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Shadowhunters S01E01: "The Mortal Cup"

Thanks in part to the far-reaching success of HBO's fantasy series Game of Thrones, the world of television is bracing for an influx of programs set within the genre all hoping to achieve the same kind of triumph. As an audience, we've never been more primed and ready for a deep cannonball into those risky waters, but so far the new series haven't been all that well-received. MTV's adaptation of Terry Brooks' The Shannara Chronicles premiered last week, and although it was beautifully filmed in New Zealand, it was also fairly stunted in both the writing and the acting of its leads. Freeform's (previously ABC Family) new series Shadowhunters, which is an adaptation of Cassandra Clare's popular Young Adult series The Mortal Instruments, struggles even more to create a compelling story out of writing that's not just flat and unpolished, but feels like it was written as an exercise in a Screenwriting 101 class to show you what not to do. All of which is unfortunate given the elaborate world the series is supposed to depict.

The series chronicles the life of Clary Fray (Katherine McNamara), a talented artist who found out on her 18th birthday that she was a Shadowhunter a.k.a. a human-angel hybrid whose primary purpose as a member of the secretive race was to protect humans and keep the demons and what the series referred to as Downworlders—vampires, werewolves, warlocks, and fairies—in check. Led by her mother Jocelyn (Maxim Roy) all her life to believe that she was human (or a Mundane, as they're politely referred to in the series), Clary learned the truth about her true lineage when she came of age and her powers started to manifest through the drawing of runes and being able to see those creatures belonging to the Shadow World. Once her mother was kidnapped by a fearsome and mysterious man known only as Valentine (played by Reign's Alan Van Sprang) and she was nearly killed by a demon, she was taken in by fellow Shadowhunters, the good-looking Jace Wayland (Dominic Sherwood), and siblings Alec and Isabelle "Izzy" Lightwood (Matthew Daddario and Emeraude Toubia, respectively). 

On the page, the Mortal Instruments series is a sprawling urban story that is highly readable but not all that complex. It suffers from predictability and a poorly handled major plot point that is dragged out for far too long (if you've read the books or you've seen the 2013 film starring Lily Collins, then you already know what it is and how eye-roll-worthy it is). It's also weakened by Clary's status as a frustrating, impulsive lead character who rushes into every situation without thinking but somehow always ends up on the winning end by sheer willpower or, more likely, because she's the heroine and the laws governing the series dictate that she must. Her actions were often passed off as courage, but they're really just a manifestation of the character's innate stubbornness. In Shadowhunters, that personality trait remained and Clary still wandered into situations with complete disregard for her own personal safety. Had she grown up in the magical world of her people, she'd have every right to be there, but because she had no knowledge of this world and had no proper training, she was more of a liability than anything else. 

It's hard, of course, to call this a real flaw at this stage when Clary's ignorance of the truth was the point, but if it continues, it could be just as problematic on the screen as it was on the page. Currently, she has no idea what she's walking into because her mother attempted to shield her from the Shadow World since before she was born for reasons that are, as of the pilot, not entirely clear. There's a dangerous group known as the Circle that posed an immediate threat, an ominous Mortal Cup that everyone who's evil was apparently looking for, and about 1,000 more secrets bursting to be set free. 

As seen in the premiere, Clary's mother took her to see the warlock Magnus Bane (Glee's Harry Shum, Jr.) every few years to erase her memories of this magical world so she could grow up as a normal child. Once she hit 18, however, she tried desperately to explain the truth to Clary, starting by gifting her a stele, or a tool used to draw runes on a Shadowhunter's body that in turn gave them special abilities. But because Clary was a teenager and we all know teenagers ignore their parents because they know everything, she told her that whatever she wanted to say could be said tomorrow, which is storytelling code for Oh Shit Something Bad Is Going to Happen Tonight. And that's really the series' biggest problem: everything was so heavily and horribly telegraphed by obvious, clunky dialogue that when Clary insisted that she was normal even as all of these weird things continued to happen around her you wanted to bang your head into the nearest wall, like WE GET IT, SHOW. SERIOUSLY, WE GET IT. The in media res opening featuring Jace, Alec, and Isabelle trailing a shapeshifter also didn't help that particular issue, either.

