Ok, lets do something a bit different today. All my other posts have been book related so lets go to my other love- TV. In keeping with the rest of my blog though, I’m going to talk about an adaptation, Shadowhunters to be precise.
I finally got Netflix as a birthday present to myself and the first thing I watched was the two episodes of Shadowhunters that available -just noticed a new episode is now up. For those who don’t know this is an adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series – those who haven’t heard of the series, shame on you. Now this isn’t the first adaptation of the series. There’s also a film that focused on the first book – City of Bones. This had mixed reviews among the book lovers but personally I didn’t mind it. I’m going to try avoid comparing this show to the film or the books till the end so if that’s what you’re looking for go straight to the bottom.
Let’s start with the acting and writing. I’m only joining the two together because it’s hard to distinguish what is acting and what is just bad script writing and directing and I don’t think I’ve seen the actors in anything, so have nothing to compare them to. I’m going to be honest, I hated it. The best acting I think came from Luke and maybe Valentine (I generally forget actors names so stick characters name). I want to say Valentine was good but I think it went over the top, though I did like the clear emotion he had for Jocelyn. Isabelle and Simon were good too. You could see chemistry there and Isa’s joy at the weapons made me both laugh and scared of her, but I couldn’t quite get past the awkward speech.
While talking about the character, I feel the need to mention costumes. There was a lot of leather, which I don’t mind, but still a lot, especially by the second episode. Isabelle’s outfits were quite revealing and I am very impressed by her heels. As someone who can’t even walk in heels without breaking them, I’m impressed with how hers survived a jump from a bridge – pretty sure its in the trailer. The blonde/ white wig was just funny. Demons dig blondes apparently, though I think that means she should have kept it on for longer than she did.
The protagonists if the show– Clary and Jace – were … no, just no. It was really unbelievable and cringe-worthy. Admittedly, it’s hard to be believable with lines like “You. Have. The sight.” There’s really not much you can do. I want to say it’s only the really bad scriptwriting but everything they said just came out really bland. Jace is surprisingly affectionate, always holding hands with Clary, despite not really knowing her. It also looks forced like they were told to hold hands but they know its not justified. I’m hoping it gets better as the series continues.
Music choice was a bit strange. They kept using a techno beat which feels outdated. I could maybe understand it for club scene but other than that. It really did not need to be used for the opening credits or as background music.
How it was shot is also kind of questionable. I’m not a fan of jump cuts and here didn’t help. The cuts were just used – or at least when I noticed them – when jumping to Valentine’s lair. It was a bit disconcerting but maybe that was the point. Either way I don’t think it worked. Some of the effects felt cheep like when Jocelyn was put in her deep sleep. I have no idea what the hell happened with the action scenes. I think the moves themselves were good but they were slightly slowed down. It just looked odd, like they were just moving slow rather than a stylistic choice.
Might as well talk about the differences from the book. There’s a few of them so I’ll list the main ones I remember:-
- Aged up characters. Clary is now college age rather than high school age. Don’t mind it really
- Simon’s band is now just him and Maureen
- Maureen is the same age as Simon and in the band – assuming she the 14 year old band groupie of the books
- Clary gets visions of her mum and Dorethea
- Dorethea is now a young looking warlock who works for Jocelyn rather than elderly neighbour.
- Luke is a confident cop rather than shy, bookshop owner
- Jocelyn tries to tell Clary about Shadowhunters since she’s now 18
- Valentine’s lair
- Valentine shows his love for Jocelyn more than the books
- Jace is less of a tortured soul
- Institute has a lot of people in it and a lot of technology
- Hodge is badass
- Isabelle is less reserved
- Magnus doesn’t help
- Simon isn’t taken from a party or turned into a rat, might happen later
Overall the whole thing was just cringe-worthy. It felt like a 1st year college webseries more than anything. The music was outdated, the acting and writing was terrible and I don’t know what happened with the action. Yet despite all this, I’m going to watch at least the next couple of episodes. I like the books and I’m still holding out hope it will get better . That, and I’m a sucker for punishment who is annoying loyal when I start a programme.