The big highlight of SDCC 2014's Preview Night was the WB Pilot Showcase, showing off the new CW show The Flash and NBC’s Constantine.
The San Diego Comic-Con is always the best place to get the lowdown on the new shows coming out this fall, and Wednesday’s preview night was no exception. Warner Bros. has been doing this for the last seven years and today was our lucky year, as they would unveil CW’s The Flash and NBC’s Constantine as they are introduced to the TV audience. Better yet? They’re good.
The event that took place in Ballroom 20 would introduce the aforementioned pilots and a new episode of Teen Titans Go!, though Scoot asked me to skip that episode. Originally, iZombie would have been shown off as well, but with the recent news of the cast reshuffling, the pilot was not going to be ready for the hungry fans (or zombies) looking to feast their eyes on the show. While it was a sad circumstance, judging from the cheers in the beginning for The Flash pilot, all would be forgiven.
The first thing shown was the The Flash and it was terrific. The pacing was great, the effects were impressive and the cast was tremendous and talented. While the pilot definitely could invite comparisons to The Amazing Spider-Man with Andrew Garfield, that’s not necessarily a bad thing at all. Grant Gustin (Glee) might look and sound a little like the actor playing the web-slinger but he makes the character his own. He has the charisma to hold his own on screen and anchor a great cast around him. Jesse L. Martin (Law & Order) plays his former guardian and cop mentor and he definitely was a favorite at the screening. Tom Cavanagh (Ed, Scrubs) is terrific as always as the owner of Star Labs, the origin of the particle accelerator that would jumpstart the new hero’s career. There is the obligatory cameo from another show that drew cheers and applause but it definitely provided a cool moment and epiphany that added to the episode. Overall, everyone should get excited for this show and I think DC and the CW can add another hit to their list. October 7, 2014 is the premiere date and we’ll definitely be on the couch for that one.
Constantine was the next pilot shown and it was impressive as well. The horror vibe is evident from the start and it definitely had me jumping a few times with certain moments. At first glance, the lead Matt Ryan (Criminal Minds) reminds me of a young Willem Dafoe, but he starts to stand out on his own as the episode goes on. The pilot did cram a lot of origin story into the 40-some minute premiere but it definitely hit its stride once the character Liv was introduced. Granted, we now know Liv (Lucy Griffiths) will not be in the show and is going to be “replaced” by Zed (Angélica Celaya) in later episodes, but while the pilot plays the switch off only somewhat abruptly, you can understand the choice of the switch for the long term prospects of the show. Having Harold Perrineau (Oz, Lost) back on television helps too, as he teases and gets on our protagonist’s nerves throughout the episode. Jeremy Davies (Lost) shows up as well, and he manages to look sloppier than ever on screen as a metaphysics professor partner of Constantine. Overall, the show has its potential and if they can iron out a few pacing issues (and make sure the new cast gels), it could continue the streak of scary and engaging shows that started with the underrated Hannibal. The show will premiere on October 24, 2014 on NBC just in time for Halloween.
The day ended with an encore presentation of The Flash and the crowd was excited to watch the fastest man on Earth do his thing. It was a great start to the Con and we here at Geek look forward to getting you more news as it comes from San Diego. Did anyone else see the pilots on Wednesday too? What did you guys think, will you watch them this fall? Please let us know in the comments and follow us on Twitter, Instagram and the GEEK Facebook page for updates on your favorite shows, movies and video games coming in from the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con!
Images: CW, NBC