Tuesday ABC Family (soon to be Freeform) premieres it's new series Shadowhunters
, based on the bestselling book series, The Mortal Instruments
, by Cassandra Clare. The series takes place in modern day New York and follows Clary Fray, played by Katherine McNamara, who discovers that she is not who she thought was. There is a world hidden beyond our own that she has been made to forget. She comes from a family of Shadowhunters, half-human half-angel hybrid demon hunters. When her mother (Maxim Roy) is kidnapped, she, along with her best friend Simon (Alberto Rosende), are pulled into this new world. With the help of fellow Shadowhunters Jace (Dominic Sherwood), Isabelle (Emeraude Toubia), and Alec (Matthew Daddario), they must not only try to save her mother and recover her memories, but also stop demons and other supernatural creatures from destroying everything.
As a fan of the book series, and knowing that the story was previously released as a movie, I wasn't sure what to expect. Certain aspects for the series had been changed from the start - for example, the character of Luke (Isaiah Mustafa) is a detective in television show rather than a book store owner, which will I'm sure add a different spin. There are also some new characters coming to the series as well.
The first episode, which sees some slight plot changes, covers only part of the first book of the series, City of Bones
, though it is unknown from watching the pilot how fast the first season will move through the events in the books. Judging by the fact the cast list includes the character of Camille, who is featured predominantly in the fourth book, it's hard to tell a timeline at all. Apparently Clare is not heavily involved in the adaptation, so it's hard to tell how faithful the series will be to the books; however, executive producer McG has previously stated that the mythology will be in line with the books.
Even with the changes, I enjoyed the first episode of the series and found that it so far felt authentic. The characters so far seemed to match what I expected for them. I'm especially looking forward to seeing more of Magnus (Harry Shum Jr.) who will I'm sure come more into play soon.
The script was adapted well, and I'm looking forward to seeing where the new series goes. The tone did feel a bit lighter than I expected, but as it isn't that far into the story, it's really hard to tell how it will match up.
The series obviously does not have as big of a budget as the film, and it's hard not to compare the look of the two; however, so far most of the visuals of the series did bring it to life and fit pretty well, though some of the weapons did leave a bit to be desired. The only real complaint I have about the effects, is that I didn't really like the way that they apply runes with their steles, as they should be burnt into their skin, or at least appear to be drawn in my opinion, rather than the skin sort of "waved" over.1
All in all, I was drawn into the series and am excited to see where it goes, though really feel that the first episode wasn't enough for me to get a full feel of it. Either way, I think fans of the books, as well as newcomers to the story, will enjoy it; I know I'm anxious to see more. 1
In Beyond the Shadows: The Making of Shadowhunters
they actually do it correctly; I don’t know why the pilot is different.