[Alternatives] – Television – Shadowhunters (2016)

Alternatives is the tagline feature for other forms of entertainment outside of discussing literature. These posts may encompass television, movies, games, and music with a randomized flavour of the moment approach to each post.

Television – Shadowhunters (2016)

After her mother is kidnapped, Clary must venture into the dark world of demon hunting in order to find clues that can help her find her mother.



This is an opinion of the Shadowhunters Pilot from someone who hasn’t read anything by Clare.

I’m sorry but aside from production value, Shadowhunters just didn’t work for me on so many levels. I don’t know if the acting or the writing was more disappointing. Like when the baddie appears out of nowhere–and was able to spook Clary–all the while Jace was also in the shot…? Yeeesh. I don’t know if it’s pandering to a younger audience (being on ABC Family? Freeform?) but the dialogue is some Nickelodeon shit right here. There were also some agonizing shot framing (like to need to continually remind viewers that mundanes can’t see Shadowhunter shenanigans).



Which isn’t always a bad thing but it’s simply heightened when it’s paired with other elements that just don’t hold up. At least not for me. Perhaps it’s something I’ll have to get used to because most of what ought to be frightening (?) or serious (?) or emotional (?) was met by laughter and:


The only positive I walked away with:

Also dagger-ish lightsabers were neat (although if you could sheathe it…why would you walk around waving the pointy end inside your building?)


Everyone seems pissed with Clary’s fire engine red hair but to an non-reader, it’s like whatever to me. I’m more perplexed at the directive eye in many of the up-close shots where facial expressions make or break the scene. And Clary and Jace were so iffy to me in those moments.


Baseline: if fans (old and new) stay on board with this show, it has the potential to continue succeeding on the network. But don’t let me be the Donnie Downer of you enjoying this show. I just found it particularly painful to watch.

Did you watch the pilot for Shadowhunters? Let me know what you thought of it!


connect: afterthoughtAn // twitter  |  anotherafterthought // goodreads


37 thoughts on “[Alternatives] – Television – Shadowhunters (2016)”

  1. I did watch it and it made me want to cry because of how bad it is. I loved the book series, I promise it’s SO MUCH BETTER. You must read the series!
    But the acting was atrocious. They definitely need a better budget. I liked Simon too…and Alec! I will continue to watch it and hopefully, by some miracle, it gets better.


  2. I liked it! I went in with really low expectations and after it all I was happy with the outcome. Some moments were cringeworthy, but I’m hoping it’ll become less so throughout the season.


      1. I am an avid Clare fan, and after the movie I also went in with really low expectations. I also went in knowing they changed a lot of things; so in the end I liked it. The acting leaves much to be desired but I suppose that can get better as time goes on. I’m sticking with it.


      2. The second episode is on Freeform’s website. Check if out if you haven’t yet. Much less cringeworthy. I think the info dump was poorly done but I think we readers noticed it more than the average person.


  3. I watched it – and I was so disappointed with it as well! Casting was alright for Alec, Isabelle and Magnus imo, but oh my gosh, I was so upset with how weak the show was re the close-up shots. All the lines sounded so fake and cheesy and I DONT KNOW I feel so bad about not liking it! I even think that the movie is better at this point…Hopefully it gets a lot better, and that this episode was only weak bc it’s the pilot… :/


    1. Alec was pretty cardboard to me but maybe that’s just how his character is? I wouldn’t know. It’ll be so weird if Harry Shum starts breaking out into dance moves as Magnus.

      I’ve heard passing comments that some prefer the movie over the book but I guess we’ll see how the rest of the season goes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In the first book Alec didn’t actually have very many scenes, but I thought he was much more collected in the show. In the book he is whiny with a stick up his butt.

        I thought Simon, in the show, was the best character, he got all the best lines!

        I seriously want to see Shum pull out some dance moves! That would be really awesome!


  4. As much as I like the books (though City of Bones is probably my least favorite since it was meh/okay even when I read it as a preteen and was still in my Twilight phase XD ), I don’t think I’ll be watching the show. It’s not even the appearance of the actors that bothers me (I think the cast is okay) but from the short clips and trailers I’ve seen the actual acting seems like it’d be a disappointment. Though, I am curious how they changed (or dragged?) the plot to make it a show. Oh and… I’m not making you read TMI since that’s like 6 books, but READ TID (I will try to fit this in every conversation that is applicable… or not applicable)! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The acting didn’t work for me and the writing certainly didn’t. They just didn’t stay true to the characters to me. The only one who wasn’t half-bad was Valentine.
    Oh well. What did I expect.


      1. Someone told me that Clary’s hair (the one in the tv show) is more accurate than Lily’s hair in the movie.. but I think the red hair thing is just put there as to who she is because Clare wants Clary to be “pretty but she didn’t know she’s pretty because she’s conscious of her red hair”.. the carroty hair of the actress bothers me because it looks fake on her 😛


  6. I totally agree… This show was just not good. Shoutout to that one beginning scene, where Jace bumps into Clary and she just turns around and goes “HEY. Can you watch where you’re going?” Like wow. Excellent acting. Excellent dialogue. Very realistic. (NOT)


  7. I did watch it. I was disappointed. The second episode was a little better I want bothered by Clarys hair I was bothered by how much of an idiot she seemed. Ask I can say is hopefully it gets better. I will give it three episodes


  8. I’m DYING to watch the Shadowhunters pilot though I have to admit, aesthetic-wise, the whole show looks cheesy. I was underwhelmed by the trailer, not a fan of this Clary and Jace, but we’ll see. Hopefully, it has more direction than the movie adaptation (though that was pretty decent enough).


  9. It was exactly what I was expecting for the network. The Nine Lives of Chloe King suffered the same fate.
    I’m just about to start episode 2 and I hope things improve a bit. I find pilots are a little wish-washy and have a different production than the rest of the series.

    Highlights for me: Harry Shum Jr as Magnus–I didn’t think he could do it but he won me over. I thought he acted the best out of everyone. And Clary was just as annoying as she ever was in the books so WINNING!


    1. The discrepancy in quality from “ABC” to “ABC Family/Freeform” is pretty astounding though. I thought HTGAWM’s pilot was well shot…but that just might be me (and the tone and quality of the writing).

      People have said Harry makes a good Magnus! I can’t say if I agree/disagree since I don’t really know his character but it makes me interested!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, you can tell there is a significant difference in the budget the shows get…but I’ll take what I can get to see one of my favourite series brought to life. It’s super cheesy though so sometimes it makes me laugh unintentionally 😛

        I’m really excited to see more of Magnus in the next episode (ep4)!


  10. I think its really cliched, especially with the dialogue but I think it has a bit of potential. I don’t have a problem with Clary’s fiery red hair; at least its red, compared to Lily Collins’ dark red hair. I agree, the best part was Simon! He fits the role perfectly. Dominic looks like a Jace but where’s the witty and funny sarcasm? It doesn’t seem like he has character. Also I didn’t know there were other people in the Institute!


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