This Week on TV: Shadowhunters


As we all know by now (or at least SHOULD know), Shadowhunters premiered this week on Freeform (formerly known as ABC Family). After watching episodes 1 and 2, I wanted to share with you guys my thoughts on it. 😉

I’ll start by saying that my expectations were very low. First of all, it’s ABC family, so I wasn’t expecting a masterpiece in terms of budget. Then they went with pretty inexperienced actors for the main roles, and from the promos we could see that some of them weren’t exactly that good. Then Kat @Life and Other Disasters and Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too Much did a good job at lowering my expectations, given that they had both seen the episodes before I got a chance to.

But to be totally honest, the movie was pretty terrible, so I went to the series thinking that nothing could suck more than that, and I was pleasantly surprised really, because it wasn’t half as bad as I was dreading. So I’ll just present my opinions in the form of list because I don’t want to rant too much about it :).


  • Alberto Rosende as Simon was definitely a brilliant casting choice. And to be honest, he was one of the best parts of these episodes. Keep the good work! Book-Simon for me is a pretty meh characters until he starts dating Isabelle, but Series-Simon is funny as hell, and that boy CAN ACT!

  • Matthew Daddario nailed Alec! This is very important people! First-book-Alec is not likable, and we don’t get to actually know him, Movie-Alec was just too terrible to even mention, but Series-Alec was perfect :D. Matthew just nailed it, totally nailed it, he felt like Alec and I was so happy that the writers at least got some character totally right. By the way, I loved that he was the first one seen on the first episode :D.

  • Simon and Clary felt like best friends. They did, as much as I had a problem with Kat’s portrayal of Clary, her best scenes were definitely with Simon. Maybe Simon just makes everything better.
  • It was funny! I had a few problems with the writing, but the overall feel of the series was fun and action packed, so, well done with that, because that is just how the books are.
  • Alan Van Sprang was pretty great as Valentine. He managed to show us just how crazy Valentine is, while making it pretty clear that Jocelyn is super important to him. Well done.
  • Dot, I liked Dot. At first I wasn’t understanding why they were changing so much of Doroteia, but I like how they did. They made her a support system for Jocelyn and Luke, and making her a real warlock, they also opened up more of her storyline. I didn’t like Doroteia in either the book or the movie, so I was pleasantly surprised here.


  • Kat McNamara as Clary was as terrible as I feared. Well, no, that’s not entirely true. For the first few minutes of the episode, she was way better than I thought she would be, and then she was just awful throughout the rest of the thing.
  • The writing! OMFG, what was that? I swear that some lines made no sense to me and were a bit cringe-worthy. I realize that these were only the first couple of episodes, and I do hope that going forward, that the writers got a better feeling of their characters and situations, because people, these episodes had some bad lines.
  • The delivery! As if the bad lines weren’t enough, we then had a few characters who just couldn’t deliver their lines… at all. Dominic Sherwood had a definite problem saying his lines, and I’m hoping against hope that it was an accent thing, and as the series progresses, it will get better.

  • The seraph blades… no… no… Now, from the moment I saw them in the trailers and sneak peeks, I knew that the weapons would be a problem. They look like plastic! And they’re retractable?! WTF?! And demons use some kind of seraph blades too… what?! Any shadowhunter can use them? No naming? Bahhhh… I didn’t like the ones in the movie either, but these were pretty terrible.

  • The CGI. Now, I know this show is bound to be on a low budget, and I get that, what I can’t for the life of me fathom is that this is the best they could do. Have you seen that portal?! NOOOOO!!!!
  • Clary and Jace have 0 chemistry… and that just sucks :(.


  • The Institute. I’m kind of OK with the modernizing the institute and having a  bunch of people there… it definitely feels a little more believable than having 3 kids all alone running around saving the city alone, but I’m not sure how it’s all going to play out.
  • Hodge Starkweather… I DON’T KNOW… yeah, Jon Cor is hot as hell, and hot-Hodge being half naked on his first appearance was a bonus, but having him offer up so much info from the get go like that felt weird to me somehow (maybe because he seemed sincere).

  • Maureen and Simon’s “band”. LOL. I have to laugh at this, especially when Maureen call Clary their “only fan”, considering that that is Maureen’s role in the books. I kind of like that they made Maureen older and Simon and Clary’s friend, it will make the inevitable more painful and her craziness less weird. I’m a bit worried though by how much she looks like Maya, and I’m a bit scared that they might choose to cut Maya from the equation, especially considering how close Simon and Izzy are already.
  • Luke and the werewolves. I kind of like that Luke is now a policeman, and I really like Captain Vargas – I hope she doesn’t turn bad – I think it makes sense with this new arc they’re introducing about the mundane blood, I just wish we had some more explanation about it. Also, I didn’t like his scene with the “2 witnesses”, I know we’re supposed to doubt him, just like Clary, but it felt weird to me.
  • I like the new trajectory they’re setting for Isabelle, where she’s definitely less angry than on the books and more lovable. I guess this is explained by the fact that she doesn’t know about her dad’s cheating, so she never started mistrusting men. I kind of like it. It definitly makes her more fun. I just hope it doesn’t make her less of a kick-ass.


