I’m going to start off by saying that, in my defense, I really like Shadowhunters. I like the books, I like the cast, and I like the show. I’m super invested in all aspects of the Shadowhunters world, and I’m excited to see what changes the show continues to make and to see the characters continue to grow and develop their relationships.
That being said, this show has its flaws, and I would be remiss not to mention them in my review.
One issue I have with Shadowhunters is that the show takes itself too seriously. There are some seriously sassy lines written into the show, and the delivery is sometimes off. Instead of delivering the sassy lines in a comical way, the actors choose to deliver them seriously and straight-forward. The books have their funny moments, and the show could have that too. I feel like they’re missing some serious opportunities to have some comic relief. And a lot of that comes down to the writing, too. I’d say it’s 75% writing, 25% actor’s delivery (which could honestly be blamed on the director, too. Who knows). Sometimes, the balance and pacing just doesn’t feel quite right when I’m watching the show.
I’m not crazy about the graphics when a Downworlder/demon dies, either- I’m not really buying the red sparks. I was also super disappointed with the vampires; they are supposed to have needle-like teeth, which would have set them apart from other YA vampires in different universes. But, instead, the make-up team went with classic vampire fangs… boring. BUT- I will say that the graphics for the demons themselves are spectacular.
I was super eager for the Hotel DuMort scene; as it’s pretty crazy and intense in the books. However, the show cut down the actual rescue/fight to about 3 minutes, and it was resolved a little too neatly. There was hardly any fight, there were no werewolves and, in the end, Simon was just handed over. The best part of the whole rescue was Alec and Izzy acting as the distraction and having sibling banter. Basically, I like that the writers are creating an alliance between the Shadowhunters and the vampires, but they took what was a pretty intense and exciting scene in the books and made it practically a non-issue in the show (although, maybe that will change with Simon possibly becoming a vampire!!!!).
On a positive note, the actors have GREAT chemistry with one another, which is why I keep coming back. The scene where Jace taught Clary how to use the seraph blade was super intense and was just sparking with heat and chemistry. And of course I’m eager to see some Alec and Magnus interactions too (which I hear we’re finally getting next week).
Highlight of Shadowhunters so far? Clary (Katherine McNamara) and Magnus (Harry Shum Jr). Hands down. Also, Dominic Sherwood IS Jace. No contest. I love Alec (he’s my favorite character after Magnus in both the books and the show), but I feel like Matthew Daddario could deliver his lines with a bit more sass and humor. I have high hopes for him, though, and think he’ll do well throughout the show, and I can’t wait to see his more romantic scenes, which I think he’ll kill.
Overall, I’ll give this show 3 stars out of 5. There is room for improvement, but it’s gotten off to a pretty good start. I’m eager to see more.