‘On her birthday, Clary Fray discovers a surprise concerning her life. The teenager is not who she thinks she is — she comes from a long line of human-angel hybrids, called Shadowhunters, who hunt demons. After her mother is kidnapped, Clary is thrust into the world of demon-hunting. Clary relies on mysterious Jace and fellow hunters Isabelle and Alec to help her navigate the dark world. While living in this new world among creatures like vampires and werewolves, Clary’s best friend Simon helps her uncover answers that could help her find her mother. The fantasy show is based on a series of young adult books by Cassandra Clare.’
For those who first fell in love with ‘The Mortal Instruments’ through Cassandra Clare’s lovable and ambitious books, do not rely too heavily on the television show to contain the same stories. That does not imply that it is not fantastic in its own right, it just as with any book to movie to now television show adaption, adventures and details have to change in order to fit the media they are being showcased on. Nevertheless, if you can draw away from the books and are open to new trials and tribulations for the characters you’ve fallen in love with, well, Shadowhunters might just be for you.
After the movie failed to make a positive impact (*I understand why as even though I really enjoyed it myself, the ending did leave me beyond confused*), a sequel was out of the picture, and thus the television show ‘Shadowhunters’ was born. And it’s pretty much perfect for anyone who loves urban-fantasy, teenage love triangles, and a touch of dramatic cliche.
The show itself has made the characters older – Clary was only fifteen at the beginning of the first book ‘City of Bones’ – and with that more serious topics can be explored. By serious, I am referring to the out of the blue death in season two (I won’t spoil who, but if anyone is interested, it does NOT happen in the books) and Isabelle’s addiction (another feature that only appears in the television show but is related to another set of Clare’s stories).
The core features of Clare’s books still stand, such as the mission to defeat Valentine and “Sebastian”, as well as the incestuous-but-then-not-incestuous relationship between Clary and Jace. You also do not have to look too far to find Simon Lewis’ quirky humour, or Isabelle Lightwood’s seductive charm.
What I love most about the television show, much like every other fan, is how much Malec there is, and the development of Alec Lightwood from serious and salty to caring and gentle. Moreover, Raphael Santiago, who I did not really care about in the books, is honestly the cutest thing since sliced bread. Both Alec and Raphael represent homosexuality and asexuality, which has always been very important to the fans, and it is brilliant to know that the sexuality of these characters is central and explored.
I also really appreciate the progression of Dominic Sherwood’s Jace Wayland/Insert-whichever-surname-that-fits, who I really couldn’t bring myself to like until nearly the end of season one. If I’m honest, I felt the same toward Kat McNamara’s Clary Fray. But now that season two A is complete and two B is underway, I can’t imagine anyone playing either better. The chemistry between them is flawless.
Overall, if you want something new to watch, full of vampires, werewolves, and ravenor demons, along with action and angst, then you might as well give this programme a chance. But do not compare it to the books or movie – you might end up a tad disappointed as details have been sacrificed *which is completely just* and the budget is obviously far less when it comes to CGI and props.
First aired: – 12th January 2016
Setting of the story: – Brooklyn, present day
Favourite characters: – Jace Wayland, Alec Lightwood, Raphael Santiago
Most hated characters: – Hodge Starkweather, Robert Lightwood
Favourite quote: – ‘I came with you to escape my relationship drama, not get a front row seat to yours.’ – Magnus Bane.
What I hope to see in season 2b: Sebastian (you-know-who)