Halloween’s Best TV Bets

If you are looking for thrills, chills, ghouls and scares on TV this Halloween Night, NBC has you covered with two shows sure to hit all the right horror notes. Brand new demon-filled series “Constantine” and devilishly delightful veteran “Grimm” air new episodes on the scariest night of the year. Both had their season premieres last week in spooktacular fashion!

“Grimm” is back and when we were last in Portland, Oregon Captain Renard (Sasha Roiz) had been shot a few times and Nick (David Giuntoli) had been de-Grimmed. Renard’s would-be assassin (played by C. Thomas Howell, who only returns in the premiere as a replica disembodied head) was quickly dispatched by Truble (Jacqueline Toboni), but her sudden departure left the Police with a bunch of unanswered questions. Thankfully, unlike “Castle” (I know, let it go), the season-ending wedding between Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) and Rosalee (Bree Turner) was able to actually get past the “I Do” stage before falling into chaos.

It doesn’t look like Nick is getting his monster-divining mojo back soon, but despite having lost his powers in a sex-romp with a magically disguised Adalind (Claire Coffee), it appears that girlfriend Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) is being adult about the whole thing. Surprisingly, “Grimm” isn’t using this to drive another wedge between the two, but considering she was previously literally spellbound to constantly make out with his boss, she may realize she doesn’t really have a moral high ground to stand on. For now, Trubel is the only Grimm in town. The rookie seems to be enjoying being needed in such an important role, but Halloween may not be bringing her any treats in that department.

Similarly, the dear Captain may not even make it to being able to trick-or-treat as he flatlined and time was called in the closing moments of the premiere. This was all observed by a mysterious blonde woman (Louise Lombard). Renard’s story may not be finished because if “Grimm” has taught us anything it’s that blonde women have a way of making very unexpected, if not completely undesirable, things happen. You can almost certainly trust that she is up to no good, but whether or not that bodes well for Renard making a recovery remains to be seen. No matter what happens, Halloween promises a plastic pumpkin bucket full of treats for the viewers.

Newcomer “Constantine” got off to a dynamic and demonic start. John Constantine (Matt Ryan) is a man of few scruples and even less of a soul. He’s an occult detective and con-man who has done way too many deals with several devils and only occasionally manages to pay the price. That’s mostly the province of those around him, which is why he can count his friends on one hand. Chas Chandler (Charles Halford) and the angel Manny (Harold Perrineau) are the only two beings he is on speaking terms with and at least one of them isn’t human.

“Constantine” is based on the best-selling and much-beloved comic book series “Hellblazer.” While there has been much contention amongst die-hard fans that this is a watered-down version of the usually manipulative bastard John Constantine, the TV show still holds up pretty well as its own entity. The original pilot was changed a bit before broadcast to accommodate a change in direction regarding the female lead and I think it still holds up even better as a strong premiere. There are striking horror elements as well as interesting insights into what makes the live-action Constantine tick, plus it did a great job introducing the characters and the premise without getting overburdened by exposition. The second episode looks to be a real corker, so I encourage everyone, including the die-hard fans, to give it a chance.

After a night out gathering Halloween treats you can be assured of coming home to a nice cup of your favorite witch’s brew and a couple of shows that will provide you with a few more scares before you call it a night. The great thing is every Friday night can be Halloween with the back-to-back NBC scare-fest that is “Grimm” and “Constantine.”

joseph Dilworth Jr.

Joseph Dilworth Jr. has been writing ever since he could hold a pencil. Back then it was one of those big, red pencils, the Faber-Castell Goliath.  Remember those? Now, that was a pencil! He has been writing for the Internet for nearly ten years and for six years he served as founder, editor and lead writer for Pop Culture Zoo. He is currently co-host of the weekly The Flickcast podcast, is contributing two essays to the upcoming book The Sacred Scrolls: Comics on the Planet of the Apes and is writing a reference book about the TV series Fringe for Hasslein Books.