The world that was presented within the pages of Clare's Young Adult series was huge and always expanding, and there's potential there to become an interesting television series, but so far there is little evidence to suggest Freeform's version will be able to capitalize on that potential... or ever resemble anything remotely watchable. The dialogue was cringeworthy and the actors who were forced to repeat it look as if they didn't even believe it, making it difficult for viewers to immerse themselves within the world. Some of it was the result of predictable exposition that could not be helped, but other times it was just the product of poor writing, horrible attempts at foreshadowing, and trying to do too much at once. If the series hopes to attract viewers beyond tweens or those who are already familiar with the source material, it's going to need to step up its game in a big way, starting with Clary and Jace. When Clary first met his character outside of a club and he was shocked that she could see him, their interaction felt stiff and unwelcoming, which, given that Jace is initially supposed to be arrogant and cocky, was at least theoretically within reason. But Jace is also described as having angelic features and is supposed to be swoon-worthy. There will no doubt be plenty of swooning in the future for Clary, but nothing about the character's initial introduction—not even his handsome face—suggested anything of the sort.

In fact, nothing about Jace, Alec, or Isabelle was all that inviting. After one hour, the series still hadn't given viewers a reason to care about their characters or their mysterious and dangerous line of work. These were teenagers who regularly fought demons with weapons called seraph blades, who used runes to glamour themselves so they could not be seen by the regular public, and who operated out of an old church that's been turned into what was essentially—and for lack of a better term—a command center. These were people you should want to know more about, but somehow still weren't interesting enough to draw your attention. And that's because the pilot itself was too busy, trying to cover too much ground by quickly rushing from one plot point to the next. There wasn't time to get to know any of the characters who were introduced in the pilot, a list that in addition to Clary, her mother Jocelyn, Jace, Alec, Isabelle, and Valentine included Clary's mother's friend Luke (Isaiah Mustafa), her best friend Simon (Alberto Rosende), her neighbor (Vanessa Matsui), and more. Not only could Valentine's introduction have come at a later date, but the fight scene between Jocelyn and the Circle members, as well as her drinking of the potion that put her in a coma-like sleep, could have been shelved for a flashback. It would have given far more weight to her disappearance and allowed more time for viewers to get to know who Clary was and introduce her to this scary new world. Because that's what matters in the pilot.

There is no rule that says you have to introduce everything all at once, and it's always going to be difficult to adapt far-reaching novels for TV since we're no longer viewing the story from a single point of view as we would in the novel, but slowly immersing viewers in the story and letting them get used to the waters as it unfolded would have been a better approach here. The reason that a series like Game of Thrones has been successful is not just because it has HBO money but because the world of Westeros is captured through careful writing that slowly peels back layers to add depth to characters, their surroundings, and their actions. And, you know, because it doesn't sound like it was yanked from a 15-year-old girl's fanfic. It's hard to tell if Clary's interactions with Jace began to feel more natural and the dialogue not so foreign by the end of the hour, or if I'd just given up on the pilot by that point, but one thing is certain: the series is trying to do far too much, too quickly in an effort to stand out. It's too bad then that it's having the opposite effect.

thekaitling:list:shadowhunters-will-you-watch-episode-2/

 



NOTES FROM THE SHADOWS

– I have mixed feelings about Simon. I'm going to need more time with him before I can make up my mind about this incarnation.

– The series seriously aged down the Madame Dorothea character and renamed her Dot. I'm not sure what the purpose of this was, except that this is a show for young adults. Maybe it made her more unassuming? I'm not entirely sure.


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 1/16/2017

Season 2 : Episode 3

Next Episode

AIRS ON 1/23/2017

Season 2 : Episode 4

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I actually really enjoyed this! I know I'm very late watching it - I was a bit put off by the trailer and the actress that plays Clary's acting in it, so to be honest, so I didn't expect too much.
That probably helped as I really didn't think this was that bad (and her acting wasn't as bad as I had thought / it seemed less harsh in the episode than the very dramatic trailer).

I enjoyed the books but they aren't my favorites of all time but very readable as you say. I haven't finished the series yet (I have the final one on my shelf ready to go when I get a moment). The first time I saw the film version I was upset at what they changed but I have watched it since and it grew on me.

