Shadowhunters premier leaves us hunting for more

Lucy Layne Urdahl

When I turned on ABC Family, now known as Freeform, at 8 p.m. sharp on Jan. 12, I didn’t see what I had hoped. Compared to what I was expecting, Shadowhunters really left me feeling like they could’ve done so much more. The story that was portrayed in the books about a girl who had to learn about the world of Shadowhunters, who are essentially demon hunters, after her mom was kidnapped didn’t seem to translate that well into the show. I loved the books, and I quite liked the movie (which is a separate thing entirely — it seems as if the show is supposed to replace the movie), but the show left me feeling very unfulfilled.

The graphics were somewhat shoddy when you compare them to the level that recent TV shows have been setting this year. The show looked like something a high school film class could produce. I’m hoping that they improve this as the show goes on because it seemed like early 2000s Disney CGI.

The show was full of people you’d expect to only see on Disney Channel. The actors and actresses are somewhat unknown, but seemed to be disconnected from their roles. Kathryn McNamara, who plays Clary Fray, is most recognized by her Disney Channel adventures of playing the typical whiny popular girl antagonist (go watch the Disney Channel original movie Girl vs. Monster if you don’t believe me). So, I’m wondering how she’ll take the role of the brave protagonist. One thing I’m worried about is when (or if) the show continues and serious scenes start becoming more common. It will definitely be interesting to see how this former Disney Channel star deals with some of the more mature scenes with sex and intense violence. I hold on hope that McNamara will improve, but she seemed so disconnected from the role that I’m nervous about her abilities.

My favorite thing about the show is that the directors took on a modern look for the Institute, the headquarters of the Shadowhunters, and it was a refreshing twist from the books. The outside is generally the same description, but the inside is very high-tech and new. I feel like this made it more connected to our world today — which is basically run by technology. I feel that if they hadn’t done this, the show would still be about the same, but many people would have a hard time remembering that it takes place in the present and not in the past.

Compared to the books, the TV show was disappointing. The story was still there, but it was not visually appealing. People may say that as long as the show follows the story, the show will do OK, but that’s not true. In this day and age, if your show doesn’t look like a masterpiece, you’re screwed. I really hope Shadowhunters improves because it has so much potential, but I’m not holding my breath.