  • Why oh why was Jocelyn giving Clary a stele? I get that the wards were getting weak, and that she would start remembering, but it was very unlike Jocelyn to do that…
  • The story is definitely going fast, and I sort of get it, I would obviously like to see new material not covered in the movie, but I’m a bit scared that they’re just going too fast here. Still, I’m still holding judgment on that front.
  • I’m with Kat on this one: why Chernobyl? 😕 I don’t really get it… but hey, maybe it will be explained?
  • The freaking runes!!! Now, I wasn’t a fan of the runes of the movie, but they were somehow consistent… while I think that here they are trying to show the various degrees of a rune, they are not exactly succeeding, because Jocelyn is supposed to have some permanent runes on her. I also didn’t like how they just appeared on the first episode and I was a bit happier when Jace actually drew a rune on the second one. Let’s see how they’ll do it from now on.
  • Magnus Bane. Now, I love Magnus. Book-Magnus is magnificent! What are they doing with him here, I’m not really sure. Magnus isn’t supposed to run. Nop Nop Nop…

Either way, I can’t wait to see the rest of the season, because it sure as hell was entertaining :D.


47 thoughts on “This Week on TV: Shadowhunters

  1. Nisha @ BookaliciousBlogs says:

    I totally agree with you on Magnus Bane leaving.. I was like “wait Magnus doesn’t run away he would fight right?” I also didn’t particually like the writing that much it just felt cheesy and cringe worthy and I’m pretty sure I laughed at lines that were not even supposed to be funny! Alec, Simon and Valentine were definatly the stand outs in the first episode for me and in the second episode. Also what did you think of the ending of the first episode between Clary, Siomon and Jace? It felt a bit like twilight for me Clary having to pick between Simon and Jace.. It wasn’t necessary to put that in there. But I did like the cliffhanger to the second episode and saw some improvements in the 2nd episode too.. BUT JACE AND CLARY’S RELATIONSHIP IS MOVING WAY TO FAST.. ALREADY HOLDING HANDS IN EPISODE 2 REALLY?

    • MyTinyObsessions says:

      I’m with you, the ending of the first episode was not good at all! It helped me that I hopped right into episode 2 and disregarded the fact that she had to choose between them, lol. But yeah, the second episode showed some improvements, and i hope they keep getting better, in terms of writing and acting at least. Jace and Clary’s relationship is moving fast, but about as fast as in the movie, so I was kind of expecting it?! It kind of surprised me more that Izzy and Simon were already so close, even though I liked it.

  2. bookersblogger says:

    I agree with you and I think the way they’re portraying Magnus is wrong and Jace and Clary’s relationship is moving way too fast and I get your point about the seraph blades but the way they kill demons is much less gory than the film and I like it better. I also think that Kat’s acting as Clary was pretty good…not the best but, it was believable for me. And I absolutely love Alan Van Sprang as Valentine because his acting is epic!

  3. Kat Impossible says:

    You already know my opinion is similar to yours in most aspects 😉 thanks again for tagging/mentioning me! I hope that the acting/delivery/chemistry gets a little better with time, but I am not holding my breath until season 2. I think there’s a greater chance of it turning better at that point when they’ve heard some outside feedback. I just hope it won’t get cancelled. That would make me a little sad.
    I think that was a great post and you did well on categorising and organising your post! I think mine felt more like a random ramblings kind of thing sometimes hahaha

  4. theorangutanlibrarian says:

    Hmm doesn’t sound brilliant- but then I kind of expected that- especially the part about the writing- cos the dialogue in the trailer isn’t great. Definitely gonna watch it anyway, cos, you know, it’s mortal instruments :p

  5. Tasya says:

    I haven’t watch this because I’m in the middle of exam (no thanks to you school) but I’d definitely watch this. I think Clary is pretty terrible from the trailer, and I don’t know yet about Jace, but he’s pretty amazing as Christian Ozera. And I actually love Godfrey Gao as Magnus so we’ll see what I think about the new Magnus! I love how you break this review into list! 😀

  6. Prima says:

    I love how flirty Isabelle is in the show. It really just makes her character so different though but I’m sure she’ll still be as kickass 😀 Totally agree that Alberto Rosende nailed Simon. I honestly loved all the scenes that had him in it because he was so funny!

  7. emmathereader says:

    Great review! As you said when you commented on mine, I agree with most of your points (especially on Alberto Rosende and Matt Daddario – I loved their portrayals of Simon and Alec!)

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