Will report back when I have watched some more episodes...
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the only positive after watching 5 episodes ,are the amazing bodies of the 2 female hunters.the 2 other male hunters are involded in this gay will/wont ,add carly in the love triangle, a slutt,and a guy in the friendzone. but everything is so gayed up that might bring u period.acting is beyond pathetic and jake looks like a stoned tranny while his gay counterpart has this pathetic sayan hairstyle that make him look even worse than his acting does. unless it turns to porn or if u are gay with bad taste ,dont bother ,
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*jace
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The implausible sudden transformation of Clary from an overwhelmed "What is all of this? I don't want any part of this." girl to a "Let's get them!" girl is almost identical to the equally implausible too-quick transformation of Cassie Blake on the Secret Circle series. In fact, Clary looks just like her. The more I watched Clary the more I kept thinking about the obvious similarities of the two characters - and the two shows. It's OK to sometimes do things that other shows have done but don't copy the silly parts.
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I think (as someone who read the series multi. times,) ( and is very critical and touchy when it comes to adaptations from such! ) it actually works for her transformation or adaptation to be so quick, its one of those " I know there is something not right here" lifelong feelings later understood" things, because she may not have understood it or it was blocked in her mind, but its IN her, and not just IN her but even more so than in other shadowhunters except Jace as explained later on in series, but she isn't just learning about a world she has been hidden from, its more natural for her to be in this world than the one she "knows" if that makes any sense, and as far as the show pushing the character to transformation so quickly, I think it was partly due to the orig. character storyline and role in the book like explained above and PARTLY due to the pressure of "getting to the point" and action to try and get/keep ratings due to the already pressured comparison to books and failed big screen movie, so i bet they felt like they had to gamble with the quick transformation like that, but Def. don't think its a "copy" of any sort, as I have never even seen the material you thought they copied and I was not surprised or dis-appointed with the way the transformation was handled after reading the books, it was quite appropriate considering the character from the books role and understanding of such.
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The show is a frickin' catastrophe - 10 times worse than the 2013 movie version "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones"

Clary is a redhead bimbo stripped of all common sense and intelligence - The only thing going for her is her red hair

The main characters acting and their dialogues are terrible and makes this show very unconvincing - Only uncritical 13 year old and younger can enjoy this crap

The dresses - OMG - so 1950 like - That tight leather dress and incredible high heel boots she's wearing makes her really unconvincing as a action heroine - Get real people!!!

My advice is to check out the movie instead
http://images6.fanpop.com/image/photos/35200000/-The-Mortal-Instruments-City-of-Bones-official-illustrated-companion-photos-jace-wayland-35255311-1931-1536.jpg

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I have multi. mixed feelings about the actors/actress' chosen for the movie and the show personally ( and I understand being an adaptation from such a detailed series, like with Harry Potter and other series like that, its always a gamble trying to even touch the books themselves talent and pressure wise, but I REALLY REALLY wanted both adaptations to work so badly to even have the possibility of having an actual movie/series of such an amazing Book series! So while critical and hopeful I am still probably a little more forgiving of certain flaws others point out ) BUT that being said, I'm still left with mixed feelings... I liked the movie, I actually saw the movie before I knew the books existed and the MOVIE itself sparked my interest in reading the books, so I have a backwards view to start with anyways I guess! But after reading the books was disappointed in not so much acting skills of the movie character choices as most were pretty good BUT more the "looks" of the characters and how Clary was really look wise nothing like what the book series had her to be, which would in some cases not matter so much, but her character was so detailed and it went along with other aspects of the storyline itself, so to change that was a HUGE mistake but didn't have any issues with the acting itself with her, And with Izzy I think the SHOW hit the nail much better on her than the movie did, they didnt just change her appearance in the movie as for what she was supposed to be like but her whole persona!! I am really pleased with the show version of Izzy much better than the movie and Alec looks wise both adaptions work but personality and character wise the show is off the mark on his character, he was a coming into self character and still a bad butt shadowhunter but still coming into self ( hadn't even killed any major demons, at beginning of series as was a big part character wise ) and in the show they almost portray him more bad butt than Jace which was so not the case true character wise. And as far as the shows Clary looks wise spot on, I think they stayed more true there, Jury's still out on weather or not acting wise I think she can pull off a close to- Clary! But I am still hopeful and watch the series as it develops so far! But to be fair, the books were so amazing and unique I just think its too much to expect anything even remotely close to that standard! Even the production as a whole, just too much to live up to, I actually was watching I,Frankenstein the other day and thought NOW THIS is how The Mortal Instruments Movie should have looked and been LIKE! anyways sorry just venting!!
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I am sorry but the lead Red head can't act for shit .. it's the only thing that I actualy don't like about this show .. they need to replace her with a better actor and then I think it would be amazing
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I liked it and so did my family ! I read the books and loved them. It's not as good as the books ,but nothing ever is. I let go of thinking shows will be like the books long long ago. I watch because I like the subject and I want to be entertained.
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I love this show to an unreasonable extent. I have not had as much fun watching horrible acting, terrible writing, and dumb source material since watching twilight.
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I had bad feelings about the show the moment I watched the preview videos a little while ago. So thanks for confirming my suspicions, Kaitlin - this is as exhaustive a description as it gets.

