Heya, boys and girls!
Today has been a tiring day. They have been doing a manga and comics exposition that happens every year here, Comicon. It is not like the San Diego one, but close. Here they invite actors, comics/manga writers and illustrators, they show TV show premieres, and there are tons of expositors who sell TV, book, video games, movie etc. gadgets. For eg you can find Harry Potter uniforms, scarves, magic wands, and stuff like this. This year is my third time going there, and I bought some things as well. I can show you later if you want, but now on to the review! And yep, if you’re asking, I also bought some Shadowhunters stuff. Hehe.
The series Shadowhunters is taken from a famous book series that my old friends are aware I like very much and have been a fans for years. I was waiting anxiously for this to start, since the movie failed to amaze the audience a couple of years ago. Hate to make comparisons, but despite the changes in the cast and in the plot, they managed to sell the series pretty well; and it is a longtime fan speaking.
On Shadowhunters the TVshow, Clary Fray (played by Katherine McNamara) is a 18 year old girl [she’s 16 in the books] from New York that is very good at drawing. The first episode starts off with her trying to get into a famous art school. We see she lives alone with her mother, Jocelyn Fray (played by Maxim Roy), and she spends a lot of time with her childhood friend, Simon Lewis (played by Alberto Rosende). All of a sudden Clary sees that she can do weird things with her drawings, but she is especially astonished of what she sees one night at club Pandemonium: she witnesses two guys, Jace Wayland (played by Dominic Sherwood) and Alec Lightwood (played my Matthew Daddario) and a girl, Isabelle Lightwood (played by Emeraude Toubia) kill some people. She believes they are killers and must be caught by the police, but they reveal her that they are Shadowhunters, they have angelic blood running in their veins, and the fact that she could see them despite they were glamorized may be an indication she may be as well and perhaps her mother has been hiding this truth from her since she was born. Clary’s world falls down: it doesn’t help that her mom lied about who she is, when she goes to question her, she has been already kidnapped. The only thing Clary can do is to rely on her new Shadowhunters acquaintances to discover her lost memories and to save her mother.
What I liked: Shadowhunter‘s plot was of course inspired greatly by the book series. The team being it did a good job casting actors that resemble the description of the book characters, unlike what happened with the movie (I think they could have done a better job there). It is good that they added 2-3 years to the ages of the characters. I am 26, and despite I love every kind of show out there, from the ones directed to children to those aimed at elder audiences, I prefer to watch something that shows us characters that are maturing but are not teens anymore. Not only for that, they could also explore delicate themes every person maturing can go through. I liked the changes they added to the story. Of course I love the original one, but let’s not forget this is a television transposition so they have to include some plot binaries to follow to make the whole story work in “motion”. I also liked that they put a bit of the City of Ashes plot in this season and they have already said that Jace and Clary, uhm, thing [not to spoil anyone] will be resolved in S2 that I hope will already contain City of Glass as well. They did good anticipating things that we discover in the future in the books.
What I didn’t like: There are few things I didn’t like, actually. I have clicked with this show since the first episode, despite the characters changes and plot changes in some parts. Perhaps the wedding Alec should had gone through was too much, I was annoyed by the trope of “keeping the family honor”, but let’s not forget it’s a show and I don’t know if you’ve noticed, there’s always a family obsessed with keeping their family name clean above all when the family members aren’t clean at all.
Acting: This was probably on my “didn’t like enough” list at the beginning. Let’s start with saying most of the cast isn’t old in the business, so they are still training as an actors – some are born with talent while some others must make lots of experience to reach a good level. In the first 2-3 episodes, I wasn’t enamored with how Kat McNamara and Dom Sherwood played Jace and Clary. I am starting with them because I am a big fan of this couple, and perhaps I have high standards. I feel like Kat, despite being an experienced actress, hasn’t shaped her Clary performance yet. From a character like Clary I expected amplified feelings when she finds the truth (any truth for that matter), but her expression was vacant and not credible. There are times where I buy her performance, but there are more times I don’t. I will wait S2 to see what work she will do with her characters. I also didn’t love how Matt Daddario played Alec, but! Hey, things proceeded better as episodes moved. Perhaps it’s their characters as well that are a bit mysterious and you don’t click with them at first glance, but as the episodes moved further, Dom and Matthew got better at their roles. Alberto Rosende, Emeraude Toubia, Harry Shum Jr (Magnus Bane), Isaiah Mustafa (Luke Garroway), Alan Van Sprang (Valentine Morgenstern), Maxim Roy (Jocelyn Fray), David Castro (Raphael Santiago), have all been doing good performances of their characters. I like how they have shaped them. I am curious to see how Alan Van Sprang will shape his Valentine more during Season 2, because he is a subtle character, smiles a lot but hides his true intention behind his manipulator face, lol.
Final Comment: I know the public is divided on this show. I can understand the fans of the book, they loathe to see their favorite series being changed here and there to fit the little screen. But there are also fans of the book who are open to changes, like me. Then there are new fans who have never read the book who just liked the story as it is. I guess you can’t satisfy everyone, but I am happy the audience has watched the show so that it could get a second season that will have 20 episodes and not 13.