The Sandman: Dream a Little Dream of Me   Books Included 
August 8, 2022 8:25 PM - Season 1, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Dream regains his sand. Ethel sends her son John to regain Dream's ruby.

Episode 3 corresponds to issue 3 of the comic, with the addition of Ethel visiting John (which is lifted from the first part of issue 5, "Passengers", which featured Martian Manhunter and thus was probably not available to this adaptation). It also changes John Constantine to Johanna Constantine, probably because they couldn't afford Keanu Reeves.
posted by Etrigan (41 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Still liking this show a whole lot, and I like a lot of the changes -- such as not making Constantine's ex a druggie -- but this was the first time I began to miss some aspects of the graphic novel. They've cut or changed some of the Gaimanesque turns of phrase that have stuck with me for years ("something's trying to tell me somebody" and in a previous episode, "eternal waking"). I'd like the dream aspects to be a little trippier visually, and while I don't exactly mind that they've toned down the horror aspects, I really missed the body horror of the apartment in the original.

Definitely gonna keep watching, though.
posted by kyrademon at 3:34 AM on August 9 [2 favorites]


probably because they couldn't afford Keanu Reeves.

Matt Ryan is my Constantine but I can live with Joanna Constantine, especially if she is played by Jenna Coleman.
posted by Pendragon at 5:40 AM on August 9 [8 favorites]


I read elsewhere that they went with Joanna because it made things easier logistically. Then they found out that JJ Abrams has rights to John. (THAT'll be interesting.) I also missed the apartment from the comics, but I think that they're trying to tone down the horror, and this way's almost certainly less expensive.
I also like what they did with Dee. In the comics, he was an existing villain, and did stuff because "villain." This version's dangerous and insane, but he means well, in his own way.
posted by Spike Glee at 7:45 AM on August 9 [5 favorites]


Yeah, Dee is currently shaping up to be the most nuanced character in the show so far; he seems to be a damaged man who does bad things (or let’s bad things happen) rather than a simple “bad man.” And I liked the sense that he and his mother, despite their fouled lives, loved (and maybe even liked) each other. With the chilly emotional tone of the series, that’s something.

The other emotional high point is the confusion, worry, and vulnerability of Matthew, struggling to find a place for himself in the insane world he’s ended up in….
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:59 AM on August 9 [7 favorites]


I never read the graphic novel but I'm really enjoying the show. The directing and visual effects are stunning, I like the characters and I'm curious to see where it goes. My only complaint is I think Matthew the raven is unnecessarily quippy and tonally feels a little misplaced. Otherwise pleasant surprise!
posted by Emily's Fist at 10:12 AM on August 9 [5 favorites]


Yeah, Dee is currently shaping up to be the most nuanced character in the show so far; he seems to be a damaged man who does bad things (or let’s bad things happen) rather than a simple “bad man.”

That tracks with the comic, actually. He was presented not as being a cartoon evil guy, but rather as a person who just got well and truly fucked up by The Ruby.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:17 AM on August 9 [5 favorites]


Constantine not constantly smoking was a bit of a drag
posted by kokaku at 10:31 AM on August 9 [9 favorites]


Laugh at '90s fashion all you want, but those loose-fit jeans were dang attractive on Johanna Constantine. I never saw the point of acid-washing, but that cut could come back into vogue and I would not be mad. Also her trenchcoat was a thing of beauty and its belt buckle a joy forever. Her Latin was tolerably good, within the limits of Hollywood dog-Latin.

I honestly do not miss the thing with the walls of Rachael's apartment. (I think what happened to the guards in the psych ward once Dee had his mother's protective amulet may have been a callback to it?) But I am not one for body horror anyway.

