Shadowhunters: First (and Second) Impressions


Happy Sunday!! So, like many of you I’m having a lazy Sunday and catching up on TV- and what better TV could I be watching than the new Mortal Instruments series? Actually lots of programmes as you’ll soon find out.

Because while this programme was thoroughly entertaining and a pretty decent adaptation, a lot of it was really cheesy and had some straight up ridiculous special affects (I mean did anyone see those Seraph blades? I mean, c’mon they looked like they’d been pinched from a cartoon).

Honestly, I think the main issue was the script. I knew from the trailer it wasn’t going to be great- but I had hoped it wouldn’t all sound like such a cliché ridden gag reel. Sadly, I was disappointed- the writers obviously thought that pinching every single line from every single fantasy script ever made was a good idea. I mean, they genuinely put in the line “even in the darkest of places, there is light” when referring to Witchlights. Which felt like it was lifted straight out of Lord of the Rings (of course, I recognise that Clare is famous for plagiarism, so I suppose it’s an appropriate complaint for an adaptation of her work). Either way, it was *not* a good line.

Okay, that being said, I managed to sit through all three episodes- so there were obviously some good parts about this show.

I think the thing holding this programme together at the moment is the characters. Some of them (Alec and Simon in particular) are excellent interpretations. Even Isabelle, who is quite different from the character in the book, has a certain charm to her and is far less flat than the film version. Likewise, Valentine is much truer to the book version than the camp-but-acceptably-villainous version from the film. I mean, just compare the images of the two:

I’d say there’s no comparison, but there clearly is: the one from the movie looks like a failed 80’s rocker and the TV show looks like a slick supremacist out to destroy the world (in short he looks like Valentine). I love how they’ve quickly established how he cares for Jocelyn- and I loved his reaction to finding out about Clary, whilst also throwing in some super evil moments. It’s a very promising characterisation and it’s giving the show the much needed dark edge it needs.

On the flipside, of course, I’m really not convinced by the leads at this stage- which is a problem, because even if the supporting cast is great, I don’t want to wince every time the main characters come on screen. In a way, it’s actually quite funny, because in contrast to Jace’s wooden acting, Clary is totally overdoing it. Every time Jace comes across like a creepy robot (which is every time he delivers a supposedly witty or sarcastic line) Clary just gets more earnest and ridiculous. And don’t get me started on Clary trying to run in heels (that actually had me giggling to myself).

That said, it’s an enjoyable enough waste of time, so I will probably continue watching it. Although, that’ll probably be because I can never seem to stop watching things once I start- even if they’re rubbish- so it’ll probably take 5 years to wean myself off this. I actually hope this show gets cancelled before that stage (which tells me I should probably just stick to watching Homeland instead)

So what did everyone else think of this show? Will you be watching it? Let me know in the comments section 🙂

37 thoughts on “Shadowhunters: First (and Second) Impressions

  1. I wish I liked it more. I’ll probably watch all of the first season, and hopefully warm up to it. There are a lot of shows where the first couple of episodes are stiff and then it just finds it’s place. I think the casting is ok but, Clary and Jace don’t seem to have any on screen chemistry at all. So far I feel like this version of Clary is lacking the spark she shows in the books. Other than that I really hate the technology based looking command center, and the lightsaber looking stele — would have prefered if they had kept everything arcane looking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah me too- I wasn’t crazy about it, but knowing me, I’ll keep watching :/
      You’re right it could get good. But I agree with you about jace and Clary- they’re realllly bad. Yeah the visuals look so silly!!! Completely agree about the stele too- it’s not great. And U agree- I just don’t see the command centre as being the same one as in the book- which is not good

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I actually loved the movie version – especially the casting of Clary and Jace. It was Alec I wasn’t keen on in the movie version. It’s kind of sad that the TV show has the opposite issue and a nasty script issue. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Okay, I didn’t know that Clare was famous for plagiarism… Or was that sarcasm? Anyway, I watched the first two episodes and for some reason I found the whole thing less believable than the movie. In episode two they were going to see the silent brothers and Clary is acting like she’s completely up to speed and on board with the new reality of her life. I was scratching my head at that one.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah she is- apparently she lifted lines from all over the place and put them in her “original” fan fic- I don’t have such a problem with this, because she did it before she ever made money from it. I think the only problem is she sues anyone that says that about her- which is bad- especially cos it’s true.
      Yeah the effects are terrible- and the acting’s not great- so I agree with you there!
      Yeah Clary flits between hysteria and complete acceptance- it’s really weird. Somehow I believed her going along with it more in the movie- mostly cos her mood changes in the tv show are giving me whiplash


