Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Shadowhunters Season One Review I

Welcome to Day #2 of my Shadowhunters Week. Today I'm going to share with you part I of my Shadowhunters TV review. There's so much to talk about that I just had to split it up into two parts and I hope you'll have enough to discuss about with me in the comments. So in today's Part I we will be talking about the episodes of the series. The details of the cast and characters will be discussed in the second part of the review which will be up later this week. Enjoy!

About the TV series

Title: Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments
Creator: Ed Decter
Cast: Katherine McNamara, Dominic Sherwood, Alberto Rosende and many more
Based on: the books by Cassandra Clare
Genres: Fantasy, Action, Drama, Romance
Start Date: January 13th 2016
Rated: PG 13
Run Time: 42 minutes
My Rating:

IMDB Summary

Clary Fray is a normal teenager living in Brooklyn with her mother. One day, she discovers that she is descended from a line of Shadowhunters; humans born with angelic blood that fight to protect our world from demons. After her mother is kidnapped, Clary must team up with three Shadowhunters: Jace, Alec and Isabelle and her best friend Simon on a quest to find her mother and recover her past.

My Review

Episode 01: The Mortal Cup
The beginning nearly knocked my socks off. Right from the start we get sucked into the action-filled story line and all the important characters get introduced in the first five minutes. I fell in love with this series from the first second on (and I was really scared that it would turn out as bad as the movie). The opening of the season brings us already so much fun stuff to look forward to. As a lover of the books I noticed a lot of differences already and honestly: I love them! They’re so great implemented and they’re here to make the series better fit for the tv screen. For example the huge amount of Shadowhunters in the Institute. It actually took my breath away seeing so many of them. Imagine all the possibilities this brings with it to show the stories of so many different Shadowhunter families… Family bonds are a huge thing in this series and that becomes clear from the very beginning. I absolutely adore Simon and Luke’s relationship. I mean, they’re like father and son. One thing that really bothered me though was the destroying demons part. I expected green blood to splash everywhere. Instead we get yellow game pixels as if we’re in a virtual world. All I could think of when Jocelyn swung her Seraph Blade was that she was holding a Light Saber… I really liked this fast paced beginning!

Episode 02: The Descent Into Hell Is Easy
How amazing is the high-tech Institute? You can’t tell me that you wouldn’t want to live and train there! For a computer freak like me, I’d give up a lot to have a chance to spend my time there researching and saving the world. Okay, so reading about someone and imagining them is one thing, but actually seeing the Silent Brother nearly drove me insane. They’re so creepy! I could hardly look at them. In time I got used to it, but still… I prefer imagining them with their hoods always covering their faces. So here we get our first clue that the series won’t be actually following the entire guidelines of the books, but rather fast-pacing them a little. Again so many new characters get introduced. For example Hodge! I can understand how many viewers who haven’t read the books totally loved him… I did not expect the plot twist at the end of the episode when Simon got kidnapped. But can I just say this: Raphael is hot! (Okay, now I have to keep it together again. I won’t be talking about the cast or characters in detail here because I’m guarding that for part II of my review…)

Episode 03: Dead Man's Party
We can slowly see all the relationships developing. I really love that Clary in Izzy get along well from the beginning on. Also, I don’t like Simon and Camille’s relationship if you can call that. But we all know that this is probably how he’ll become a vampire in the series. I understand that it would have been very difficult to create a convincing scene where Simon transformed into a rat… Can we please acknowledge that Raphael is just perfect?

Episode 04: Raising Hell
Finally! My absolute favourite ship in this entire fandom actually meets for the first time! If you haven’t guessed, I’m talking about Malec… What I didn’t like in this episode was how aggressive Simon got. We can guess that he’s influenced by Camille’s blood in his system, but that’s just not how I imagined the transformation to becoming a vampire happening… The demon scene on the other hand is exactly how I imagined it. The whole smoke and mysterious thing and not really being able to see through the whole mist. I really loved how they acted out this scene! We already get to see that a big part of this season will concentrate on Alec and his feelings. And his liking towards Magnus already begins. It’s so cute when he flustered and just kept smiling when Magnus called him Pretty Boy. This series actually also has a lot of comedy in it. I’m talking about this quote: “I’m not talking to you” when Jace automatically felt like Magnus meant him with that expression.