Visuals: I think part of this is just the way Netflix expects color grading to be done -- that is, super flattened-out and muddy. I really don't love it, but I doubt the folks we think of as creators had a whole lot of influence over it. I will say that the way the psych ward was designed and shot reminded me forcibly of one of the county jails that I help run a books program for -- featureless concrete, claustrophobic walls-closing-in halls, and all. It's a truly awful building, hideously oppressive and inhumane. The show's version is excellent consciously-bad design.
posted by humbug at 12:14 PM on August 9 [2 favorites]


I'm confused, is this a female version of Constantine, in this universe, or his little sister or something?
posted by sammyo at 12:35 PM on August 9


Sammyo: from what I understand, it's the version they could get way with since J.J. Abrams owns the rights to the other John Constantine.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:15 PM on August 9 [2 favorites]


> I'm confused, is this a female version of Constantine, in this universe, or his little sister or something?

At least since Camelot there are always J____ Constantines wandering around getting into magical shenanigans (when I was still actively reading DC comics) . Even when The Books of Magic went to the end of time, there was a Constantine hanging out watching it all wrap up.

Joanna actually did show up in the Sandman comics as John's 18th century ancestor and I'm guessing that, since Gaiman created her, he has full rights to use her so they just put her in the 21st century.
posted by haileris23 at 1:35 PM on August 9 [5 favorites]


OK I haven't read the books, but body horror is definitely something I enjoy so now I'm very very curious what was cut out of the adaptation.
posted by miss-lapin at 4:22 PM on August 9


I really prefer this John Dee over the comic book version. One of the things I really enjoy about they way they've had to shoot the TV series is that it reduced the 'bar to entry' that superhero comics tend to have ("in order to really understand Character X, you must read his initial run starting with Flying Dudes #185 through to #213, as well as the special appearance he made in Swimming Dudes in Capes #340, second half only, and then his motivation will make sense").

I came to Sandman as a teenager having read absolutely no comics, and from time to time just had to skip bits, basically. The whole series improved markedly by dumping like fucking Martian Manhunter, for example, and decoupling Lyta Hall from Wonderwoman.
posted by Jilder at 5:27 PM on August 9 [8 favorites]


The comics bit with Martin Manhunter's Oreos is priceless, but I still totally agree with you. Ditching mainline DC continuity really helps.
posted by humbug at 6:51 PM on August 9 [1 favorite]


As a reminder, in the comics Matthew the raven was originally Matt Cable, an agent assigned to Alec Holland (the previous Swamp Thing). The roots, if you will, of DC's contributions to The Sandman are still present, here and there.
posted by SPrintF at 8:12 PM on August 9 [2 favorites]


Given that Hellblazer arcs like Rick the Vic were here, I was really convinced that there was someone on the writing team that knew and cared about Constantine as a character (which is more than every other adaptation). I really enjoyed this, and I found so many hooks to what I already know and what I don't that it was very very enjoyable
posted by prismatic7 at 1:51 AM on August 10 [3 favorites]


Constantine not constantly smoking was a bit of a drag

I see what you did there.

Mrs. Gelatin and I are up to this point in the series, and we're both enjoying it so far. I have read the comics (multiple times); she hasn't at all.
posted by Gelatin at 5:21 AM on August 10 [2 favorites]


Some comment blogs are filled with memes and quotes,
Where troll wars rage, and haters mock the fans.
But FanFare commenters need posts of note,
And who posts more than he -- than ETRIGAN?
posted by kyrademon at 8:46 AM on August 10 [12 favorites]


As a reminder, in the comics Matthew the raven was originally Matt Cable, an agent assigned to Alec Holland (the previous Swamp Thing).

I will pay cash money for a retconned version of the Swamp Thing stories with Matt Cable redrawn as Patton Oswalt.
posted by Etrigan at 9:12 AM on August 10 [4 favorites]


The roots, if you will, of DC's contributions to The Sandman are still present, here and there.

Cain and Abel's House of Mystery and House of Secrets too!
posted by haileris23 at 9:32 AM on August 10 [4 favorites]


My main issue with Joanna Constantine is, well, okay, I have two issues. First, ConstanTINE? It's ConstanTEEN. That's how I've always pronounced it in my head, anyway.

My main issue is that John Constantine sleeps in his clothes, had something resembling a bath last week (or was it the week before. Definitely since the week before, anyway), and always looks like he's in the middle of a bad hangover. Johanna Constantine is attractive and well put together and has a skin-care regimen, which just seems wrong.