        1. yeah exactly- plagiarism is bad- and I’m definitely against that. But I don’t see it as a reason to boycott her stuff, cos she never made money out of it. I guess what she did was a morally grey are- but you’re right, the suing thing is just plain weird.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Yeah, when I saw the previews for this I was already convinced it wasn’t going to be good, but I’ll still give it a try…someday. I did see the movie adaption of the book and I wasn’t impressed. It’s crazy that she has plagiarized other writers work – is it in her new novels or only her free stories?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. nah don’t bother- it’s probably not worth your time. I mean, it’s ok, but why waste your time on something ok when you can watch something awesome? I don’t think any of her novels are plagiarised (though they are based on fanfic)- but her free stuff was and the show definitely felt like it had lines lifted from all over the place :/

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re right it’s probably not, especially with all the good shows I need to catch up on. That’s true! But I always try something once so when I say it’s bad I’ve seen it haha. Well at least she didn’t get published with plagiarized writing. But ABC Family (Freeform) is synonymous with bad scripts, however this show might take the cake (after watching the promo).

        Liked by 1 person

          1. I just recently started Outsiders, which is interesting so far, but I like shows like that. I watch Limitless, Sherlock, Elementary, The Flash, Daredevil, etc. I watch A LOT of tv shows but I usually just record them and have one day set aside to do nothing but watch tv 😀 What about you? Haha, it’s such a shame that no one can make a good, high quality adaptation of the book.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. ahh so do I- I can’t seem to stop! I watched Flash last year and it was pretty good- but I stopped cos I’m feeling overloaded with superhero stuff right now (I love superheroes, but even I feel like I need a break) I’ll make Daredevil the exception to that rule when the next series comes out- cos last season was *epic*! At the moment I’m into Homeland and Blacklist- so more FBI/CIA dramas. (And of course Got, whenever it’s on) Not heard of Outsiders- is that good? what’s it about? Yeah it really is! And it seems like the kind of thing that would translate so well to film/tv :/

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Yeah me too. Superheros movies and television series are becoming too much because there are so many of them. Daredevil is totally the exception, and Arrow just isn’t good anymore. Oh, I’ve been meaning to watch Blacklist but I just never got around to it. Is it good? (Of course GoT that’s like a giving) Outsiders is great it’s about this Irish clan that lives on a mountain and they’re like primal (although modern) and now someone’s trying to take away their land, and there’s betrayal and murder…it’s just great. You should totally try it. It’s a mixture of Banshee, Little House on the Prairie (I know), Apocalyptco, and something else. So, true. But to be honest Harry Potter was like the only Middle grade/YA novel that translated well to screen that was a fantasy or paranormal novel.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Yeah that’s exactly what I feel. I used to like Arrow too- but I stopped watching it cos it got less and less dark- and with that it became less interesting and less gripping. Call me crazy, but ever since he started dating the one in the glasses and she started telling him what to do all the time, it got a bit silly. Like- there’s an evil guy trying to kill him but he’s supposed to feel bad about killing the guy in self-defence? I dunno- I just don’t see the logic of that. I also think since he decided to stop hurting people, I don’t see why any villain would be forthcoming with information. It just makes the story really lame and creates too many plot holes. Well, it’s good, but it’s also fairly ridiculous, so you have to take it with a pinch of salt. I mostly watch it cos I love Raymond Reddington (the anti-hero) (haha it is, isn’t it?)
                  Oh that actually sounds really awesome- I’ll have to check it out 🙂
                  That’s actually really true- mostly cos the cast was so frickin’ unbelievable!

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. OMG yes! Once he stopped killing bad guys I was pretty much done, Arrow is so similar to Batman in his sorta hero/villain attitude…and I love Batman. You’re right I like Felicity ( the glasses) until she started dating Oliver. She became a crybaby and just plain annoying. Yup, and Oliver is always getting attitude! First Lauriel, then Lance, then Thea, then Diggle…it’s like he can’t do anything right. I kinda liked him being Rha’s Al Ghoul (no idea if that’s right) and it’s just SUUPER cheesy now. I’m excited about Deadpool though, although that’s another superhero movie.

