Unlike several people who were extremely excited for the Shadowhunters pilot to air, I for one, didn't feel much of anything toward it. I was pretty apathetic toward whether or not it would be a success, but even so, I knew I would watch the pilot at the very least just to see if the show would be up my alley. I did read the books (before anyone knew City Of Bones would be made into a movie) and watched the film - I didn't like Jace's casting either - but by then, I was through with the series. I read both this and the prequel series, and while I enjoyed The Mortal Instruments and adored The Infernal Devices
up until that ending, I was kind of over the hype surrounding the shadowhunter world. Yes, I'll probably read Lady Midnight when it comes out, but I don't expect to enjoy it very much, and I'm not sure if I'll end up continuing the series.
Last week was still mid-season break for many of the shows I watch, so I started watching Shadowhunters with a mixture of curiosity, boredom, and fear of cringe-worthy-ness. To be sure, I had several problems with the show, but overall, it wasn't too bad. A few of the issues I had were:
• The actress who plays Clary, Katherine McNamara, is nothing like I would have imagined Clary; Lily Collins seemed like the perfect Clary Fray to me. At first I was afraid that I was biased against her because she played the mean girl on Disney Channel a few times and I couldn't at all imagine her in this show; as I watched, however, I realize that that's not the issue at all. For me, McNamara not only doesn't look like Clary - she's tall, supermodel-esque, and has orange hair while I see Clary as shorter, with very vibrant red hair - but doesn't act like her either. McNamara plays a much whinier yet simultaneously obnoxiously confronting character than Clary, and while this can be frustrating at times, I'll probably be able to get used to it if I stop comparing the show to the books.
• The Institute is much too techy to be in the shadowhunter world. I mean, it's a realm of fantasy/paranormal, not science-fiction. This and Isabelle's extremely, out of this world seductive character were probable the main downers to this show: Isabelle was actually nice and cute - two words I would not normally associate with her - and then she starts hitting on Simon as soon as she meets him. As a book nerd, I can't ignore the fact of how the writers simplified their romance into whatever it is Isabelle and Simon are doing together on that show. That being said, I will admit that the cast is gorgeous.
• The acting. There are no words for the acting, and I don't mean that in a good way. I'm not a great judge of acting or anything, but everything seemed so forced and fake in the Shadowhunters pilot. I'm really hoping that's just a first episode kind of thing, and that the acting will get better and more comfortable once the show continues. For now though, I do indeed cringe at the occasional line or facial expression. Now, Dominic Sherwood, who plays Jace, isn't super amazing either, but I will say that in some moments, he had me swooning for Jace all over again, something that hasn't happened in a while. And this might just be my faulty memory since I haven't read the books in a while, but Dominic's Jace seemed so much meaner - that is, more fun - than book Jace! It was so entertaining to watch, you don't even understand.
When it comes down to it, the Shadowhunters pilot wasn't astoundingly good or devastatingly bad. I will most likely continue watching it just in case the show becomes WOW at some point or ends up doing the Clary-Jace romance right. Oh, and how did I forget the Magnus-Alec romance?! I will certainly keep watching for that.