Any show can become better, I suppose, but it looks like this one has a very long way to go. We'll see if it survives long enough to stand a chance of improvement. I won't bother with it personally until I hear some praise.
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So I have not read the books or watched the movie, I literally just came across the show on Netflix and here are my thoughts:
1. I rolled my eyes everytime they talked leaving me with a headache by the end
2. The " in love with my best friend bullshit", really?!
3. I'm kinda not sure who are the good guys and who are the bad guys yet.
4. I'm really getting annoyed by whinny, dumb-but-smart female protagonists
5. I wanna see Jace and Clary (a name I hate btw) NOT get together JUST so the show can have some originality.
6. Jace carrying out Clary saying "I got you" *rolls eyes* corny much

-- It was not a good idea to watch 3 episodes of Supernatural before this cause all I could think was where is Dean and Sam to kill all a yall?? Good and bad guys alike. Ugh. Highly annoyed by this show
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The acting and the writing were indeed horrible.... the pilot felt really rushed, I've seen the movie but I barely remember what happened in that but I remember enjoying the movie that this.. but it's on Netflix so I might finish the season... I'm a completist :/
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It was fun to watch, as a fan of all things fantasy/sci-fi, but I agree that the writing and acting was horrible, even making the movie seem good in comparison. I also didn't like Clary's 180 in episode 2 although I've only watched half of the second episode. I'll keep watching just for the viewing pleasure but it will be difficult to pay any attention to what anyone is saying.
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The books are really great (although I like the trilogy The Infernal Devices more), so I have to wonder how this pilot got so screwed up. Terrible writing, trying to put every little shocker in there without properly explaining the richness of this world - it is as if the art of subtlety died a horrid death. The movie was far better in sticking to the books, and I didn't think the movie was all that great.

I still would love to see this as a series, but I think I'm seriously going to wait until the over-exposure and bad writing have cleared up in a few more episodes. Hopefully it does get better. Just leave out the cringeworthy writing 101 such as "I waited to tell you until the very last minute" and just read the book instead if you're lost for words. They're better.

*rant over. I HATE it when they butcher good books with indifference.
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I was wondering, this may be a stupid question, but Dot wasn't always a demon right? And if that was just a shapeshifter pretending to be Dot, is the real Dot somewhere else?

It was pretty similar to the movie, so I don't really know if I see the point. I mean if they expand on it or something then maybe I'll watch, but I saw the movie. I thought it'd be a bit different. It'll probably just take time to get better.
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No she wasnt. Dot died. A Demin just took her shape to try and get information
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Yeah, no, it wasn't very good. I mean, I loved Simon and Alec was pretty great, too, but other than that... meh. Of course, this was just the start and I'm curious to see where it goes. Honestly, though, I'll probably watch this to the end even if it turns to shit.
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I need to get me one of those swords!
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lol... I'm starting to weird out myself.

I mean, why the hell did I want this show to be could? Is it because Maxim Roy's in it, and, since I've been in lust with her for so long, I seems to have just decide to follow every one of her projects?

Anyway... I know one thing: that was a terrible, TERRIBLE episode. And the saddest part about it: the cast is good. They could have been great with a WAY BETTER script and director (give it up already, McG!)

So eye candies, that's it... I guess this show would be a hit if you watch it in mute.
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While it wasn't terrible. It wasn't really enough to make me want to keep coming back. I'll be giving this the 4 episode test.
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There are like 5 episodes in the seaon tho. So watching the whole season then?
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There are thirteen episodes scheduled through April 5th
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good, thank you
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There are only 5 episodes in the first season? For me that explains the rush in story line, that's less than some miniseries.
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Well for me it does exactly what tv shows are supposed to do and thats entertain. I rather enjoyed it and will deffinetly be keeping up. Sure it could have been better at points but that goes for just about every show. You ether do like it or don't and I deffinetly did.
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Watched the first episodes and couldn't find a single character I liked in it... Might give it one or two more but not seeing it being that good.

If I may ask why does *all* fantasy have to involve someone with a super-special birthright now days?

Why can't we have someone normal struggling in an unfamiliar world against the odds?
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I liked the pilot. We will see what happens with the next 3 episodes and the ratings.
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edit: episode 2 was ok too , but I really didn't like that sword in the forhead thing.
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I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think I actually liked the movie better than this. The only thing I like better about this show is that the casting seems a little better suited to the characters than the movie actors (except for Jonathan Rhys-Myers, who was so balls-to-the-walls crazy in the film, and for some reason I kind of loved it). But at least the movie kept some of the snappy dialogue, which was the only thing that made the books readable.
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Few of the scenes were just pathetic in the extreme. And the acting is just terrible
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Two episodes in and I think I'll have to bail. More than several times there were lines that felt way too forced, perhaps not fully "cringeworthy" as Kaitlin said, but very close. ★½ (out of 5).

