So Shadowhunters has been out for a while now but I wanted to wait and see what would happen before I put in my two cents. If you have been living under a rock and aren’t aware of what Shadowhunters is, then let me explain. Shadowhunters is a new series created by Freeform, formally known as ABC family. The show is based off the bestselling series, ‘The Mortal Instrument’s’ written by the very talented Cassandra Clare. The show follows the 2013 movie that was unsuccessful. The show has caused a lot of talk but the important question is, is it any good?
Whenever a book is adapted into a movie or TV show it is obvious that the storyline will differ from the book. A lot of the time it’s reasonable, something’s in a book just aren’t suited for the screen. But sometimes they just decide to go completely different. The basis of the Shadowhunters storyline follows the book ok. The first couple episodes follow the start of the book relatively well, giving fans that similarity to their beloved book. But as the show moves along you can see the storyline starting to slowly move away from the book. Some things have been sped up which is the norm in the film/TV industry. And the creators have added their own plots into the story. Which sometimes add’s some odd plot holes. But the base storyline still stays mostly true to the book. So much so that if you’re a huge lover of the book you probably won’t mind too much.
One of the things that make’s a story so endearing is its characters. You can have an amazing story but if people can’t enjoy the character’s then the likely hood is it will fail. The Mortal Instruments has interesting, amusing, lovable, sarcastic and unique characters, characters who readers fall for. And sadly the characters in the show just don’t have the same feel as the ones from the books. In basis there the same, but in the things they say and the way they act sometimes in the show just isn’t a true representation of the characters. One of the big ones is Jace and Clary’s relationship, right from the beginning of the show you can tell that Jace is falling for her. The way it is done is very obvious and to fast when compared to the book. There is no show of Jace trying to pull away from his feelings, but instead, he just seems to jump right in. A lot of the lines are completely off base with what the characters would actually say. There’s a lot of little things that the show portrays that just don’t give the fans the characters they fell in love with. From Simons, ‘come at me bro’ line and Isabelle’s over slutty dressing and acting. The characters from the book have been lost in Shadowhunters.
From the beginning of the show, it’s obvious that the acting isn’t Oscar-worthy. The majority of the acting is standard to decent and doesn’t affect your viewing enjoyment. But there are some parts that either make you laugh or cringe. But mostly its professional and enjoyable. Some of the best actors are those who play Simon, Valentine, and Alec. They seem to understand and play their characters well. Overall unless you’re extremely picky the acting shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
The huge problem with this show is the writing. I could write a page about the writing and still have more to say. The storyline, the acting and the characters are mostly caused by poor writing and directing. I didn’t want to say too much about the acting because although it isn’t always the best I feel sorry for what the actors are given. I know it’s an actors job to work with what they’ve got but the writing can be very poor. Sometimes while watching the show it feels like the writers have not even read the books. A majority of the lines especially Jace’s, would never come from the mouths of those characters. A lot of the jokes aren’t fit for those situations, aren’t funny or just odd and pointless. It feels like the writers don’t care about capturing the book in their show at all. Some lines like, “YOU HAVE THE SIGHT!”, are just simply out of place. And it’s obvious even from someone who’s only read two books from the series. There are so many problems in this series that could be simply fixed by just reviewing and putting a bit more effort into the scripts. At the end of the day I don’t know how much time and thought goes into the scripts, but from a viewers perspective, it seems not much does.
If you are looking for an almost perfect adaptation from the books then don’t watch this show. Otherwise, I suggest giving it a go. All though it has its flaws, the show is light and entertaining to watch. It is an intriguing adaptation and while it doesn’t follow to the book as close as the movie and it has its ups and downs. I recommend giving it ago for at leats 4-5 episodes, you might just be surprised.