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5 Things That Would Make Shadowhunters a Better Show


After watching the first two episodes of Freeform’s Shadowhunters here are 5 things that will make the awesome show even better.

(Full disclosure: Your writer is a huge fan of Cassandra Clare and the world she has created. He devoured the six books in The Mortal Instruments series and the three books in The Infernal Devices series and can’t wait for the release of Lady Midnight. That being said, he will try to refrain from such statements as, “That’s not how it was in the books.”)

1. Don’t be so obvious


While we understand the show’s need to make things simple and understandable for viewers who aren’t familiar with the books, there is a point where you can explain things too much.

For example, take the shot of the boy carrying a newspaper with the headline “DEMONIC MURDERS” in front of Clary’s art academy. While it’s conceivable that a newspaper could print a headline like this, it’s unlikely. It skates by as the show’s attempt to yell at viewers, “This is a show that involves demons!”

Another example: The club that the Shadowhunters and Clary & Co. go to at the beginning of Episode 1 is named “Pandemonium.” Yet, the show deems it necessary to name it panDEMONium — with “DEMON” flashing in red. Again, this is overkill. It’s annoying. Most people have some idea where the name “pandemonium” comes from. And if they don’t, they don’t need a clue to understand what happens here.

Last one: When Clary wakes up inside the Institute, she refers to Jace, Alec, and Isabelle as “you stunning people.” A cringe-worthy moment. We can see that they are stunning; we don’t need to be told that.

So, Shadowhunters, don’t be so obvious. It’s okay to let viewers figure out some things for themselves.

2. Spend more time establishing the Shadow World


Shadowhunters risks letting viewers feel lost if it doesn’t hurry up and explain some key parts of the Shadow World. I think it’s okay to slow down a bit and show how the Shadow World actually works. Alec has already mentioned the “Clave” a few times; it needs to be explained. (For example, introduce Maryse Lightwood.) As do the “Accords.” As do “Downworlders.” The show has already done a good job explaining the “Circle.” Other explanations, quickly provided, will help viewers who aren’t familiar with the books grasp the world they choose to inhabit for one hour on Tuesdays.

3. Give Simon better lines


Simon is one of the best-cast characters in this show. But he’s been given some of the worst lines.

Exhibit A: When you find your best friend (who, as far as you know, has never done drugs) in an abandoned church two days after she went missing, the first thing you do NOT say is, “Are you in there with a meth dealer?” Maybe, “What the hell happened to you?” Or, “Why the hell are you naked?” And, “Who the hell is he (Jace)?” But NOT, “Are you in there with a meth dealer?” Definitely not, “Is he (Jace) your meth dealer?”

Exhibit B: Before they go into the institute, Simon tells Clary that Jace looks like Mick Jagger. Jace does NOT look like Mick Jagger.

4. Make Izzy less happy


In a show as dark as Shadowhunters, it’s understandable that the producers want to have at least a little ray of light. Apparently, they decided to make Isabelle the aforementioned ray. Unfortunately, this little Lightwood shines way too bright. While Izzy should be happy compared to Alec, the character’s cheerfulness and near-constant smiling comes across as over-the-top, obtuse, and out-of-place. It’s too much.

5. Give Valentine something better to do…


…than skulk around in his Chernobyl hideout and criticize his henchies for not bringing back the Mortal Cup. One thing he needs to do is put Jocelyn’s body somewhere — say, on a nice bed — not keep it floating around in his lab. Straight-up creepy!

BONUS: I know this probably won’t change, but as a huge fan of swords in general, the Shadowhunter swords (seraph blades, if you prefer) are lacking. They’re too CG. They look like glowing plastic swords kids wave about on Halloween. The blades need to be sharper, sleeker, and more metallic.SuperFable