I haven’t really been talking about ShadowHunters, mostly because I can’t decide whether I like it for the sheer sappy, corniness and guilty pleasure that it is, or hate it because it is so underwhelming for a fantasy drama about a girl who finds out she’s some special person in a world of demons, warlocks and magic.
Honestly, I don’t like ShadowHunters ‘ Clary Fray.
She’s serviceable as an actor, and as a character. She’s driving the narrative along because she has to, but I don’t feel for her. I probably feel more for Alec and Magnus than I do for her and Jace. Maybe because I’m older (I was still a teen when I first read the books, although I exited the scene after the 3rd book), so I can see and roll my eyes at some of the clearly teenage driven stuff that comes out. There are several romances here, and I’ll list it in point form.
- First being the Jace and Clary romance that takes front and center stage in the story. I’m not sold.
- Second is Alec and Magnus (because they had more scenes) rocky beginning, but the charisma is good and the lines are good.
- Third, Meliorn and Isabelle (because it was the most realistic and fun). Honestly, I think Meliorn and Isabelle is probably my first, but then this is about the tv series’ ‘most important couple to root for’ so…
- Fourth, Jocelyn and Lucian (no scenes of romance together, unless you count the flash back -which I don’t)
- Fifth, Valentine and Jocelyn (both the parallel universe and the un-parallel universe – where there is only creepy stuff that girls and boys should take note. If a guy kidnaps you after 18 years of running, you should learn to throw fluffy clouds of magic at him. Or drink a potion that is the ShadowHunter equivalent of the Sleeping Beauty.)
I can’t even say that she doesn’t have experience ’cause, quick look at IMDB, she has 18 – 20 credits in film and tv. Obviously, someone likes her look and acting. I didn’t see it at first, I sometimes see it, and I don’t get the casting. The whole backstory about picking a ‘fiery’ hair colour kind of says volumes about the tv series and the character development. I feel that more than what you see, you have to be able to feel the character, and not an actor/actress playing the character.
In the picture above, yes, she’s a pretty girl. She shows some of her acting skills, but her character is so prettied up and boring that I don’t care. I’m more interested in the one-liners Isabelle spouts or where the plot changes from the book. Sometimes, the plot does throw good curve balls, but no matter how many episodes I watch, the bottom line is – I don’t feel anything for the series. There are good points – the story was less garbled, the action scenes are a little better, Isabelle had great lines.
Okay, this is completely off what I’m talking about before the dash, but here is what I think Freeform should have done instead SPOILERS AHEAD
So in EP11, Clary has to go to an alternate universe to get to a portal that will bring her to her mom. In this alternate universe, all the characters get screwed sideways weird – Isabelle still stole the show, and, surprisingly, Magnus and Alec. Magnus and Isabelle were toe to toe in terms of who I loved – Magnus, who used to be an all-powerful warlock, now has no power and makes a living by being a tarot card reader, and looks perfectly charming (Harry Shum Jr kills as both the all-powerful warlock and the prim and proper, cat-loving tarot card reader). Isabelle goes from a kickass, sexy, edgy, strong and independent Shadowhunter to a yoga-loving, taekwondo-class-taking, crushing on alternate universe Valentine geek girl that would make all the guys in the universe wet their pants.
I wish they’d started with the alternate universe, (or, if not, that they had waited til then to reveal Valentine, ’cause it builds into the audience from that episode who Valentine is, and ‘what’ he looks like. That would have been a good setup for the ‘sucker punch’ in EP12), and that Clary has to hop universe to save it, ’cause the clary from the other world (the current ShadowHunter ‘verse) got dead/ missing. That I would watch, because the story til now bores me.
Not only that, this cuts out the drivel that was the pilot – which was probably why I came into the series feeling disconnected from the storyline.
I know, I spent one post hating on the series, but the pilot really bugged me. Every time I think about the pilot, it makes me wince – which is always, because I keep going back to it when I compare the pilot with the current episode I’m watching. Of course, the episodes are better than the pilot, but I would have been just as happy if the series did not exist. The hype about casting, production, and my excitement about it makes it not worth the while. I don’t know how they got a season 2, unless they have a lot of newbies watching it (as in people who have never read the books), or the EP12 ‘shocker’ got to people.
Oh, EP12 shows Alec getting married to Lydia – the girl sent to take over the Institute when Maryse and Robert (Alec and Isabelle’s parents, Jace’s adoptive parents) were disgraced and had their power stripped. Magnus, after some nice conflicted scenes, did eventually choose to Speak Now, and there was an amazing kiss scene that I think both actors killed. It was about as hot as EP9’s kiss between Isabelle and Meliorn.
EP11 also has a kiss between Clary and Jace. While it looks steamy, I didn’t buy it. I mean, there was the cheap reveal of chemistry in EP3, where Simon hears Clary’s hammering heartbeat as she gazes blankly at Jace. But this is what ‘teenagers’ buy, so it goes.
I mean, if they had EP10 in their pocket (alternate universe travel), then they should have gone for it. Don’t just drop the girl in a ‘world’ of vampires, werewolves, demons, warlock and ShadowHuntering. Drop her in a whole other freaking universe, where there is always a war about to break out, and have a peace-loving girl dropped in the middle of a war zone, and having to always make the choice between fight to defend or fight to kill, because this line is often blurred in the face of war. I would watch that, and it brings in much more interesting stories and themes than the standard fare that is ShadowHunters.
I’ll still watch this finale. I want to know how far this can go, and how bad it can be. It was very, very bad in the pilot – Do not watch it if you want to enjoy this show. I’m not hopeful for a fantastic end, it’s just verging on not sucking. There are definitely better stories and characters – Firefly, anyone? Battlestar Galatica? Star Trek? All fantasy, and all good (for the most part).