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Shadowhunters Season 1, Ep. 1

Shadowhunters premiere

Season 1, Ep. 1 | Aired Jan 12 | The Mortal Cup

Last night was the premiere of Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments. Or so I was led to believe. I just finished reading City of Bones by Cassandra Clare on Sunday. I saw the movie, didn’t hate it and waited years to finally read the book, but I wanted to finally know the world and characters before the show aired. I read the book in two days and really enjoyed the world building, the characters, and can’t wait to continue in the series. I know it is well loved and now I know why. So I was excited for the premiere. It was getting a lot of hype.

I’ll start by saying not everything was horrible. There were moments, mere moments when I saw a flicker of hope. They were brief but they were there. It was my understanding that this first season would cover the first book. Am I wrong in assuming that? I knew certain liberties would be taken with the adaptation, but I am afraid more liberties were taken than necessary. For the most part, the actors and actresses fit the look of their character, but the acting was definitely cringe-worthy. It felt like they were playing a character rather than being the character. I hope this improves. I know the pilot episode can be rocky.


Super fans complained about the writing and I was right there with them. Some of the lines were way too cheesy. Not only were they cheesy but the lingo and language used did not fit the plot of the book. How is Clary Fray using “mundane” this early on? It makes no sense. How is Jocelyn, Clary’s mom shoving a shadowhunter stele into the hands of Clary at all? How is Valentine in this episode?

So what did I like? Not much but here is a run down.

opening music

friendship and interaction between Clary & Simon in the cafe scene

Simon’s glasses


outside of the Institute

Magnus in Pandemonium


There was definitely more bad than good, and this doesn’t include the changes that were made from the book to the show.

opening scene

flashback 8 hours earlier ( I mean we knew she was an artist but come on…)

biscotti foreshadow

CSI crime scene with Luke

shadowhunter stele gift “It’s very ancient”

10 years ago flashback at pond

“Please take her memories”

Jocelyn and Luke’s interaction


inside of Institute (too high tech, too many people)

interaction of Isabelle and Alec

Clary painting a rune on the van

scene when bad guys come for Jocelyn

“You have the sight”

“more mundane blood for your boss”



the circle & Valentine

Valentine’s lab (?)

“potion. she must have been under the protection of a warlock”

Clary picking up the axe in the destroyed loft

Dot demon


Isabelle being so fake and smiley

“Literally my brain is about to explode”

finger paint runes

So the verdict? It sucked. The original was hardly recognizable. I think the 2nd episode is available on the Free Form app but I don’t want to rush and watch another train wreck. I will be tuning in next week though. What did you think about the premiere episode?


Episode 2: The Descent Into Hell Is Easy will air on January 19th.

8 thoughts on “Shadowhunters Season 1, Ep. 1”

  • I definitely agree with you about how it felt like they were playing a character rather than being the character. A lot of the characters were actually out of character compared to the books. The dialogue was rocky and frankly I would rather watch the movie than watch the show. I am giving Shadowhunters another chance to redeem itself but if it’s still bad and the show doesn’t improve, I probably will not watch it anymore. Cassandra Clare is one of my favorite authors and I don’t want to ruin something that is already good.

    • It’s been so long since I’ve seen the movie. I saw it in the theater when it released. I saw the movie then, just read the book and overall I think there were identifiable elements but it was definitely not like the book. I really did enjoy the book though and hope to continue in the series and love it from that perspective.

  • I haven’t seen the entire episode yet, but awhile back I watched a sneak preview. The preview was about 12 minutes and was more than enough time to recognize the cheesy-ness factor. I’m hoping that it gets better overtime? And I haven’t watched the full first episode yet (put it off because of the cheesy 12 minutes). They got the character appearances better this time around so I feel positive about it

    With the failure of the movies and the way this show is going, I’m really wondering what’s going on behind the scenes. It seems so strange that this very popular series keeps having such bad luck, especially since other YA series have been blowing up. But it’s only the first episode so who knows

    • Yeah I definitely wouldn’t rush to watch it. I think you’d be disappointed. I don’t usually watch a lot of TV, or I didn’t when I was in school. I thought yay finally I’m out of school and can enjoy some shows again and then this happened. LOL. I am hoping it gets better. But it is interesting how a movie and show can both bomb like what is up with that?!

  • I didn’t watch it, but I haven’t read the books, either. I’m not all that interested in the books, but I know a lot of super fans were disappointed. I feel bad because I know that all the fandoms want something amazing to watch, and it just seems like nothing is working for this series.

    I’ve only seen Kat in a few episodes of The Fosters, but I don’t know about her… I wasn’t too impressed with her acting skills on that show.

    • Like I said I’ve only read the first 1st books so I do not consider myself a superfan but it’s really disappointing to see the series fail – again. I just don’t think they can do it justice for some reason. I don’t know why they are trying to change it up so much from the books. I think if they stuck more to the original (especially for the TV series) it could 100% be more successful. Movies have to be quick so things have to be left out or changed. That is to be expected. Even the best book to movie adaptations suffer from that. However with a TV series you can take your time. If they would have done that I think it would have been so much better for everyone. I don’t expect the acting to be top notch in the first season but it wasn’t anywhere near ok either. Thanks for stopping by Erin 🙂

  • Oh god, this one does sound like a trainwreck, but it’s not like my expectations were even medium high after seeing that horrible teaser + the actress who plays Clary in The Scorch Trials and she did not impress me. Alright, she barely had any lines but she managed to screw up even those. I know I’m being harsh but I can’t help it. To be honest, I have no idea why this tv show was necessary in the first place – they spent a lot more money on the movie and had much better actors, yet it wasn’t successful at all. I don’t get why anyone thought a tv show would be a good idea. I’m going to wait to watch it until my friend comes over, because I’m not sure I’d be able to watch it alone lol.
    Great recap! 🙂
    Veronika @ The Regal Critiques

    • Thanks so much for stopping by my YouTube channel and my blog Veronika! Yes, I think watching it with a friend is best! That way you can laugh together at the cheesy lines and bad acting. I’ll probably do a recap of the season and see if it improves – if I can last that long.

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