Is the ‘Shadowhunters’ TV show a hit or a miss?


With only 5 episodes left it is time to look over the first season of Shadowhunters and tally up the things they got right, and the things that didn’t quite hit the mark. Shadowhunters plays Tuesdays at 9pm on Freeform and it has next day Netflix so make sure you don’t miss an episode! Check out the hits and misses below:


1. “Malec”

From the moment they first met I have been happy with how the show has handled Malec. Both Alec and Magnus are portrayed so well on this show and the two of them have real chemistry. I appreciate that they are taking things slow and building anticipation. You can tell that there is a connection between the two characters, but it is nice that time and attention is being taken to allow Alec to examine his feelings and discover who he is. Episode 12 is titled “Malec” so I am definitely looking forward to that one!

2. Alec

Part of what makes Malec so good is Alec himself. Matthew Daddario is doing and amazing job at bringing Alec to life on the small screen! In the book I wasn’t a huge fan of Alec, but the show has caused me to re-examine this opinion. With his stubbornness, good looks, and funny one-liners, Alec is most definitely one of the best parts of the show!

3. Izzy

Izzy is a strong, smart, sexy young woman and she is not afraid to show it! Emeraude Toubia perfectly embodies all of Izzy’s characteristics that we fell in love with in the book. Izzy is a perfect example to girls everywhere that you can embrace your femininity while also kicking-butt. That girl is capable of wearing heels in any situation! Plus, there are lots of jokes about her horrible cooking.

4. Simon’s Transition

When it comes to Simon becoming a vampire, Shadowhunters is following the book excellently! I appreciate that they didn’t just turn him with a bite, they walked through the entire process. We are able to see Simon’s fear throughout the whole transition, especially because he has to deal with it alone. Not to mention, Alberto Rosende is absolutely killing it in this role! He is portraying all of Simons quirks and anxieties perfectly!

5. References to The Infernal Devices

As a fan of Cassandra Clare’s prequel series to The Mortal Instruments I have particularly been loving the small references made to it. First we had Jace make a comment about demon pox, something that the beloved Will Herondale was a firm believer in. Also, in the most recent episode we were introduced to Lydia Branwell, a relative to Henry and Charlotte Branwell. Lydia makes reference to Henry and Magnus creating the first portal. It is references like these that give me hope we might one day see Will, Jem, and Tessa enter the show.


1. Clace

It is with a heavy heart that I announce that I do not like Clace on the show. Their relationship seems forced and as though they don’t have any chemistry. The most chemistry I have seen between the two of them yet was in episode 7 when they had a fake fight at the police station. This show is removing all of the wit and humour in their relationship and replacing it with cheesy romantic scenes. All of that being said, I have hope that this will improve in time.

2. Jace

Perhaps my issue with Clace is Jace. That is not to say that I think Dominic Sherwood is doing a bad job, he’s doing the best he can with the lines that he is given. In the book Jace has many witty one-liners that make everyone laugh and love his arrogance. In the show however, there is not enough humour in his character, making him seem cocky and self-centred. Giving Jace some of the funny comments Alec gets to make would really improve this character!

3. The Institute

In the grand scheme of things, this complaint is rather small, but the institute is far more technologically advanced than I ever imagined. The institute on the show seems to have computerized trackers that monitor demon activity all over New York. Don’t get me wrong, this technology is cool, but unnecessary. The institute is also way more populated than the book describes. It was my understanding that the only people in the institute on a regular basis were Alec, Jace, Izzy, Clary and Hodge, with the occasional appearance of the other Lightwoods. In the show however, the institute is always buzzing with many other Shadowhunters. Again, not necessarily a big deal, just not what I had imagined.

4. Episode Plotlines

One of my biggest issues with the show is the pacing of it’s episodes. I often feel like too much is trying to get accomplished in each episode, making me feel overwhelmed. My favourite episode so far is episode 5 because it was easy to follow. In episode 5 there weren’t multiple different stories to follow, it was straight forward and easy to understand, making it far more entertaining. Hopefully once the world is fully established the show will find a better pace, we just need to make it that far first.

