Shadowhunters Season 1 review: Netflix’s next hit?

Does Shadowhunters do The Mortal Instruments justice?

12885833_578851558957714_7069204561541766493_o

Prospective New York art student Clary Fray (Katherine McNamara) is just trying to celebrate her seemingly normal 18th birthday with her best friend Simon (Alberto Rosende), but when her mother is kidnapped, she finds out she’s a Shadowhunter, and realises things can never go back to the way they were.

To rescue her mum, Clary needs to travel to the Shadow World, train with other Shadowhunters and fight evil forces. If it sounds a bit stupid, that’s only because it is. But it’s hard to tell if that’s a good or a bad thing.

The first few episodes are pretty lame, but the line between lame and good begins to get blurry somewhere between episodes four and six. Maybe the magic, fluff and pairings will grate on some, but all those things are also the juicy bait that draw others in.

There’s nothing overtly special about Shadowhunters; the performances are alright, the magical effects are standard, and the plot is regular. But once you get into the swing of things and start to understand how the world operates, the characters begin to reveal themselves as the show’s main selling point.

Unless your heart is literally made of limestone, it gets harder not to care about Clary, Simon, Alec, Magnus or even bloody Raphael.

Once the show has successfully reeled you in, you probably won’t care about the fate of the Mortal Cup or whatever other MacGuffin they are all supposed to be retrieving. But you’ll care about the fates of your favourite characters. You’ll actually care a lot.

You’ll either hate Shadowhunters or find yourself completely invested in it. You’ll want to punch the entire cast in the face, or end up crying into a mug of lukewarm hot chocolate while hitting ‘next episode’ at three in the morning with no idea how you got there.