The odd thing is that several ads for other "FREEFORM" shows had similarly bad dialog. Maybe the channel knows something, like there was a lot of lead [Pb] in this currently 17-24-year-old generation's drinking water when they were much younger. Sometimes it really was like reading a large-print book (for children or the visually-impaired) that had also been typeset IN ALL CAPS in case the reader was hearing-impaired as well.
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The show needs better directing, better screenwriting and better acting. But, because I liked the movie a lot, I am willing the see more of it hoping they will improve quite a bit.
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I really don't know why you people compare GoT with Shadowhunters or Shannara?
Anyway, it's OK. Not great but not bad either. Could go both ways.
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Staff
Because it's a) a fantasy series adapted from a series of novels, and b) the first real fantasy series to find incredible mainstream success while its airing. That success is the reason we're seeing more and more shows set within the fantasy genre. It's not as if anyone expects these shows to be on the same level, it's because Game of Thrones has opened doorways for these shows to exist.
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The problem with that logic is the source material itself. Game of Thrones and The Mortal Instruments books are two vastly different sub-genres of fantasy, with two completely different writing styles.

A more equitable comparison would be The Vampire Diaries; which, like The Mortal Instruments, is young adult, urban fantasy, and set in a modern world. Also, The Vampire Dairies TV series has the same target audience as Shadowhunters, and it actually premiered two years before Game of Thrones.
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Thanks for the heads up, I was curious, but always have had this issue. I never actual read the Mortal Instruments series, but I did read the Clockwork series, which is a bit of a prequel for those who don't know set in the height of the actual real steampunk time in England. I just can't help but wish that this channel might have decided to go more balls to the walls (sort of like MTV is doing for good or for nil the the Shannara Chronicles, I wasn't as impressed with their second week) and done that series instead. Yes, its only three books. But, there are very few regular characters to focus on. Heck, the first half of the first season, you have Tess trapped with those two women and some flashback sequences, from what I understand from Mortal Instrument readers, Magnus while super popular in those books, is vaguely closer to a contemporary of the Clockwork characters and so never comes off creepy and I don't super remember questioning his motives. His apathy? Sure. But then there is an authentic friendship between him and Tess. And for those who have read both stories, you would still have the Mortal Instruments to turn to and have the opportunity to connect the two series more than the books even do. But, it would have also been separating itself from this pure magic element or the demons/angels issue while not ignoring it entirely since that wasn't exactly the big issue. You'd also get to avoid the eye rolling reveal that will finish this season of this show.
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i hope kevbuffylost doesn't read this because he will probably accuse me of spoiling. I find it hard to finish the second episode. I had to stop it several times to vomit.

The facial expressions alone made me cringe and on top of that the dialogue is horrible. So Isabelle is already lusting for Simon. She just met the guy. The scene where she is flirting with him on the bed is excruciating. This is a supernatural soap. A very bad one.

So this is how Freefrom formerly known as ABC family wants to attract the slightly younger 14 to 34 demographic? LOL. You got to be kidding be. This is so going to work :)

Still can't say Freeform without bursting into laughter. They changed the name because "families" apparently aren't cool anymore? I don't know....

But hey i'm a masochist and bad TV is my specialty so this is going to be so much fun. I also watched Under The Dome, True Detective (season 2), Helix, The Strain (season 2), Zoo and Heroes Reborn.
The last one just got cancelled. Thank God. Zoo is so bad that it's good. But in its defense i have several acquaintances that are animal lovers and they adored the show. i was like: are you on drugs?
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* kidding me
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Thanks for the try, but i find this series so uninterresting that i couldn't even be bothered to read the intire review, so i'll just fill in the plot for the rest of the season.

Hot girl with superpowers falls for hot boy with superpowers, but they can't be together because .. well you know reasons! lots of lusting after eachother and lots a Dramaaaa!! (please read in a caricaturistic gay voice) and then they finally get together for a totally awesome PG13 lovefest and then stuff happens to upset and cause more Dramaaa!!
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So uninteresting, in fact, that you were compelled by boredom and motivated by apathy to write about it on the Internet!

(Also, if you remove "superpowers" from your second paragraph, you're pretty much describing every single television show in primetime history---hardly the blistering condemnation you think it is.)
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Ofcourse i wrote about it on the internet, what else is it for? finding information?, shopping?, networking and socializing? i think not, porn and bitching sums it up!
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I'm actually in The Netherlands and you can buy guns on the Dark Web if you want. I'm not going to elaborate...
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And if one were to do so it's probably advisable NOT to post about it on an open forum ;)
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don't forget buying guns and drugs ;)
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No guns for me here in the Netherlands
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Confirmed: I like you.
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Absolutely everything that has ever been attached to the Mortal Instruments has been absolute trash, including most of the novels... but the real tragedy is on us, because the world of the Mortal Instruments is really well-imagined and interesting, with a whole lot of potential that, after three swings at the bat, is probably never going to be explored.

