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Saturday, 16 January 2016

Let's Talk Shadowhunters: A TV Show review

I saw that Mackenzie over at Oh, For The Love of Books (which I think is a great blog title!) did a TV review of the Shadowhunters TV show and thought it was a great idea so I wanted to show my two cents about it too. And maybe I'll be able to help any of you who are torn about watching this show to finally make up your mind and watch it.

Now if you don't know, Shadowhunters is the TV show based on Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series. It was given a reboot after that (disastrous) movie fiasco back in 2013. 

I really enjoyed the series and was super-hyped over the TV show, watching the promo videos and watching vloggers on Youtube fangirl excitedly over developments, such as casting, dates, etc.

Were my hopes high? No. I knew not to expect a masterpiece. All these actors were relatively new, plus it was a fantasy show with a lot of characters, species, rules, etc, and it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea. 

In a Nutshell:

It was not perfect. However, I did enjoy myself and despite its flaws, I will still sit down devotedly each week to watch it. I believe the show has potential and the fact that it has 13 episodes (according to IMDb, anyway) to develop the characters and story means I'm not giving up so easily.

Cracking that Nutshell:

If you're a devoted fan to the show and can't bare the thought of even minor changes from book to TV show adaptation, then don't bother watching this. There are quite a few changes the producers made to the show, some of which I understood, some I didn't think were necessary. However I know it did bother some people who were like "Why??? Why would you do this????"

DISCLAIMER: Spoilers for both TV show and books ahead; if you want to stay spoiler free, turn back now!

What They've Changed:
  1. Instead of owning a bookstore, Luke is a cop instead. I don't mind too much though, as he looks mighty fine doing so. *drool*
  2. Clary is 18 instead of 15. I don't mind this change either, though, as I think this means they'll be able to make her more mature.
  3. The Institute is totally changed. Instead of just having the Lightwoods, Jace and Hodge living there, there are all these strangers there too! And I'm just sitting here like, who ARE these people? It doesn't feel as homey as I imagine the Institute to be in the books.
  4. Maureen (remember that crazy vampire chick who are crazy in love with Simon?) is older here and the band Simon's in is just him and Maureen. I guess Eric and crew were too minor to be cast. Aw.
I understand some of these changes, I mean we can't expect the TV show to be exactly as the book, right? ... Okay I do have a problem with the Institute, I found that really peculiar! But I kinda get why they made Clary older. However, I think they brought the world together well and it was interesting. Here's the big one though: What was the acting like?


I love Dominic Sherwood. He looks like I think Jace would look like. But I'm sorry, he delivered one-liners terribly in the first episode. That initial meeting with Clary was so cringey. However, by the second episode he seemed to be more comfortable with the character and I hope he'll get better. Besides, I guess the writers are partly to blame for writing such cringe-worthy one-liners. 


In the promo I wasn't quite sure about Katherine's acting, but after this episode I actually didn't mind her. She was stubborn like book-Clary is, and very quirky (I love that she and Simon are making a graphic novel, that's really awesome). What I remember most from City of Bones is that she was quite mean too. I didn't like her much because of that. But TV-Clary was too nice, I liked her! It's a little bit of a paradox, lol.


Alec was just as rude and mean towards Clary as he was in the first book, I loved that. He didn’t get many lines in the first ep, but I can’t wait for scenes with him and Magnus. And there is an episode called Malec, so that will be AMAZING. They’re my OTP of this series.


The actress for Isabelle is STUNNING. I love her so much. She plays Izzy very well, and makes Izzy seem friendly. I wasn't sure about that at first, but then I found out that in the TV show, Izzy hasn't found out that her father had an affair (which is what made her so bitchy in the first place) so I'm really interested in seeing her character develop after she finds that out. 


JUST LOOK AT THAT FACE. How can you not love him? Simon is by far my favourite character and I believe his actor portrays him brilliantly; nerdy, faithful, loving, loyal. Everything Simon is. I'll watch this show just to see more of him!


While this show is not perfect, it's still enjoyable and I still love seeing the characters from the books come to life. There's enough explanation in the first episode so that if you haven't read the books, you still have some idea of what's going on. I didn't talk about Magnus or Valentine or Luke here because they weren't in it enough and I wanted to focus on the five main characters. 

I would suggest giving the first episode a shot, but don't have high expectations for it to be completely the same as the books.Whatever about the corny lines, it's definitely entertaining.

Did any of you watch the first episode? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!


  1. Great in depth talk! I didn't enjoy it much myself (the writing made it more awkward and cheesy than I'd have liked) so it's great to see that you did :D I'm hoping that I'll come round to that side as more episodes air
    Enchanted by YA

    1. Yeah I think as the actors become more comfortable with each other and they get more money for better effects etc the show will greatly improve! Thanks a lot :)

  2. Yeah the Institute really bothered me and the light saber swords. I'm sorry but that's what they reminded me, my little sister, and my partner of. I just makes me want to watch Star Wars. I love the actress playing Izzy and I think she had so much more potential than what the writers gave me. Alec... I need to see more of him. He's perfectly lovely to stare at though! /swoons
    I love your review though! So well tonight out and fair! I'm also glad you like the episode! Can't wait to see your thoughts for the next one!

    Carrie @The Book Goddess

    P.S. I've missed your blog <3 and fangirling with you lol I feel like I've been gone so long.

    1. Hi Carrie! I missed you too we have a lot of fangirling to catch up on :) I believe that as the actors get more familiar with the show and their characters and each other the show will improve (well I hope anyway!)

    2. Oh no. I just couldn't get through this show. I wasn't going to bother after the movie, but I relented and watched about half of the first episode before I gave up. I just felt it got so many key elements wrong and overall felt a bit amateur. Maybe I've been spoiled by epic TV like Game of Thrones and the like, but I cringed once too often. I won't be watching again. Glad you enjoyed it (mostly!) though.

    3. I totally get it Mikayla, I thought that since it was a TV show vs a movie it'd be better, but nope. I mean, I'm 4 episodes in and it's still really cringey. I'm mainly watching because I'm a devoted fan of the books! In all honesty, you're probably saving yourself a lot of embarrassment by not watching it!

  3. Four episodes in, and I still cringe MIGHTY HARD at every other scene, but - hey - I'm still watching the show, so deep down I must feel more positively about it than I think I do. Thanks, subconscious! You're a better consciousness than my consciousness.

    But actually, I AGREE WITH 99% OF THIS. <3 Simon is AMAZING. Malec is GOING TO BE AMAZING. Izzy is actually more interesting to me than book-Izzy for now? *gasp* I read in an interview that they had Izzy be nicer and more accepting of Clary right off the bat to subvert the trope of girls always being at each others' throats in YA. Which I can't support enough. I LOVE the lengths Izzy goes to support Clary in the show so far. I'm not sold on Dom yet, despite the looks, and Kat McNamara's acting is actually shriveling my soul, but they'll grow into it... right? RIGHT? They must, they seem very comfortable as a whole cast off-screen.

    Such an amazing nutshell breakdown, Sinead. ;)

    - Lexie

    1. Thanks so much Lexie! Since they're making a second season they must be doing something right! Izzy and Clary's friendship is actually really great I'm really enjoying them, and Malec is by far just awesome :D

      It's Dom is the worst part, I didn't like Jace that much anyway but Dom's acting is not endearing me to his character :(


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