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  • Leonora Seitz

Shadowhunters show- Better than the book?

Updated: Dec 10, 2020

Let's get one thing straight before we start, I love both the books and the show as their own separate things, but of course, I have my opinions on how they are very different. Not that I'm upset about that.


If you don't know what I am talking about here is a show called Shadowhunters, which premiered on Freeform January of 2016. The show was based/adapted off the best selling series Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. It's about a secret society without our own world called Shadowhunters, who protect the world of demons. A young girl named Clara is right in the middle of it, thinking she is a normal human, but it turns out she is actually a Shadowhunter and is dropped into this world of monsters. Her mother had hidden her from the world because her father is actually a psycho, and after she meets Jace, Alec, and Isabelle her father is made aware she is alive.


Just go watch it, or better yet read the books! There are six of them in the main series though so be aware of that.


**Major spoilers ahead bro



The books

Of course like every book series there is way more information in the books than the show, and things are better explained then the short amount of time given to the show on the screen. I like that aspect of the books, and the fact that the scenes are more dramatic and articulated rather than the show. They just feel ... bigger? When they battle a greater demon, or go to a different dimension is so much more emotion. Maybe that's just how books are, you get sucked and you feel more connected because of the time invested into reading it.


The classic feel of the shadowhunters in the books is better to me than the super high-tech feel of the show, it makes it seem like they have all this technology at there fingertips. In the book, everything feels as if it's based on magic wrapped in mundane things. I liked the magic vibes rather than the technology that overwhelms you in the show.


The series expands into several other series both before the main series of Mortal instruments and after, which makes it feel more worldly and expansive, which I like. It makes me feel like I am taking part in an actual world, rather than a singular show that feels one dimensional.


The shadow hunters academy was not as busy in the books which I liked over the craziness in the show.



The TV Series

The characters are so much older, or at least it feels that way given looking at the characters they chose are older. I don't know why but in the book it always felt like Clary and Simon were children, maybe it was the way they reacted to things, or the helplessness Clary portrayed, but I liked the look of the cast.


The first few episodes were hard to watch, they just felt so campy, but I pushed through and the rest of the show was good, but I feel it could have been better. Maybe because to me some of the details of the show felt rushed and could have been better thought out, but then again movies and shows are adaptations of books. They aren't supposed to be spot on.


The cast they chose was the best part of the show, the CGI, the buildings, weapons, and monsters were all subpar. Like I said before it might have been rushed, so I definitely think it could have been better. I honestly find it difficult to think of anyone else playing the characters because they were pretty spot on with the choices. I love Alec (Matthew Daddario) and Magnus (Harry Shum Jr.) the most, they played the love story between the two of them very well. I honestly expected it to be half-assed but you can really see the emotion in their intimate scenes and feel the emotion. Clary looks as fragile as I imagined her, Katherine McNamara plays her very well. Simon, Alberto Rosende, is just as I pictured him, better even. I don't really know how I feel about Dominic Sherwood who played Jace, it was a good actor and he played it well but I don't know if he is the right Jace for me. Ya know?


The Soundtrack was amazing, and I love many of the songs they used in the show. The man who plays Simon, Alberto Rosende actually created some original songs for the show, which are pretty good. Ruelle is used a lot for the show, which I don't mind because I love the music.


SIDE NOTE; The world of the movie Mortal Instruments released in 2013 was *chef's kiss*. The way they created the world and how the building and weapons looked like everything I imagined it to be. The weapons looked like glass, which I love and they glowed. The architecture and decor were very much like the books and heavily based on magic. The scenes with demons were creepy but well thought out. The man who played Jace looks more like the Jace I pictured, BUT he desperately needed more muscle. Though if I can secretly sneek this in here I believe the movie trumps the show when it comes to world setting, atmosphere, CGI, and storyline. The Cast was good, and honestly given everything else was spectacular I could get on board with it.


All and All It was a decent TV show, given it brought one of my favorite stories to life. Honestly to me the show or movie doesn't have to be spot on or perfectly to the book, it's just nice to be swallowed up by the world of that series again and enjoy it. Would I prefer it to the book? That's the question.


Yes. I think it would. Then again it has been a hot minute since I have read the series so maybe I would change my mind if I read it again.


What do you think? Do you like the show, or the books better? Let me know!




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