It's kind of how I feel about vampires in the urban fantasy genre, just generally-speaking: If Twilight and True Blood never existed, if vampires hadn't lost their cool as the sole apex predator of humankind... might we have a dark, blood-soaked, politics-and-treachery horror drama based on a gritty, modern-gothic adaptation of White Wolf's Vampire mythology? I mean, they've only been the vampire experts for nearly forty years---someone really should be looking there for inspiration. Someone other than the creator of Melrose Place, I mean (because I'm forced to admit that Kindred: the Embraced was a thing).

Because, as long as you're smart enough to strip out the emo and half-baked love triangles (see Kindred: the Embraced), there's definitely an HBO-worthy story to tell in a setting full of ancient immortals imprisoned in the gilded cage of the city, wrestling with power and influence and the last vestiges of their humanity. Alas, thanks in large part to Twilight and True Blood, vampires were defanged, and the Zeitgeist has been fleeing from them ever since.

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"after three swings at the bat"

You can tell I'm a real sports nut, haah?


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This seriously happened: Clary: Please help me find her. Jace: I’m the best chance you’ve got. Clary: I don’t even know you. Did they cut and paste the shot’s wrong?

If you took a shot every time Clary said something about her mom being taken or wanting her back you’d be in the hospital. We know she’s kidnapped, and at the end of the ep we would still know. There really was no need to keep recycling the same line

Well they got one thing right: Clary is as irritating on screen as in the books. God she kept yelling and whining for dramatic effect when it would have been so much better without the sound and good acting.
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Whoa, Sexy outfit courtesy of Isabelle. The excuse being "She's very comfortable with her body." Yeah, right. I don't want to slut shame but isn't that outfit a little too overtly sexy? Not that i'm complaining or anything... It certainly doesn't help me to concentrate. Actually it does but not on the things i want to concentrate on due to an increase in certain hormones...


"What do you have on, Clary?" Simon complains when she walks outside. Lol. A sexy outfit, stupid. Damn it. I lost my train of thought.

The characters are extremely bland and the dialogue is clunky.
The show is superficial. The Shannara Chronicles suffers from the same problem. As Ravi put it on Izombie: "This is what you get when a TV show worships at the altar of youth, Bimbos and himbos running around screaming..." That's exactly what it is.
Episode two is available online for free. Don't you hate the internet? I have to watch it. Four episode is not done yet. Life is hard. LOL.

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Mmm, I'm quite enjoying The Shannara Chronicles as a fun bit of entertainment that's way better than anyone expected it to be, and one that hasn't irritated me yet.

I understand if you disagree---elves aren't for everyone---but suggesting that Shadowhunters' characters, dialogue and plot is on par with Shannara Chronicles is what I like to call "wrong".
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It's not as bad as Shadowhunters, but it definitely needs work.
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* four episode test
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I really wasn't expecting this to be good.

The basic source material sounds decent enough in theory, I haven't read the actual texts just the wikias, so I don't know if it's poorly written. But the premise and universe is alright.

But after seeing the movie turn out to be very "meh" I really doubted this was going to change all that.

Though I had SOME hope, because the theatrical release of the Daredevil movie was "meh" while the TV series rocked.
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People really read stuff like this? I guess they have already gone through Doestoevsky and Tolstoy?
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You really have absolutely no sense of self-awareness, do you? Because only someone with absolutely no sense of self-awareness would think they could casually name-drop Doestoevsky in a comment to a frakkin' Shadowhunters thread and not come across as a pompous jackass. I mean, Jesus.
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Or hell, as a young child I was reading Stephen King. It was only when I was 17 that I turned to the classics.
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Staff
Cool story, tell me more.
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It didn't hurt my eyeballs because the cgi was decent. The characters however are extremely bland.

What mother erases the memories of her child? Clary didn't want her memories to be erased. Jocelyn is the worst. Pathological overprotectiveness pretty much guarantees your children will be totally screwed up later in life. Instead of raising your children to eventually become independent, you raise your children to rely on others. Overprotective parents actively prevent their children from engaging in behaviors that could have negative outcomes, like exploring nature, or working hard, or doing chores.
Risk taking is an essential part of life. Children have to learn to take care of themselves as soon as possible.

I paused the episode for this rant. sorry. pressing play now...


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Erasing memories (through binding of powers) of a child - in this case by a grandmother - was a key element in the beginning of Charmed. And that was a very successful show. Of course, it had excellent writing (at least in the first few seasons)
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"What mother erases the memories of her child? "
Any good mother, apparently. Just ask Elza from FrozenTM ;)
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Actually the memory erase thing was said by the troll king to be the only thing to save her life. That's forgivable.

