I know, I know. Shadowhunters? REALLY? Don't I have anything better to do with my time?
This show seems to be either loved or seriously canned. I'm guessing most of the fan base would be a younger demographic (teens and twenties) and a lot of those would be fans of the books. However, I also know fans of the books who hate both the movie and the TV series.
Either way, season 2B will be airing come June, and in my experience, a TV series only gets a season 2B (like Teen Wolf began doing after starting as a limited episode series and becoming super popular) if they're doing really well. So obviously the team that produces Shadowhunters is doing something right.
Oh, and as usual, spoilers ahead if you're not up to date on this series.
So. This show. Where to begin?
Well, I suppose with the obvious in saying that I haven't read any of the books, and didn't see the movie, so I was coming into this series with a clean slate -- no preconceived ideas about what it could or should be.
I'll admit, this show started off rough. And when I say rough, that's a polite way of me saying it was seriously not great. I found the dialogue awkward at times, occasionally found myself lost as to what was happening (if I'd read the books, I would have known what was going on obviously) and a lot of the acting was a little... I'm not sure. Maybe stiff?
The only ones I didn't have much of a problem with were Alec and Magnus. In fact, they were probably what kept me watching.
I'd heard and seen bits and pieces of the Malec ship floating around places like Tumblr, so I knew it was a good one, probably a ship I could get on board with, which after the episode where Magnus first saw Alec and said "who is that?" I totally did.
The scene where Alec left the alter of his wedding to kiss Magnus? Yes, while I'll admit it was a little cliche, it was also epic and I loved every second of it.
By the end of season 1, I was invested enough in the Clary/Jace ship (what do they call that, Clace or something?) that when the big reveal of them being siblings happened, I was suitably shocked and grossed out over their kissing, but also sad because I felt that, especially for Jace, he was way past the point where he would be able to get over the feelings he had for her very easily.
How could a person who'd been falling in love and obviously very attracted to someone ever only see them as a sibling after?
I have to hand it to the author and TV writers, this created some really great tension, and I think it was around this point that the series had finally settled -- the writing had improved and lines delivered more naturally, the actors appeared more comfortable in their roles, and the production quality was definitely up. It's not very unusual for this to happen -- a series starting off rough before becoming really great. I think exactly the same thing happened with Killjoys.
Season 2 only got better and better, especially toward the end when everything was coming to a head with the soul sword.
The twists that came out in the end -- that Jace had angel blood, not demon blood, and wasn't actually Clary's brother after all were handled really well. I was a bit on the fence over Simon and Clary getting together, so it looks like I'm #TeamJace.
The other plot thread that really hooked me was they mystery around the vampire Raphael.
In trying to help Isabelle with her addiction to vampire venom, the pair started falling for each other. During the last 2 episodes, Raphael told both Alec and Magnus that he had feelings for Isabelle, that he hadn't felt that way about somebody in a long time.
However, when Isabelle tried to kiss him, he shied away and told her he wasn't like that, and wasn't interested in sex. It seemed he was about to confide the reason for this to Isabelle, when they were interrupted (I think by Alec storming in).
Later in the final episode, when Raphael finds Isabelle after the fighting has finished, he tries to talk to her, but she tells him they made a mistake (or something to that effect) and she didn't want anything to do with him anymore.
Obviously being that Isabelle puts so much worth in her sexuality, when Raphael didn't want to be physical with her, she took that as a personal insult, not realizing that his reasonings were all about him and had nothing to do with her. Now I really want to find out what secret Raphael has (I'm guessing it's got something to do with the hints we've gotten about Raphael's strict catholic upbringing... I think it was catholic... before he became a vampire. I would even hazard a guess to say he's a virgin, despite how old he is) and beyond this, I really want Raphael and Isabelle to end up together... but in a healthy way. Not in an addicted-to-vampire-venom way.
Oh, which reminds me. Also loved the scene where they rescued Simon from Valentine. It had seemed like Clary had turned herself over, and let Simon drink from her because he'd lost so much blood. But it turned out to be Jace using the shape shifting rune. Definitely didn't see that one coming! Which I mention, because in the end, Simon found he could go out into the sunshine. My guess is it's because he drank Jace's angel blood. Now, whether this is permanent or temporary, we'll have to wait and see.
Suffice to say, by the end of season 2, Shadowhunters had a lot of great elements working for it. Are there better shows out there? Probably. But this has firmly won a place in my guilty pleasures watch list, and if the quality keeps up, then it'll probably stay there for a good long time.