Wednesday, January 13, 2016

TV Review: Shadowhunters Episode 1 | Could Have Been A Lot Better

I'm posting this impulsively minutes after watching the 1st episode of Shadowhunters because I just need to talk about this. Even though I didn't have too many expectations, this was disappointing. It could've been so so so much better. I had prayed it would be so so much better.


First of all, the effects. This type of show, it needs to have good CGI, otherwise it all looks kind of ridiculous. And, guess what? Bad CGI all around. It makes everything look laughable when they jump up and becomes smears of black on the screen (for too long, as well), or when the bad guys explode like that. And it lessens the impact.

I feel like they just killed video game characters, so I'm hardly going to care/feel scared for them, am I? the substitute for blood is colorful energy looking stuff, for crying out loud!! I assume the rating made them go with this, but couldn't they at least make it look slightly more gritty?

I was kind of prepared for it because of the sneak-peeks but I had hoped that was an unfinished product. No luck there!

Then, the narrative is really choppy, and is hardly helped by editing that lingers a second too long before moving to the next shot. A second may sound insignificant, but it's the difference between the shots flowing to the shots feeling choppy. I saw every wrong cut. I noticed how the actors weren't standing quite where they had in the previous shots. These nuisances usually go unseen when the editing is meticulous. Not to mention there is no subtlety in this type of editing.

Note: this will probably not bother people who are not film majors lol 

But back the the narrative. I felt like the show needed to stop jumping around between characters. Yes, it's cool that OH MY GOD MAGNUS but it didn't help to suddenly cut to him in the bar twice for short interactions that helped the plot not at all. Stick with Clary.

In fact, I think they should have stuck with Clary the whole episode for the most part. Don't show me Jocelyn's past! Don't show me Clary as a shadowhunter child! Don't show me Magnus erasing her memory! No no no no! You take all the mystery out of it!!!

Imagine how delicious it would've been to be confused together with Clary. To see her bump into Magnus and you see recognition in his eyes and dazed confusion in hers and you know there is something there but theoretically (if you haven't read the novels) you don't know what. And if you do know what then you can anxiously await for Clary to find out, which is where the flashbacks could come in. As her memory returning. And it could be choppy and broken because her memory isn't clear.

That could've been so awesome. I would've loved that. 

And hide Magnus's identity from us. Let new viewers see him, but not know who he is so they're curious, and let old fans flail as he comes on screen and eagerly await the moment everyone come together and they learn that the cool warlock they hear about fucking glitters.

Speaking of which, the script was sometimes so blunt it hurt. It was like "pssst, look here" or "this is what you should think!"

Like Luke and Jocelyn. Dude, I don't need a character to "jokingly" tell Luke to marry Jocelyn already to establish their relationship. This does nothing for me. Show me this in their interactions. Show me him coming into the room and giving her a small touch, for example. Show him linger on her a second too long before moving to someone else. Show him hesitate on the answer button (not outright decline it) to make me see his inner struggle.

The scene when he tells Jocelyn "We'll tell her together" does more for their relationship than that cop telling him to marry Jocelyn or that he's already acting like a husband.

Show us that, don't tell! 

These type of jests could come later on, after you established their relationship (in the past and in the present), and then it could mirror the viewers own feelings. Instead, you are telling them what to feel. 

Now, the acting. Hands down the best actors were Jocelyn and the guy that melts to death. I believed in his pain. 

I kid, I kid. All the actors had really weak parts which were just highlighted by their good parts. Thankfully, they were good more than they were bad but when they were bad they went all out! Hopefully, this will even out and become solid the whole time. 

So, yes. I didn't agree with the direction they chose to tell the story, taking all the mystery out of things by showing us everything too early. But I'll probably tune in to see how this continues. 

**I'd like to point out that I had no trouble with the changes they made to the plot. I actually liked them! :D


  1. I had very low expectations from the tv series, so when I watched it I was actually rather surprised. In a good way. I'm not a film major but I do see where you're coming from...hopefully you'll enjoy episode two more?

    1. I think plot wise (aside for showing us too much) were really good. I loved the plot itself and the changes they made (the HQ was really cool) and the dynamics between Jace Alec and Izzy were great. After getting all this out on how visually disappointing it was, I will probably focus on the actual plot more the next time I review an episode.
      As a film major its just very hard to close down those aspects on the first viewing, you know?

  2. I just watched it today and liked it. It wasn't the best I've ever seen, either though. The Mortal Instruments is one of my favorite books and I thought they stayed pretty close to it. Of course they have to change stuff but I also didn't mind. But I also have lowered standards when it comes to books to movies and tv shows ever since the disaster of The Host movie. I'm just glad to be able to see the world of Shadowhunters on a screen again. I laughed my ass off with Simon. And I love Dom as Jace. ^^

    1. First of all, I think the show (so far) is a lot better than the movie! The movie's narrative was a huge mess I stopped midway. The actors were good but you could feel the scenes missing (to me it was painfully obvious that the script had a lot more scenes that were cut) and the dialouges were weak at best. It was physically hard to watch. I digress lol
      Oh my god don't mention the Host that movie physically hurt. You can expect to see a scathing review of it on the blog at some point after I slightly revamp the old one lol
      Ohhh Dom was great!!! Easily the biggest surprise there. And yes, Simon made me lol ^_^