But everything they did to her sister AFTERWARDS was incredibly bad parenting. Hiding her, making her fearful, separating her from everyone else.
I love this bit:
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Clary said in that sequence: "Mom, I don't wanna do this" And then you do it anyway because "it's for her own good?". Yes parents are like this. They think they know best. But honestly they don't The warlock Magnus said. "You're not protecting her, you're deceiving her" before erasing the memories. And he's right. It's wrong on so many levels.
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Clary was, like, seven in that scene? I for one think it's a good thing that parents think they know better than their seven-year-old children.

And don't forget, wiping Clary's memories made her immune to giant duck-pond-demons (and more!) for the entirety of her childhood. So that's a decent justification for what Clary's mother did. Sure, the girl's got some catching up to do now... but let's not pretend that growing up under the constant threat of horrible demons would have been a good thing :P
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My post was sarcasm btw :)
Sorry if I didn't make it clear, lol.
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i knew that ";)" was a clear indication. But sometimes i like to play dumb and give a serious answer ;)
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I didn't watch the show.

But if your child was like the only one that could see strange arsed stuff, or just witnessed strange arsed stuff before her powers kicked in, then if the child was young enough and you had the ability then memory erasure isn't THAT bad.

A 5 year old freaking out about a monster she sees in the classroom or watching her mom fight some strange invisible force. It would screw her up, at the same time she'd blab about it and people would think she was crazy. Or worse yet, blabbing would attract even more danger.

Again, I don't know what specifically was erased. But it's not the same as "Well you had a crummy childhood... let's erase it!"
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i disagree. You cannot decide for your children what memories they can or cannot have. I'm glad this isn't possible in the real world. You could abuse your children and then erase that memory. (shiver)
But erasing memories is just as bad and her mother knows it. As i understand it she was from her birth destined to become a Shadowhunter. and her mother keeping her from this world is not advisable. If she was brought up knowing this world existed she could be slowly eased into it and wouldn't be such a shock. Now she's endangering herself constantly and that's not good. I call that bad parenting.
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See my comment above about how successfully, and appropriately, the memory loss was done by a grandmother on Charmed.
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Obviously such tech / abilities is too easy to abuse. People would use it to simply remove bad days or feeling sad from losing the softball game, or whatever.

But, wouldn't it have its uses? An 8yo who gets gang r*ped... might be better off if such a thing could be 100% erased. Someone walking in to find their father was eaten by a bear and the room is just COVERED in blood? etc.

Or in this case, to protect someone from a world of magic... else everyone thinks she's crazy and perhaps attracts other villains?

Those INSTANCES are grey areas. But the meer ability means people would obviously abuse it, with both good and malicious intentions.
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Watching this, I knew from the source material that it could be hit or miss, but really?? it had to be this bad? Everything that I found negative about the books was in the show but without the redeeming qualities that allowed me to finish reading them. I can't tell whether it's the acting or the writing which is worse as they're both pretty bad.
as for the characters? Clary at least had backbone in the books whereas in the show she's a desperate mess. Simon, who in the books was the geeky best friend who's in love with her, stalked Clary using modern technology and is just downright annoying and Jace? Jace is supposed to be a lethal demonkiller with a dark sense of humor and the looks of an angel. so far we've seen him kill demons but no evidence of the other two. Whatever chemistry there is between Jace and Clary is ruined by wooden acting and an even worse script, not to mention Simons presence. Alec and Isabel were at least reasonably close to their book counterparts though again, there are things to work on.
I will continue watching this only out of curiosity and hope that it gets better with experience (for me, actors and writers alike)
More+
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As an aside, I know people are calling the Shannara Chronicles a disaster in the same vein as Shadowhunters, but the mish-mash of story plotlines coupled with actors like Manu Bennett at least make the Shannara Chronicles watchable (and at times even fun to watch) even if it has completely deviated from the books (which is important to me).
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I agree with the review. It was really hurting my eyeballs. My praise to it, is when it is bad bad you really go all the way in, to make it really bad.
It seems like noone understand to make a proper writing when you try to capitalize of a "fad" in fantasy.
Now we have two shows that are awful Shannara Chronicles and this one. Even though they are for "young adults" it cringe in my soul to watch them but hey, the good part is you can switch your telly off and do something else.
These series really tell me, my life is too short to watch something that like this. "American bad TV series" at it's worst.
I could say lot more about how bad it is, but I'll refrain...
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I thought it was ok. Too much going on for a Pilot though.. I'll hang for a few eps and hope it tightens up.
Hey, it was light years ahead of Supergirl. I cringed all the way through that nightmare.
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Completely disagree. Supergirl has its bad - and implausible - moments but overall the writing is better than what is here. And the acting on Supergirls towers above that of Shadows.
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young adults need to grow up.
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I think the only real reason to keep watching for me would be to see what they do with Magnus Bane.
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So maybe watching this straight after iZombie wasnt the best idea but still. i didnt even last 5minutes before i stopped watching it all just felt... bad and really stiff
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First episode probably seemed a little boring since they're having to re-cover ground that City of Bones already covered, while having to add so much filler in each ep. The movie was able to cram stuff into a single-sitting movie, whereas the TV show will have to drag on for an hour a week to fill the season. And now Freeform has something to prove with their rebranding. There's bound to be some changes, and it may take a few eps to get its bearing. I haven't read any of the books, but after the movie, I read some wikis and the homesite for the books. And I had no trouble following the story, or forgiving the changes made. I'll give it the 4-ep test.
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I feel like they could have built a lot on the main characters. I know it's only the first episode, but I really didn't get much from each of the characters emotionally and their current situation. I think the producers and directors have forgotten that the audience invests themselves into the characters and their relationships. So far I haven't invested myself into the characters and their situation. I'm holding out hope everything gets better, because I love the books, and want the show to succeed.
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I didn't mind it yes there's room for improvement it felt a bit young but hopefully that's just pilot jitters characters need to grow with the story they can't just start out at 10'they need to build other wise we don't really get all too involved. So here's hoping the characters grow and the story grows as well into something not so young.
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I have mixed feelings about it. I thought it was better then the movie though. I mainly have mixed feelings because I've seen this part already. Hoping they get to stuff I haven't seen yet and it won't take too long. :) My full review here:



