TV Review: Shadowhunters

As part of our on going upgrades to the B.A.Bs book club, we have decided to add TV Shows to our repertoire. Because, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love TV. We would like to stick to books that have become TV shows (and movies when we get the chance to review it), but I will admit that we will throw non book-to-tv/movie reviews in as well. Okay.. now on to the review.

Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments Series is one of my first favorites. I remember reading the twilight series (yes… I read it) and wanted to read something paranormal. I stumbled onto this Gem via goodreads.

To clarify:

  1. the TV series is not associated with the movie that came out in 2013 (IMDB here). It is completely separate.
  2. The book will always be better, this is just a review on the show itself. I will run comparisons though. How could I not?
  3. You don’t HAVE to read the book to watch the show, but I would highly suggest reading it. I will be doing a review on the series in the near future.
    1. DISCLAIMER: My review will probably have spoilers of the book if you haven’t read it yet.




I almost didn’t write a review on this because I wasn’t super impressed with the first episode. So I waited a few episodes in to cast my verdict.

The first episode starts off similar to the way the book and movie did. Clary Fray (played by Katherine McNamara)  is about to turn 18 and figures out quite possibly in the worst way possible, that she is not who she thinks she is. This snowballs into a series of unfortunate events that they have shown in the show so far (I’m on episode 3).


The first thing I loved about the first episode was that they stayed close to the storyline. When I watched the movie I remember having to fill in the story to my non-reader friend the entire time. The show is much easier to follow. I’m wondering how they’re going to play out the more “taboo” parts of the book.

While the book had its dark moments, I felt that the majority of it was a fun YA read. This is where the show falls flat. I felt that the script lacked humor which was present throughout the book. When a witty one liner did come up in the show it poorly was delivered.

If you watched the first episode and chocked it up to a loss, I suggest trying the second. I am seeing improvements in the plot and line delivery. While there is a long way to go as far as writing, they are definitely showing progress. 


When I saw Clary’s hair I thought. YES!!!!

Another thing I noticed was that the cast exudes sexy. Everyone is sexy. Mom is sexy, moms helper is sexy, monsters are sexy. Sexy is oozing out of the pores of this series. Perhaps this is unreasonably sexy? I kept asking myself if everyone was this sexy in the book.


Visually I think the main characters are spot on. They look very similar to how they were described in Clare’s books. Unfortunately in the first episode that’s where the similarities end.  With exception to Isabelle and Simon (played by Emeraude Toubia and Alberto Rosende), I felt all the characters were weak. This is especially disappointing when watching Clary as she is the main character. I expected the sarcasm and sass from the books. When she did try to push any sass out it felt forced.

What was also missing in the first episode was the chemistry between Jace (played by Dominic Sherwood) and Clary.

Into the second and third episode you can see more of their characters come out. Jace is a bit dry, but that’s how he comes off in the beginning anyway. Clary still needs improvement, but you can definitely see where the actress and the character are starting to meld together.

Emeraude and Alberto seem to be having a lot of fun with the show.  Alberto’s performances are part of the reason I have faith in this series. He shows his emotions strongly and executes his lines perfectly. 


I wasn’t expecting a whole lot in the visual effects department. Trial seasons = less funding. Unfortunately the effects were pretty bad. I felt they cheapened the experience. The fight scenes felt way too choreographed and didn’t have that raw gory feel to it.

anigif_enhanced-20005-1444394656-2Source: Buzzfeed

Unfortunately in episodes 2 and 3 they don’t get better, but I think that is something that will get better as the show picks up speed (and funding).


So there you have it. Is it perfect? No.. far from it. Will I continue to watch it? If it continues down the path they’re going yes. There is definitely lots of room to grow and you can already see improvements from the pilot episode. I’m hoping people will watch. I’d like to see where Freeform (formerly ABC Family) goes with this.


Shadowhunters airs Tuesdays at 9pm/8C on Freeform (Formerly ABC Family)




If you’re wondering what Cassandra Clare is thinking about all this, what part she plays in the series Here is her FAQ. You can find it here.

Shadowhunters on Freeform (Formerly ABC Family)
  • Writing
  • Characters
  • Effects
The Good

Room for Improvement

Close to Book

Alberto Rosende

The Bad

Visual Effects

Needs better Script



Founder and B.A.B in Command

Bellia has been addicted to reading since her father bought her a Chronicles of Narnia box set when she was a child. She is known to LOL in public and and forego sleep all in the name of finishing a good book. Loves: Friend to Lover, Alpha Male, Major Snark, Queue the Tears Hates: Insta-love, excessive sex scenes,

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