Other than that, this show continues to impress.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 3:40 PM on August 11 [6 favorites]


I loved this episode. Ethel and Johanna were imperious!
posted by lalochezia at 7:55 PM on August 11 [1 favorite]


First, ConstanTINE? It's ConstanTEEN.

ConstanTINE is the British pronunciation. (Tom Ellis's Lucifer tweaks John about this in the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover.)
posted by SPrintF at 8:30 PM on August 11 [5 favorites]


I had to pause a bit when Dee started talking because...well, once a Shame Wizard, always a Shame Wizard. Now that would be an interesting cross-over.
posted by LostInUbe at 6:24 AM on August 12 [1 favorite]


We just finished this episode. I haven't read the comics so I went into this knowing nothing and I think it's just fantastic. Really compelling. Jenna Coleman was fantastic and the exorcism was great. The scene at Rachel's was very moving and sad and I am very much looking forward to The Adventures of Morpheus and Matthew in Hell.
posted by ceejaytee at 10:02 AM on August 12 [1 favorite]


Binge watched the first three episodes and am very, very happy with the resulting show. I really didn't think they could make it. I particularly appreciate the success in translating the comic medium to TV. It feels both like it has all the hallucinatory magic and majesty of the comic books, but it works as video on a screen.

The casting of both Constantine and the Corinthian are great. I really didn't care about those characters in the comic book but they fill a much needed role in the TV show.

My one complaint is Patton Oswalt as Matthew. He's just a little too recognizably Oswalt. He's fine but in the end this character is going to be Oswalt, not Matthew. I wouldn't have minded a more subtle Nathan Lane type as the voice actor. Just a quibble though and Matthew's writing and puppetry (corvid wrangling?) is great.
posted by Nelson at 8:39 AM on August 13 [2 favorites]


Yeah, Dee is currently shaping up to be the most nuanced character in the show so far;

Maybe that's because he's played by DAVID FUCKING THEWLIS! Every scene with that guy is a mini-masterclass.

I felt like Johanna's bit about Morpheus being selfish and uncaring was a bit unearned. I mean, you ditched this person years ago and she's dying because of the magic shit you left in her flat. Project much? Amirite?
posted by Saxon Kane at 1:00 PM on August 14 [5 favorites]


Morph and Constantine definitely have Atrocious Relationship Energy in common. Any kind of relationship, really.
posted by humbug at 7:00 PM on August 14 [3 favorites]


I'm in the camp that isn't really loving Patton Oswalt's delivery in this. It's too him to be anybody else.

SPrintF, in case you need to see it with your own eyes, it's definitely TYNE not TEEN. There is a Hellblazer discussion forum where Constanteen was both a mild rebuke and the way that posters referred to the Keanu movie (i.e. it was a watered down version with a pretty-boy lead designed to appeal to teenage girls).

Despite being a Vertigo and a DC reader when Sandman came out, I never really got into the series at the time. I picked up some issues here and there, but for a host of reasons, it never really caught my interest, so while I've got some cursory knowledge of characters and some very broad plot points, I'm coming into this with very few preconceived notions or expectations, which is nice.

The one I did have, however, came from an interview with Gaiman, who said that no Joanna isn't just the gender swapped version of John, and when I read that, I thought that was a pretty cool approach. As has been mentioned above Constantines have a long and dark history as magic users going back centuries, so I have no issue following the tales of a new-to-me Constantine. I'm enjoying the actress' performance. I like the way they've got her styled. But, (and let's face it, everybody felt a but coming on), she's not a new character. She is essentially a gender swapped version of John. She's got John's supporting cast and John's greatest failure and nightmares. I'm really disappointed by that. I realize that there is a need (and desire) to be faithful to the comics, but if you're introducing a new character (for whatever reason, including a copyright one), then go ahead and do something new with that character. Don't just pull out the original character's greatest hits, swap a new face on them and call them a new character.

