Ok so from now on I’m going to be doing a weekly review on Shadowhunters, probably every Wednesday or Thursday, but this review is going to be my thoughts on the first seven episodes. Here we go!
So going into this show I knew it was going to be an adaptation and not identical to the books, so I tried to accept the changes they made to the story and characters. There are of course times where I’m like “but the books…” but obviously things are going to be different and I just need to get over it. On the other hand there are some things that didn’t make sense to me, so I’m just going to dive in and say what I think the strengths and weaknesses of the first seven episodes are:
- I definitely think that the episodes have gotten stronger. The first two episodes I didn’t particularly like since the pacing was too fast, but the more recent episodes are paced really well and there are often moments where you’re really excited to see what happens next, and since the show is different to the books, we can never be sure what’s going to happen.
- Simon, Izzy, Alec and Magnus. I think the actors portraying these characters have done a really good job. Malec (need I say more?) and I really like how Matthew has been portraying Alec, initially I wasn’t sure but he has grown more confident in the role. Simon is just awesome, and I’m curious to see where Izzy’s character is going. I was annoyed with how sexualised she was, but that doesn’t mean she needs to be like her mother either… Oh I think Valentine is portrayed well too!
- Humour. This kind of varies with characters, but the majority of the comedic scenes are really funny. I really like Alec’s sarcasm – in the first book he was just really mean. The scene where he tries to flirt with the officer was awesome. And of course Simon wins the prize for funniest character.
- The introduction of Maryse and Robert – it was nice to see them and Max *sheds a tear for the future*
- The writing. Like I said, the more recent episodes have been really good, but some of the earlier episodes have confused me. I still don’t know why the vampires or werewolves would want the cup since they can’t use it anyway. Some of the lines have been really cheesy (like Clary thinking Luke could be her dad, or Isabelle calling Clary flat chested…) and I think for non-readers it could be confusing. The flashback episode could have been really great for revealing some important information, but I don’t think they handled it very well. Perhaps if the whole episode had been a flashback things would have flowed better, but that whole episode seemed oddly paced to me (I think that was episode 6).
- Visuals. The Institute. What’s that about? The film captured the Institute way better. And I don’t get why there are so many people there either. It makes less sense that Jace and the others are breaking the rules when there are clearly other people there to stop them. The effects are meh, and I know this may be budgeting issues, but still. The whole exploding sparkly stuff with the demons just looks odd to me. Plus why do vampires and demons look the same when they die? Oh, and the slow motion fighting stuff needs to stop.
- Why are Greater Demons so easy to kill in this show?
- Jace. He isn’t cocky enough for me – although he actually was a lot better in episode 7, so maybe he’ll carry on improving. The scene where Clary and him pretend to have a fight in the police station was actually really funny.
- Although I like the actor who plays Valentine, I don’t think we need to see the scenes with him. I actually have no clue what he’s doing, and I get it’s supposed to be a mystery but it’s becoming annoying now.
- I also think they’ve dragged the Simon becoming a vampire storyline out, but it looks like that will be sorted next episode. It’s just odd that no-one thought to keep an eye on him, but I guess I can let that go since all the drama with Clary.
- The arranged marriage. I do not approve.
- I really wish the Clace kiss had been more private. I really liked the intimacy that we got in the greenhouse scene (from the books) that we didn’t get here. We didn’t get to hear about Jace’s past, and I know that’s probably coming, but what do we actually know about his character so far in the show?
So, overall I know there are more negatives than positives but I just really want the show to do well, and these are just my concerns. A lot of the problems I mentioned are more to do with the earlier episodes anyway, and I can see that the show is definitely improving! I’m really curious to see where we go next, and I should have the review for episode eight next Wednesday or Thursday!