Sunday, July 20, 2014

Why I Won't Be Watching NBC's Constantine

Around this time every year I am continuously asked about which shows I'll be tuning in for when the US Fall season starts up. I try to be pretty vague because it's impossible to tell which, if any, new show I will actually end up investing in. But the truth is I have to narrow down my potential viewing options some how. Like, I don't like procedurals and I refuse to acknowledge anything created by Chuck Lorre. Most people accept that, because there are only so many hours in the day. But as soon as I say that I won't be watching NBC's Constantine because they're erasing the titular character's bisexuality, suddenly I'm being unreasonable. 

Ever since the NBC Constantine team said John Constantine probably won't be bisexual on their show I have told anyone that asked: I will not be watching. I'm not angry or vicious about it, I'm just not interested. It seems a lot of people I know don't think that is an acceptable response. Seriously people are strangely upset that I am giving up on this show for one tiny detail that they don't think is very important anyway. I could be missing out on the best new show around, did I ever think about that? Besides it's not like his sexuality is a huge part of the comics. It's not that big a deal right? 

Except it is a big deal. It's a huge deal. Erasing a queer characters sexuality is so very incredibly wrong. It should not be allowed. We don't have a lot of representation it is disgusting that they are taking the small amount we do have. But unfortunately I'm not surprised. Which is why instead of fighting the decision I'm just not going to watch or engage with this show. It might turn out to be fantastic, but you know what, there are a lot of fantastic shows out there and I really don't have enough time or energy to care about another straight white anti-hero. It's boring and not worth the effort. 

So yeah I'm angry and disappointed about another case of bisexual erasure but if I'm being completely honest the reason I'm not going to tune in is because NBC's Constantine lost the one thing that made it remotely intriguing. I mean I already watch Supernatural and Arrow and Agents of SHIELD and Dominion and Teen Wolf and Sleepy Hollow and The Originals and True Blood - I really don't need watch any more straight guys dealing with supernatural drama. But a bisexual lead would have convinced me to give NBC's Constantine a chance. 

Straight-washing a canonically queer characters sexuality is enough to make me boycott a show on principle but it's not like NBC's Constantine is offering me something totally new and different to begin with. Considering the fact that it's up against a couple of similar offerings - The Flash, Gotham and Agent Carter - John Constantine's sexuality is as good a reason as any to give the show a pass.