Episode 05: Moo Shu To Go
I. Do. Not. Like. Maryse. Like at all. She’s such an unfriendly person it’s incredible! I feel so bad for Isabelle when she said “Shadowhunters aren’t big huggers” to defend her mother not greeting her in front of Clary and then Maryse just embraced Jace and Alec. On the other hand I find it really cute how Jace just calls Maryse so naturally Mom. We finally see a life wolf! It was so beautiful! Can’t wait to see more of them. Meanwhile Simon’s transformation steps up a little and Clary just automatically thinks he’d been doing parkour? Really Clary? Breaking open a door and climbing fences without losing a breath, and what you come up with is parkour? Jace and Alec’s relationship begins to strain a little. Although we’re only 5 episodes in we already get to see the characters evolve and change and I find that fascinating. Again a big plot twist at the end (for a book reader not quite that surprising, but still): Luke’s transformation into the pack leader. Finally everyone knows that he’s not the bad guy. Well, okay, maybe not everybody… (talking about a certain detective that will come up in the next few episodes)

Episode 06: Of Men And Angels
I love that a possibility that the tv series brings is throwbacks. I hope that there are many more to come and I think it’s a great way to show the background story of the Circle. Izzy and her dad’s relationship are father-daughter-goals, isn’t it? I’m really sad about Izzy’s character transformation though. I feel bad for her to try to change for her mother to take off a little of the heat on the family and I’m really impressed that she’s willing to do anything so that her brother could marry freely instead of her. And isn’t Max the cutest?

Episode 07: Major Arcana
I hope that we will be seeing more of Maureen. Especially now that she and Simon slept together which must mean more drama, right? Again back to the father-daughter-goals: Did you notice that Izzy’s dad realised from the beginning what she was trying to do? He noticed from one glance at her that something wasn’t right and that she tried to act differently. I think my absolute favourite scene in this episode was the one with Clary and Jace in the police station (how else could it be?). Them improvising and Clary actually slapping Jace. Wow! Didn’t expect that. I really liked the Cop Vargas and how she immediately backed Clary up against Jace although she didn’t know what was going on. Woman power! I would have loved to see more of her, but sadly… I admire Simon’s way of coping with him becoming a vampire. His pros and cons list (“I am becoming a vampire” vs “I am not becoming a vampire”) was genius and him eating a garlic bagel to test his theory was priceless! The sibling bond between Alec and Izzy is so strong and admirable! When Alec “practices” to ask Magnus out you actually can see how well trained together they are. The ending of the episode also was great and spectacular. I mean, how couldn’t it?

Episode 08: Bad Blood
Again, I do not like Maryse. How can she act as if it was her children’s fault that the Clave doesn’t trust the Lightwoods when she well knows it’s all her fault? I am absolutely stunned by Lydia’s appearance. I actually quite liked her from the beginning she stepped foot into the Institute (when I realised she wasn’t actually Valentine, clever that girl). The Falcon story in the books has a lot of meaning. I think it didn’t come over that well in this episode. Jace just starts talking about it out of nowhere and it’s kind of weird… It seemed to me as if they just wanted to get it over with and to put the story out there. And of course it had to come. Simon’s death. So early! I really did not expect this to happen in season one already. My heart just broke. But it was absolutely greatly done. I just love Raphael so much. I really disliked him in the books, but in the show I can’t seem to get enough of him. Seriously, he’s so hot! And finally we have badass Clary back when she slaps Camille.

