Running Time: 46 minutes
Genre: Action, Drama, Fantasy
Creator: Ed Decter
Starring: Katherine McNamara, Dominic Sherwood, Alberto Rosende
When I first started watching the show, I knew it needed some work.
Okay, my conclusion? Not like the books, and cheesy at times, but pretty good. 3.5/5 stars for me. I want to see the rest. 😁 #Shadowhunters
— Marianne (@marianneereads) January 13, 2016
That was my tweet when I saw the first episode of Shadowhunters.
Before even watching the series, I knew that if anything, they had gotten the casting right. And after finishing the season, I can say that they still have. I absolutely loved the portrayals of Alec, Isabelle, Magnus, Simon, and Luke. I think they have been the best portrayals of the characters we’ve ever seen on screen (regardless of whether or not some of them don’t look like the characters in the book).
I have some qualms over Jace and Clary’s portrayals. They’re the main characters, plus we obviously know that they’re going to have a romance, but I just didn’t see it. I couldn’t see any chemistry whatsoever from them in the first half of the season. I think they got much better as the season went on, but I was still pretty iffy with them. However, the way this season ended, I think their chemistry is finally shining through.
I was so excited when I heard that Dominic Sherwood was going to be Jace, but so far he hasn’t blown me away by his portrayal.
Maybe I have too high of a standard for him? Maybe I just know that he could do SO much better, after seeing his wonderful and sassy portrayal of Christian in the Vampire Academy movie (in fact, I think he was my favorite part of it!). Anyways, yeah, Dom really hasn’t cut it for me in terms of Jace. I think he pulls off dramatic and kickass scenes just fine, but the traditional snark that we’re used to in the books just isn’t there.
Clary’s portrayal by Katherine McNamara has really gone a long way. If I would have judged her acting based on the first episode only, I would have said that Katherine is a bad actress and left it at that. But the truth is her acting has really improved. At first it was over the top and unbelievable, and while it still needs some work, I’m actually starting to like her. I’m sure that by season 2 this will improve even more.
Everyone’s main complaint of the show is the fact that it’s so vastly different from the books. I’m here, as a hardcore fan of the books, and as a “PLEASE DON’T CHANGE THE BOOKS WHEN ADAPTING THEM” advocate to say: I actually enjoyed the changes.
I think this series is actually very difficult to adapt to screen while at the same time keeping it believable and entertaining. Especially considering the fact that the Shadowhunters world has layers and layers of information (literally dozens of books, and counting) that the show has to condense it in one way or another without sacrificing the pace and also trying to keep the viewer from getting confused. So yes, lots of changes to the books, but I always saw the common core underneath. All the basics are there, trust me. It’s just a different way of interpreting them.
If there’s one good thing about the changes, it’s this: you never know what’s going to happen next. This season is highly based on Book 1 of The Mortal Instruments series, City of Bones, but it also adds bits of books 2 and 3 of the series as well. I honestly like it because it made me curious to see what would happen next episode.
Now, I think all the things I disliked about the show can be attributed to a major thing: the writing. For real guys, the first few episodes were so badly written they made me cringe. I think this can explain the disjointed acting, and lack of chemistry between some characters… because it’s just the writing. Some lines seemed so out of place, like Simon screaming at Jace “COME AT ME, BRO!”, or any time Jace tried to be funny and it just seemed forced…
I will say this of the show: it seriously got better with each episode. I think each character had time to shine, and I’m glad that the show wasn’t centralized on Jace and Clary only. We got to see Alberto Rosende shine as Simon, Emeraude Toubia perfectly nail the tough and seductress Isabelle, Harry Shum Jr. bring the iconic Magnus to life, Alan Van Sprang totally infuriating us as Valentine, and even Maxim Roy give Jocelyn a whole new and badass side we didn’t expect. The show isn’t perfect. The writing is cheesy at times, and it needs work, but overall it’s quite enjoyable. Think of this as a B-movie… enjoyable, but not entirely the best. I say, go into this show with an open mind. A friend of mine, who has never read the books, saw an episode and told me “I don’t particularly like it, but I can’t look away either. It’s like a drug”. So, I suggest you make your own judgement on the series!
My Favorite Episodes, from Lowest to Highest:
- Raising Hell (episode 4)
- The Mortal Cup (episode 1)
- The Descent Into Hell Is Easy (episode 2)
- Dead Man’s Party (episode 3)
- Of Men and Angels (episode 6)
- Moo Shu to Go (episode 5)
- This World Inverted (episode 10)
- Bad Blood (episode 8)
- Major Arcana (episode 7)
- Rise Up (episode 9)
- Blood Calls to Blood (episode 11)
- Morning Star (episode 13)
- Malec (episode 12)
THE MALEC EPISODE GAVE ME LIFE. I’ve seen it 3 times already… and I don’t think I’ll be stopping any time soon. It was so so good! Every single TMI fan loves the Malec ship, so this episode… it really did justice to that. Not to mention every single character has a different struggle going on by this episode, so seeing them dealing with this was amazing. This was a very layered episode, and very powerful. I’m so glad Freeform did this.