle. Don’t miss it!

21 thoughts on “I Don’t Care About NBC’s Constantine (#queerpop)

  1. I watched the first episode of this one and didn’t get any farther, which is disappointing. It just didn’t do it for me, either. :/


  2. I’m sort of in Nagzilla’s boat with the whole being behind on network TV, and really, just TV in general. I just finished watching SHIELD, just so I could keep up with some blog posts (and I like Agent Colson). But the issue of erasure is something I really hate. I will actively avoid shows that have tampered with ANY element of a character willfully, not just in regard to their sexual orientation (dub of Sailor Moon), gender (Gundam Wing), or history.


  3. This is where I admit that since dropping cable, I am completely out of touch with network TV. But it would piss me off that they just rewrote a character completely, for what purpose? Because they didn’t want to offend? Because they didn’t think it was important? Makes no sense to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can’t comment on the show because I haven’t seen it, and I have no motivation to watch now it’s been cancelled! But I can totally see where you’re coming from because they fundamentally changed his character. I can’t help thinking about shows like Arrow, the Flash and Daredevil. The writers of those shows have poetic license to change certain things about each characters past, their family/friends, etc. but they always stay true to who they are. Olly, for example, might be slightly darker than his comic character, but fundamentally – his beliefs, his identity – they are the same. Clearly they didn’t do the same with Constantine.


    1. Quite so. I have no problem with artistic changes, that’s kind of the point of remaking something in my opinion. To take a new angle and shed light on an underappreciated aspect of something. That doesn’t mean that all changes are interesting, necessary, or good. I feel similarly about the current version of Constantine in the comics… They didn’t “change” him, they GUTTED him.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The first couple of episodes were so abysmal that I gave up on the show pretty quickly, and I have not been convinced to return to it since. I’m not gonna miss it, that’s for sure… You can’t do a PG13 Constantine. Really, you can’t. There is no freaking way. I mean, not even smoking?! Really?!
    (I did love the movie too at the time.)


    1. I really wanted to like it too but when i start skipping episodes and find i don’t care that I did, then maybe the show isn’t all that.

      I was also pretty upset about how the Bi aspect of this character was erased. We don’t need a full on sex scene. Just the character mentioning having been in relationships with men would have been enough and the writers couldn’t even be bothered to do that much.

      When you have homophobic and/or lazy writers, (and most TV writers seem to fall into these two categories, as there’s a lot of erasure going on in TV ) who are afraid to approach any subject, this is what you end up with.
      Hopefully the next generation of writers will be more courageous.

      Also I didn’t expect the show to get very dark on NBC. Network TV is for lightweight shows, not stuff like Constantine. NBC never should’ve picked it up.


      1. Yes! It’s really not that difficult to even have him casually mention he’s bi. I’ve just been told on Twitter that the writer producer has included some little inside references to it, so the blame may be more on NBC than that guy (Daniel Cerone), but still. The effect is the same.



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