Wednesday, 13 January 2016


SHADOWHUNTERS episode 1 review

There WILL be some spoilers!

It's no big secret that I am a huge, huge fan of The Mortal Instruments. I have been a die-hard fan since 2009, met Cassie more than once, have a TMI inspired tattoo and own over 40 books (paperbacks, hardbacks and special editions; I even own a certain ARC) in the Shadowhunter series and used to be quite the collector when I had money to burn. These days I am not so obsessed, but still I remain a huge fan. 2013 and the release of the failure that was the City of Bones movie was definitely the point that killed off many Shadowhunters. I very narrowly escaped, but can't deny that it did affect my interest in the series. So naturally, I was not excited about Shadowhunters. The movie had been incredibly traumatising and I was frightened that this would be the icing on the top and cause me to hate the series forever. 

But... today I watched it. And coming up next is how I feel about it. The good and the bad. 

It was craptastic as a faithful adaptation. 

That is the truth of it. It followed the basic structure of the book, but the episode was littered with bits that simply did not make sense to me while I was comparing the book/show, such as:

  • The New York Institute uses technology to hunt down demons etc. There are very high-tech gadgets littering the place, which simply isn't the Shadowhunter way. In the books, they are notoriously old-fashioned and know next to nothing about the mundane world. They even dress old-fashioned, which Clary mentions often. Only the youngsters such as Jace seemed to know about technology and TV (Jace watching Project Runway and the gang having mobile phones for examples.) Sebastian even explained that he grew up with an old icebox powered by witchlight because no electricity ran in Idris. In Valentine's pad, however, there was technology. But only because he was separated from the other Shadowhunters. (Forever wondering what DVDs he owned, lololololol.)

  • The same New York Institute was BUSY. It seemed like a movie with a secret base full of spies. In the books, only the Lightwoods, Hodge and Jace resided there permanently. Shadowhunters were a dying breed! Crikey, Valentine wanted to make more! People rarely popped by! 
  • I think that I even saw a gun in one scene? I may be wrong. As mentioned in the books, guns do NOT work around Shadowhunters. The runes stop the gunpowder from igniting. 
  • Luke being a police officer. And a werewolf. Nuff said. 
  • Feeling very dotty about Dot. As I mentioned to my friend as we watched, there was a very Elena Gilbert and Bonnie feel going on. Simon actually reminded us of Caroline Forbes with his enthusiasm. 
  • Jocelyn giving Clary a stele. And revealing her runes to her. Why. Just why. She worked hard to keep Clary blind from the Shadow World! Never would she do that.

But, brace yourself...

I really enjoyed the episode. 

Yes. I just said that. For reals.

Once you stop comparing the show to the book, it does become enjoyable. I highly suggest diving into this show with an open mind and leave yourself open to change. As an episode of a new TV show, I did like it. As a faithful adaptation, I did not. I think that we all knew that exactly the book was never going to happen and accepted that long ago. I'm watching this and feeling that it's an AU fic. And that's fine. 

So let me talk about the things that I did like! It's a long and happy list!

  • A vast majority of the characters were cast perfectly. With the movie, I felt no attachment for any of the actors. In my eyes, none of them were the characters that I spent my teen years reading about.
  • Dominic is Jace. Kat is Clary. Together, I think that I've at long last found the perfect Clace. Kat perfectly portrayed the batshit uber crazy Clary who was freaking the frick out during the beginning parts of CoB. And Dominic as Jace? He just LOOKS Jace. Feels Jace. 
  • Emeraude killed it as Isabelle. Hot damn, girl! You blew away my worries and fears!
  • Matthew as Alec.
  • Matthew's face.
  • Matthew's booty.
  • Matthew in general.
  • Matthew.
  • The little parts from the books they actually included, such as Simon's rotting banana-coloured van.
  • The fight scenes! There was more action in the first episode than I was expecting. The choreography was pretty decent and I love the designs for the seraph blades. (Though I wish that in the show, they still had to use the names of the angels to activate them!)
  • The pacing was great. Not too much was packed in, or too little. It was just right. 
So, it's a thumbs up from me and my uber critical mind! Shadowhunters was... Cool! A fresh new show that would be fun to watch even if it wasn't based on my all-time favourite book series. I think I will carry on watching and finally allow myself to get excited about the show!

I say: give it a shot!

Now, enjoy these pictures of actual angel Matthew Daddario.

*licks screen*


  1. Nicola!! I really enjoyed your thoughts on Shadowhunters. A lot of things you pointed out that make it different from the book actually bugged me a little bit too, but overall, I thought the show was pretty fun. I'm curious to see if I'll keep feeling the way as we see more episodes!

  2. Great review! Matthew is beautiful and I could look at him all day!