After last episode (or maybe the first one--whichever one it was who mentioned the new raven), I'll admit that I popped onto the Internet to figure out if the new raven was that guy who was transformed into a raven during the Swamp Thing run in the '80s. (I want to say it was during the Invunche arc, but I think I'm mixing up my story lines a bit.) I just know that that transformation sequence was probably the creepiest thing I had ever seen at the time. To me, it was the stuff of nightmares. So imagine my surprise when I read that no, the raven wasn't that raven but Matthew Cable. Wow, there's a character I hadn't thought of in ages. And, coming back around to my first point, I can in no way, shape or form image Patton Oswalt as Cable, so that's two strikes against him.
posted by sardonyx at 8:23 PM on August 14 [1 favorite]


Despite being a Vertigo and a DC reader when Sandman came out,

You might be misremembering the sequence of things: Sandman starred in 1989, and Vertigo did not come into being until 1993 (largely because of DC’s interest in sectioning off things like Sandman into their own area, as I recall).
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:12 AM on August 15 [2 favorites]


My main issue with Joanna Constantine is, well, okay, I have two issues. First, ConstanTINE? It's ConstanTEEN. That's how I've always pronounced it in my head, anyway.

This issue was resolved way back in the pagers of Swamp Thing, where the character first appeared. (I think the issue was written by Alan Moore, Constantine's creator, but am not sure.)

When Constantine meets Swamp Thing's hippie friend Chester Williams, the latter says, "It's John Constanteen!", phonetically spelled that way, to which John replies. "Tine. Constant-tine."
posted by Gelatin at 6:42 AM on August 15 [2 favorites]


ricochet biscuit,
You're absolutely right. I should have said something like "the titles that would form the foundation of Vertigo" or something akin to that.

Gelatin,
That panel is is shown in my link above, but yeah, that's the one that nails the canonical pronunciation.
posted by sardonyx at 3:45 PM on August 15 [2 favorites]


No worries: sometimes things cast a shadow backwards in time when viewed from further along. In 1991 I moved into a house full of artsy types, and by the VCR in the living room was a bunch of videocassettes.

If I tell someone about it now, the easiest shorthand to describe the house’s library of home video titles is “Criterion movies:” anachronistic, but people know instantly what I mean by it.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:10 PM on August 15 [3 favorites]


Apologies; I wasn't able to access that link at the time.
posted by Gelatin at 8:15 AM on August 16 [2 favorites]


I can live with Joanna Constantine, especially if she is played by Jenna Coleman.

She did well, but I'd prefer Phoebe Mary Waller-Bridge (of Fleabag). Who better to play a seeming cynic whose life is in disarray, quite likely to hurt people through negligence then torture themselves with guilt?
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 2:02 PM on August 16 [2 favorites]


once a Shame Wizard, always a Shame Wizard

oh my goodness I'm not going to be able to unhear that, now
posted by ook at 2:24 PM on August 16 [2 favorites]


Apologies; I wasn't able to access that link at the time.
posted by Gelatin at 8:15 AM on August 16


There's absolutely no need to apologize. I just thought I'd make it clear for anybody reading who wanted to see where your quote came from. I know not everybody follows all the links in a discussion (I know I don't), but if they were curious to see the actual panel/art it's just a click away. No need to go searching for it.
posted by sardonyx at 8:37 PM on August 16 [1 favorite]


Johanna seemed far too much like a nice person to be a Constantine.
posted by zamboni at 5:46 PM on August 22 [1 favorite]


Glad I stuck with this. I wasn't really into the first two episodes but it seems to have finally hit its stride with this one. I've never read the books so I don't know what the changes are and I love the casting.
posted by octothorpe at 7:46 AM on August 27 [2 favorites]


I really enjoyed Johanna. I get the whole "people with me get in trouble" thing, but look, that happened anyway, I guess.

That certainly was a choice, Ethel....

Oh, Hettie, been around 200+ years, how, exactly?

I admit I like Patton Oswalt doing his thing.
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:59 PM on September 5


Will we ever see a Scouse Constantine?
posted by biffa at 1:32 PM on September 14


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