Shadowhunters 1×01 Review – Already Doing the Books Justice

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I fully admit that while I was so, so excited about the first episode of Shadowhunters, I was a bit cautious, too. I love The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, and whenever books are turned into movies or TV shows, there are changes. There have to be, but fans don’t always like it. So I went in with high hopes that the TV show would be at least somewhat true to what my mind saw while reading, knowing that it wouldn’t be perfect.

So here’s the outcome: it’s really close – and I totally want more. If you’re a fan of Clare’s books, you simply must check the series out!

SHADOWHUNTERS - “The Mortal Cup” - One young woman realizes how dark the city can really be when she learns the truth about her past in the series premiere of "Shadowhunters" on Tuesday, January 12th at 9:00 - 10:00 PM ET/PT. ABC Family is becoming Freeform in January 2016. Based on the bestselling young adult fantasy book series The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, "Shadowhunters" follows Clary Fray, who finds out on her birthday that she is not who she thinks she is but rather comes from a long line of Shadowhunters - human-angel hybrids who hunt down demons. Now thrown into the world of demon hunting after her mother is kidnapped, Clary must rely on the mysterious Jace and his fellow Shadowhunters Isabelle and Alec to navigate this new dark world. With her best friend Simon in tow, Clary must now live among faeries, warlocks, vampires and werewolves to find answers that could help her find her mother. Nothing is as it seems, including her close family friend Luke who knows more than he is letting on, as well as the enigmatic warlock Magnus Bane who could hold the key to unlocking Clary's past. (ABC Family/John Medland) KATHERINE MCNAMARA, ALBERTO ROSENDEI’ll say at the outright that I’m especially impressed by Katherine McNamara as Clary, Alberto Rosende as Simon, Dominic Sherwood as Jace, Harry Shum Jr. as Magnus, and Isaiah Mustafa as Luke. That last one threw me a bit, as they’ve made two significant changes to the character of Luke, but I’m rolling with them, and I can imagine why they made the changes. In particular, Luke as a police detective makes a lot of sense. All of the above said, I’m not weighing in on either Matthew Daddario as Alec or Emeraude Toubia as Isabelle (aka Izzy) because they didn’t have enough screen time in this first episode – but I did like what I saw of the two, and I’m looking forward to more.

SHADOWHUNTERS - “The Mortal Cup” - One young woman realizes how dark the city can really be when she learns the truth about her past in the series premiere of "Shadowhunters" on Tuesday, January 12th at 9:00 - 10:00 PM ET/PT. ABC Family is becoming Freeform in January 2016. Based on the bestselling young adult fantasy book series The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, "Shadowhunters" follows Clary Fray, who finds out on her birthday that she is not who she thinks she is but rather comes from a long line of Shadowhunters - human-angel hybrids who hunt down demons. Now thrown into the world of demon hunting after her mother is kidnapped, Clary must rely on the mysterious Jace and his fellow Shadowhunters Isabelle and Alec to navigate this new dark world. With her best friend Simon in tow, Clary must now live among faeries, warlocks, vampires and werewolves to find answers that could help her find her mother. Nothing is as it seems, including her close family friend Luke who knows more than he is letting on, as well as the enigmatic warlock Magnus Bane who could hold the key to unlocking Clary's past. (ABC Family/John Medland) KATHERINE MCNAMARA, MAXIM ROYPlot changes… in the show, Jocelyn, Clary’s mother, actually tries to explain what she’s been shielding Clary from all these years (Magnus was the warlock who put the spell on Clary) and gives here a stele (Shadowhunter item) as a birthday gift, saying its an heirloom. In the books, this never happens – and when Clary returns home completely freaked out and confused, Jocelyn has already been taken by Valentine’s (Clary’s father and her ex-husband) men. In the show, Clary makes it home to Jocelyn, but before much can be explained, Valentine’s men show up, and Jocelyn shoves Clary through a portal to the police station where Luke works. Meanwhile, Jocelyn takes the potion that basically puts her into a coma so she can’t tell Valentine where the Mortal Cup – an extremely important Shadowhunter relic – is hidden. From that point, things pretty much stay the same as the books.

I truly am happy with how the show is treating the story so far, even with the changes that have been made. I think the changes will make the story better for a TV series, and I can’t wait for the next episode! What will Clary find out in the City of Bones? Will she get any closer to finding her mother? We’ll all find out next Tuesday!

SHADOWHUNTERS - “The Mortal Cup” - One young woman realizes how dark the city can really be when she learns the truth about her past in the series premiere of "Shadowhunters" on Tuesday, January 12th at 9:00 - 10:00 PM ET/PT. ABC Family is becoming Freeform in January 2016. Based on the bestselling young adult fantasy book series The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, "Shadowhunters" follows Clary Fray, who finds out on her birthday that she is not who she thinks she is but rather comes from a long line of Shadowhunters - human-angel hybrids who hunt down demons. Now thrown into the world of demon hunting after her mother is kidnapped, Clary must rely on the mysterious Jace and his fellow Shadowhunters Isabelle and Alec to navigate this new dark world. With her best friend Simon in tow, Clary must now live among faeries, warlocks, vampires and werewolves to find answers that could help her find her mother. Nothing is as it seems, including her close family friend Luke who knows more than he is letting on, as well as the enigmatic warlock Magnus Bane who could hold the key to unlocking Clary's past. (ABC Family/John Medland) HARRY SHUM JR.

Vicki Dolenga