Overall, I am really enjoying Shadowhunters. Taking this story to the small screen was the right move because now we can fully enjoy the Shadow world rather than just getting a 2 hour glimpse of it. For many shows it takes the first season to find a groove, but once it is found the show takes off and is a huge success. I have a lot of hope that as the actors become more comfortable with their characters and the screenwriters find their rhythm, this will happen for Shadowhunters.

How do you think Shadowhunters is doing? What things do you think are going well or need to change?


About Author

Canadian nursing student who should probably be studying rather than obsessing about upcoming adaptions.


  1. Spoliers! But it’s A miss…. seriously… they are taking things way too fast and way out of proportion… and they are mixing up the storyline… Simon was missing for longer, and found dead and becoming a Valpire long after Jace found out he was Valentine’s son ( aka fake, cus he was kidnapped as Valentine killed his biological parents and he is a Herondale)… Also Clary had no idea how to extract the cup or anything for that matter or even knowing where the cup was until long after said events unfolded. Shit’s more wibbley Wobbley timey whimey than Doctor Who… more favour the books tbh. If Netflix cancels the show I can imagine why they rush the storyline. If not. Then wth are they? I’d seriously cry if they try and make an Infernal Devices run at it… because they’d ruin it.

  2. I totally agree with you on everything! I think the only other thing that I disliked was Clary. Or maybe more specifically, the writers behind the dialogue of Clary. Almost everything I hear come out if Clary’so mouth has been weird and cringworthy. Kat also hasn’t been delivering her lines the best, but I’m optimistic that that will get better with time.

    • Kyleigh MacLeod on

      I agree with your comments about Clary. She’s definitely not the best but I also don’t think she’s the worst. Her lines seem a little overdramatic and whiney. I agree though, I think it’ll improve as the show goes on!

  3. I agree with the Clace thing…I really can’t feel their chemistry,and it’s a sad thing T▽T coz it’s my most beloved ship.

    Don’t you think one of the reasons is the voice dubb of Dom? No? Okay.

  4. Clary has to be the worst on the show – dialogue and acting. Maybe Jace isn’t likable cause his counterpart is horrible.

    I love the books and sadly this show simply isn’t as good. I keep hoping it’ll get better but so far – nothing.

  5. Gosh, I’ve got so many mixed feelings about this show, lol. The individual episodes all suffer from bad writing, but they seem to be slowly getting better bit by bit so I have hope that if they get a second season they’ll get better providing that a) they don’t higher a worse writing staff, and b) they don’t shoot the entire season in one big block that makes them unable to work with critical response from fans and other viewers. I’m really hoping, but highly doubting the writers are actually doing this so what I write next might be *fingers crossed* ~Spoilers~ that the reason why we have Jace being so weird and Not Jave is because Valentine has also taken some of his memories. Which would explain why he never seems to recognise that Valentine is his father (I mean didn’t clary draw a picture of him in like ep.6 and Jace never really recognised that). SO if that is true and maybe the season finale is him getting all his memories AND Valentine making him think he is Jonathan Christofer then by season 2 it will make sense for Jace to be his more “broody”, snarky self, while also being confused and kind of pissed about his feelings for clary, which could help the whole Clace situation and add more interest and somehow give them more (Or you know, any) chemistry.
    Overall I like the show, yeah it’s a bit of a miss but I feel it can be salvaged, until then it’s my guilty pleasure.

  6. I think the actors are great, they just haven’t been given the best script to work with.

    Of course Clary is whiny and annoying – that is all she does in the book! Simon had zero plot line in book one so that had to speed his up if they wanted him to actually be a character in season 1. In regards to the insitute, I like that change because it was highly unrealistic that 3 teenagers (their parents never did any actual shadowhunting) were responsible for ALL of New York. This makes more sense. I like the curve ball they’ve thrown with Lydia, as they have developed her so she isn’t merely a plot device. With Maureen, I understand why they aged her up because her obsession with making Simon love her was always creepy and you could ignore how paedophilic it looked in the book – the show however would’ve had to deal with that.

    All in all, I like the show. Yes, they’ve added in a bunch, but to be honest, they needed to. The book’s plot is quite weak, and the show would’ve been far worse if they’d kept it the same. At least it’s interesting now.

    • Kyleigh MacLeod on

      I totally agree with what you’re saying!! Especially about Simon, I’m glad they’ve sped things up a bit so that he can get more involved!

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