                    Raymond Reddington has been awesome since I saw him in Secretary (a much better version of 50 Shades of Grey). But you really should check it out, it’s good.

                    Yes, the cast was amazing and really they’re great in everything they’ve done so far too.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. Yeah exactly!! I’m glad you agree cos I hate when people treat fantasy with the same kind of attitude as reality- it kind of defeats the purpose and destroys the catharsis :/ yeah she kind of ruined him. If she loves him then why can’t she accept who he is, instead of forcing him to change all the time. Yeah, I totally agree with you about the batman comparison- it ruins it to take away that dichotomy between him being a hero/villain. haha I have no idea how to spell that either- but I completely agree!
                      Oh me too actually- cos that one looks different and I’m just getting tired of the same old same old (you know, hero discovers powers, *explosions*, hero saves world in impossible way) The formula is getting old.
                      Ooh sounds interesting- I always love James Spader (is that the actors name?) so I’ll check it out 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. Yup, we can’t go around killing villains in real life, so let’s have the gratification in fiction (that might sound a bit weird)! That’s a great point, because she knew he was a killer when she met AND fell in love with him, so why try to change that. Exactly, that’s why Batman is so popular. It’s not only the external conflict with his enemies, but also the internal conflict he endures, which is why he’s so beloved.

                      It does look different! It has the humor of Ant-Man (based on the trailers) but he’s a total Anti-hero/villain (whoa that’s an awesome combination). There are so many great superheros out there – in both comic books and graphic novels – that they’re overdoing the usual ones. Superman, Spider-Man, The Avengers, blah blah blah. The formula sucks. And yeah, that’s his name! You should watch the movie, it’s funny but also really sad and deals with serious issues. I hope you like it.

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                    3. Exactly (haha you’re off the hook- I’ve been saying things that sound just as weird!) Exactly- it kind of ruins their relationship, cos it makes me wonder how much she loves him, and how much she loves the idea of what she can make him- which is not love. Yeah precisely- and that’s why everyone fell in love with Arrow initially- it captured that feeling of internal conflict. And that’s why Daredevil works now.
                      Yeah definitely! The humour looks great! And I completely agree- I just sigh when they do *another* Spiderman movie or *another* Superman one (honestly I love the old ones, but I’d be interested in remakes if they wanted to do something different but they never do). Even bringing Batman back after Dark Knight seemed foolish- I mean, I don’t get why they didn’t just make robin the new batman, like they’d implied at the end of the film- I know they wanted it to be different- but using Bruce Wayne’s story again feels old. Completely agree!
                      Awesome! Looking forward to it 🙂 Just added it to my list 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

                    4. Yup, them separately works, but Oliver is a killer – if she can’t love him like that then adios amigo. That’s exactly why Daredevil works now, “Be careful of the Murdock boys. They got the devil in them.” lol, it’s awesome.

                      Having someone change that balance is criminal! Exactly. The same old superheros are just blah, and redoing them is even more blah. I agree about batman as well. There have been too many movies and Robin really deserves his own, updated movie. Oh Yay! I hope you like it 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

                    5. yeah exactly- it’s become such a joke because of his “new good guy” image.
                      Yeah exactly- it’s awesome! Can’t wait till it comes back! yeah exactly- that would’ve been really cool- and it could have had continuity with the dark knight movies. And I’m sure I will 🙂


  5. I watched the series because my friend asked me to – I’m not interested in it and I’ve never even read the book! So far I’m not attracted to the series at all. The effects were horrible, as well as the script and the acting 😒

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yeah, I just could not bring myself to continue watching this. I couldn’t stop the gagging by episode 4 or so of the first season, and a few months ago I tried catching up on the season finale, and literally hit stop about 20 minutes in and that was that.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The movie was great, but I feel like the TV show is shit. Haven’t seen much of it, so I don’t want to offend anyone who likes it. But that is my opinion. I enjoyed the movie so fucking much!!!! It literally had me obsessed and I was so fucked-over to realize they weren’t going to continue using the same actors or make any more movies. It was truly deflating. 😦

    Interesting post. I enjoyed reading it and laughed. 🙂


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