Episode 09: Rise Up
I think the reason why so many people ship Saphael (me included, by the way, although I’m still team Sizzy!) becomes clear in this episode. Raphael looks at Simon so plainly; He really cares, maybe even recognises something in him that reminds him of himself when he first turned. My heart was once again torn out in this episode when Magnus ‘cried’. It hurt me so bad seeing him hurting and although it seems a little too much too early I just want him and Alec to get together and be happy! I think it’s really great how they focused on Meliorn and brought him into the story more. I want to see more of him and the faeries.

Episode 10: This World Inverted
Okay, how perfect was this episode? I mean, another dimension? It was absolute perfection. Seeing how the characters could have lived without demons in the world was so innovating and interesting! In the real world we get treated by some bromance between Simon and Luke. And it doesn’t get much better than that. They’re awesome together! Maybe even my favourite bromance in the entire show. Dark Simon was priceless! The whole ridiculousness of the second dimension really comes to shine when Clary tries to convince Magnus 2.0 that she’s a shadowhunter. I’d say she has to improve her dance skills a little… I was wondering why we never got to meet the cats in the real world…? We should totally add Chairman Meow and Church to the regular cast! Aaaaand… of course, another big plot twist: Jace’s father’s alive? What? Something must be wrong here…

Episode 11: Blood Calls To Blood
So something that has been bothering me for quite some time now is that Magnus just came on too strong to Alec. I mean, they don’t really know each other that well; they haven’t been on a date. They haven’t even reeeaally talked! And Magnus acts as if he owns Alec. Magnus as lawyer however, absolute perfection. “This whole thing is out of order. Put the Cup on trial!” “I don’t see the relevance of this whole trial.”- I’d totally hire him! And Izzy too! How she stood up for herself was amazing. Also, Lydia is such a strong woman and although I liked her already before, I liked her even more when she also stood up to the Inquisitor. From the beginning I knew that something was wrong about Jace’s father. I liked how they disguised Valentine as Wayland. It makes so much more sense for him to be in hiding in Idris with his ‘son’ appearing as another person than himself. And of course I totally disagree with Valentine. Love is not weakness! And now we know that Jace and Clary are siblings… Let’s see how this one plays out.


Episode 12: Malec
So let’s be honest. I’ve been waiting for this sole episode the entire season. I did not however, expect a wedding to happen. It’s so great to see Izzy organise everything and thanks to her Jace and Alec finally stop fighting. There’s even an Alec & Clary moment, who would have foreseen that? Clary seems to be the only one pure of heart in the trio with Magnus and Jace and I think that really shows what kind of character she is. I was really confused when Ragnor Fell kept talking to those empty chairs and when Magnus and Jace appeared I didn’t understand anything anymore. But well, he’s a warlock so I won’t think too much about it. It’s kind of sad that they killed off Ragnor right away. I would have loved to see the writers explore his charater a little more. Again I feel like Magnus keeps pushing too much and Malec just seems a little forced, but then finally he does the right thing and just walks into the wedding and lets Alec choose for himself. And what a decision he makes! That kiss: What I’ve been waiting for and so much more! Can we just take a moment to acknowledge all the awesome dresses and gowns in the wedding scene? Everybody looked so handsome and beautiful!

Episode 13: Morning Star
And for the grand finale: The great betrayal. I want to know more about what happened to Lydia. Will she stay now or will she still disappear? I did not expect Jace to go to Valentine so quickly and this development leaves a lot of unanswered questions open. All in all the season finale wasn’t the highlight of the season. I feel like my entire anticipation for the Malec episode faded out the fact that it wasn’t the ending. A little disgusting was the part when Hodge lost his hand, don’t you think? But all in all, a good ending. And I can’t wait for season 2 to pick up where we left things.

I'd like to know

Okay, so I know a lot of people didn't like the series. But what about you? What are your thoughts on the newest adaptation? Do you agree with my review or is there anything you want to add? Which was your favourite episode? Have you posted your own Shadowhunters Review? Don't hesitate and link it up so I can check it out!