Monday, 25 January 2016

TV Review: Shadowhunters

To start with, apologies in advance.  Rant alert coming up!  I know this isn't a book review, but I've been wanting to do a write up on this since I watched the first episode a couple of weeks ago as it's annoyed me so much!!

Warning: This post will contain spoilers on the first two episodes of Shadowhunters.

For those who've not yet seen the show, here's a sneak peak from Episode 1:

If you haven't heard of Shadowhunters, this is a new weekly show based on Cassandra Clare's popular book series, The Mortal Instruments.  In the US, you can find the show on the Freeform (ABC) channel and here in the UK, it's available the following day on Netflix.

Firstly, I am a huge fan of the books.  I loved reading The Mortal Instruments and have started on The Infernal Devices series.  The first book of her next Shadowhunter series The Dark Artifices is on my MMD 2016 Reading Challenge to read list. 

Before reading the books, I watched the movie, which was ok, but not amazing.  It was from watching the movie that I could see the potential of the books. 

I think this is why I was so massively disappointed by episode one of the TV show.  I had seen a couple of reviews online that things were different to the books, so I was expecting some of this.  I was prepared to watch the show, much in the same way that I do for The Vampire Diaries, where the show has just taken some key points from the books, but all in all, is completely different.  

That said, there are certain things that I felt should not be messed with and unfortunately, this show messed with them!  

One such thing is the drawing of runes.  Fans of the books know that the Shadowhunters draw the lines of the runes on the skin, but in the show the kinda 'swipe' the stele across the skin and the rune appears.  I mean come on! WTF! Aaarggh.  The show did redeem itself slightly in episode two, in which Jase did actually draw a rune onto his skin, but it does seem very hit or miss as to whether it is done for every rune. 

The other thing that really wound me up was the use of the Seraph blade.  In the books, to 'activate' a Seraph blade, the name of the blade needs to be called out.  All blades have names based on the Angels.  In the show however, the Shadowhunters are able to activate a blade by simply touching it!! With this and the accompanying sound effects, the show has likened them to lightsabers! Grrr.

Another peeve for me were the characters of Luke and Simon.  Luke has been changed from being a loveable meek bookstore owner to being a 'badass' cop, helping to cover up Downworlder crimes from 'mundanes' and Simon has also been changed from being totally geeky (film Simon was perfect casting) to being a muscly hunk!

That said, the show isn't a complete flop.  The main cast, Clary, Jase, Isobel, Alec and Magnus all seem to be well cast (although why they couldn't get a real blonde for Jase, rather than a bad dye job, I don't know!).  There are lots of things that have been changed that work for the show (not saying is better than the book, but it doesn't ruin the show).  I'm hoping after a couple more episodes, the above grievances won't be quite so infuriating!

Jackie. x

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