The first episode of Freeform's (formerly ABC Family) new show Shadowhunters flew onto screens January 12th. It was full of gaps and unexplained plots. But what do you expect from the first episode of a new series? They've got a fair amount of settling to do.
Shadowhunters is based of Cassandra Clare's novel City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments series). Their are currently six books in the series.
After its 2013 movie flop, there didn't seem to be any hope for the number one best selling book. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones not only flopping critically, but financially as well, and before the first movie ever hit theaters the sequel was already in the works.
Now pilot episodes can always seen a bit...clunky. Unfortunately, Shadowhunters isn't saved from this. I have read the books (the first three to be exact), and I have to say that I'm a bit impressed with the t.v. adaptation. Which is more than I can say with the movie adaptation three years ago.
Their are some character development issues, dialogue is rough, and of course there are other flaws. However, overall it kept me interested and entertained.
We are introduced to Clary Fray (Katherine McNamara) on her 18th birthday. It's a flashback of things to come. Clary is bumped into by a guy, that low and behold, only she can see.
Flash forward to Clary going to an interview for an art academy. Her birthday is going well, she just got accepted to a prestigious art school. But things begin to take a dark turn as her day progresses.
She begins to see things that others can't, demons and monsters start attacking her and her mother is kidnapped. That's when she learned that she is a Shadowhunter.
Now flashback to when Clary bumped into that guy outside the club Pandemonium. Only she can see him. Because of that she decides to follow him into the club.
The club Pandemonium is quite essential, and is the turning point for young Clary. Setting her down the path of Shadowhunter. Freaked out by what she saw in the club, she turns and runs home. Hopefully, to her mother who understands much more than she is letting on when Clary divulges what had happened to her.
Now, Clary is mildly unfazed by just about everything she's seen, done and heard up to this point. This is actually the only genuine freak-out we see in the first episode. I hope that changes in the episodes yet to come. Clary is a likable heroine, and yes, I would like her to stay that way. Even Clary's best friend Simon, is a bit unfazed. Clary needs more layers (actually all the characters need a bit more development), emotionally, and I have yet to see this. Yes, it is ONLY the first episode. Which is why at the moment much of these flaws can be more or less ignored. Pardoned, I suppose you can say.
I fell in love with Simon, he's very sweet and affable. He's also extremely protective of Clary, and it's sadly evident that he has a crush on her. He's also very human amongst the Shadowhunters and demons. Simon asks the questions that Clary doesn't, or has radically accepted at this point. Most of his dialogue is very tongue-in-cheek, which what made me love him a bit more.
Jace (Dominic Sherwood) is badass. The epitome of a Shadowhunter. As are his cohorts, Isabelle and Alec Lightwood (Emeraude Toubia and Matthew Daddario). They really kick ass when fighting the demons in Pandemonium.
We get to meet the big baddie who kidnapped Clary's mom, Jocelyn. A man by the name of Valentine (Alan Van Sprang). Honestly, he doesn't seem all that bad. Then again, he is living in an abandoned factory in Chernobyl. The question is, how bad is he really?
We also get to meet the warlock Magnus Bane. His ability to choke hold a Circle member with two fingers is the tip of the iceberg of his powers. But like Valentine, we only get a glimpse of him. Just enough to know that he is a pivotal and important character.
Shadowhunters first episode The Mortal Cup did better than what was probably expected. According to The Wrap, Shadowhunters was Freeform's top debut series in two years. It had 1.82 millions viewers, behind Pretty Little Liars at 2.25 million viewers.
The pilot episode was clunky, but kept it interesting. Many things such as plot, characters and dialogue need a bit of work. But things seem to be on a good start. All in all, for its first episode Shadowhunters did well. It was intriguing and kept me hooked well enough to look forward to the second episode.
The Decent Into Hell Is Easy airs on Freeform January 19th, 2016.
Episode Summary for The Decent Into Hell Is Easy:
With the knowledge that Valentine is alive and on the hunt for The Mortal Cup, the Institute is on high alert. Not wasting any time, Jace jumps into action and figures Clary's memories are the key to finding Jocelyn and The Mortal Cup. Unfortunately, Clary's memories were wiped leaving her without any recollection of this other life that could help her and the team. With only one other option remaining, Jace, Isabelle and a very reluctant Alec take Clary to the City of Bones to face the powerful Silent Brothers. Meanwhile, Luke continues his search for Clary, and Simon tries to come to terms with his best friend's new life.