TV 411: Shadowhunters, Season 1 Recap

Genres: fantasy, supernatural, young adult

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It’s a recap so … spoilers!

Ah, Shadowhunters. The latest addition to my TV Show queue. You can catch my intro here.

With the pilot debut in January, this show has made it through its first season on air and has done a pretty good job with it. If you want a quick summary on each episode, I usually go to Wikipedia for that. I’ll do you a solid and include the link here. Since there are so many other blogs out there that does an episode-by-episode recap, I figure I’d skip that and jump to a season highlight instead.

We have had a good introduction to the basic foundation of this world. Clary Fray has found out she is part Shadowhunter, a hybrid race of Angel and Human created to combat demons and the like. Shadowhunters are the police force for all things supernatural, or maybe the FBI of all things supernatural would be more accurate? Anyway, they keep all kinds of supernatural baddies, generally known as Downworlders (which are hybrid blood lines of human and otherness i.e. Human and Demon creates warlocks and witches), in line so the supernatural world isn’t exposed to humans. There are laws, known as the Accords, that govern this magical existence and Shadowhunters enforce it. With me so far?

So, Clary’s world is turned upside down when her supernatural powers go full force on her 18th birthday. First, an invisible boy almost knocks her over when she waits outside a club with her best friend, Simon Lewis, who can’t see this mysterious boy. Second, she finds out invisible boy is Jace Wayland, the best-in-his-class Shadowhunter, and starts falling for him. Then, Clary’s mom is kidnapped by Clary’s evil father, her best friend turns into a vampire, and just as she’s falling hard for invisible boy she finds out he’s her brother! I mean, her brother! That royally sucks. For both, since Jace finds himself falling just as hard. Happy Birthday, Clary! This is a good summary of what happens in this season. The creators took us from Clary’s intro to the Shadowhunter universe all the way until Jace joins up with Valentine, evil father of Clary and Jace.

This was a good first season. For those fans who never read the book, the creator and screenwriters did a good job introducing the major characters and set up current and future plot lines pretty darned well. As a fan of the books and knowing what should be coming around the corner, I still felt engaged and found myself excited to see what the writers would come up with next. That’s a plus in my book. When you can speak to the fans of the book as well as the newer TV audience, you’ve done your job.

Highs of the season:

  • I like that the show is staying close to the story line of the books. They added their own twists and introduced knew plot points, but the season kept the same concepts and appeals. The way I see it, the book focuses on the overall plot and character development. With a TV series, you can explore the world they live in. You know, daily routines? Because I’m sure finding Valentine, though very important, won’t be taking place every single day, you know?
  • Magnus Bane. Yep, he has a bullet point all on his own. I think it’s safe to say that Magnus is pretty much everyone’s favorite so I feel like I’m following the crowd on this one, but I can’t help it. Book-Magnus rocks (I especially like him in the Infernal Devices series) and I am happy to see TV-Magnus rocks as well. Harry Shum Jr. is seriously Magnus reincarnate. He is doing such a good job.
  • And I love Simon! I’m just going to say it. I love book-Simon and I am happy to see TV-Simon is just as good.

Magnus and Simon are my favorites in the Mortal Instruments series so I was anxious to see how they were going to be and they are turning out fine. I love it.

  • Magnus and Alex. Oh yes, we get to see the tensions between these two. In season one. I love it.

With that said, I am worried for this show. I liked what I saw well enough to keep me vested for season two, but I can’t ignore that it felt a little weak. It was a bit slow moving and some things felt overstressed. The way Clary kept on and on about finding her mother. I mean, I know I’d be freaking out if my mother was kidnapped by the number one villain in a supernatural world and he so happens to be your father, but there were certain times when it felt forced and overdone. It’s probably just me though. And I’ll probably have to rewatch the season to get a better read on it. And as much as I am enjoying Magnus, there were times when I felt he did stuff out of character. I can’t pin point exact examples at the moment which is why I am letting it slide, but it’s worth mentioning for the sake of acknowledging nagging feelings. There are weak points but I feel that’s the growing pains of a new show. Actors and actresses are finding their groove, building their chemistry. Writers and directors are stretching their muscles and testing the waters. I expect that in a first season run.

The episode I enjoyed the most was Episode 10, “The World Inverted” because of how they played the alternate dimension. It was awesome to see that.

So, will you continue to Season 2?

Yes. Yes, I will. Even though I have a few concerns, overall I like what the creators are doing and where they are trying to go. My rule of thumb is if a TV Series can make it past Season 4, they are good to go so since Shadowhunter is renewed for Season 2 (Thank you, PremiereDate.tv), I’m giving it another shot.

Photo: Booktrib.com

#JustSayin