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so, don't watch it? no problem for me. that movie was horrible, I was hoping the show would be better because trailers made it look interesting but oh well.
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I feel that the spammers lied to me with those flashy gifs spams of the action in this series.

Honestly, i don't think I'll stick with this. It sounds like it could've been amazing, but just came off so meh.
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Truly awful. It plays like Canadians trying to be an American college girl 'drama' with Americans. Confused? Don't be. Just avoid.
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I've read the books and I have to say that I thought the pilot was actually better than I expected based on the trailers. I do agree that they tried to cram wayy too much into the episode and I feel like non-book readers would seriously struggle to understand what was happening at times. There were too many flash backs/forwards and Valentine definitely didn't need to be included in the pilot. I mean he wasn't revealed until late in the first book and you learned about him at the same time as Clary so there was build up.

Maybe it would've worked better if they did a 2 part episode like the Shannara Chronicles. That way they could've built the world, fleshed out characters better and created some intrigue for the rest of the season.
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Actually, as someone entirely not familiar with the source material, I can say didn't have trouble following it. I did however have trouble suspending my disbelief and taking it seriously. Here are some things which I had to consciously suppress:
1. Girl with white wig to attract demons takes it off when she needs to attract demons.
2. A demon threatening the main protagonist when it's clear she is going to be in the next episode.
3. The 1000x year warlock looking younger than the main protagonist, who is supposedly 18.
4. The flashbacks within flashbacks.

I just saw the pilot for "The Magicians" last night and that, while wasn't great, was a lot more captivating.
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Sadly, I wasn't impressed by extended sneak peak (15 min), and this review only confirms my suspicions. Imho, the premise seems too much like teen version of the "Lost girl".

Kaitlin, do you think there's any chance this can turn out to be another " The 100" paradox? After all, it was fairly weak at the start, but look how that turned out.
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Staff
Doubtful. I'll be sure to let the world know if that changes, but I don't have high hopes.
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So you'll keep watching it then? Or is it just going to be the famous 4 episode test?
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Staff
It'll be for the test. I wouldn't watch this series if I didn't have to. Ha.
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I didn't read the books, and was fairly unimpressed by the movie from a few years back. This pilot was a lot happening at once. A lot of exposition and a lot of trying to intrigue us. And when I say "a lot" I mean "too much". I completely agree with you about waiting to introduce Valentine and maybe saving her mom's kidnapping scene for a later date. I'm not sure about these actors (typical ABC Family talent). Also, I'm not sure opening with in media res was the best choice for this pilot. Perhaps, starting the series in Clary's very mundane world would have made all the ensuing madness more exciting. Overall, I wasn't taken in by this pilot, I may tune in for another episode or two, but I honestly just don't trust ABC Family with this material (Oh yeah, btw I refuse to call it Freeform. Thats stupid and I won't participate). I think CW could have done better.
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