"Shadowhunters," the TV show adaptation of "The Mortal Instruments" book series, was just recently released on Hulu for everyone's binge-watching pleasure. The show originally aired on Freeform for three seasons, but sadly, I did not catch it the first time around.
I have, however, read the first three books in the series, so I figured this could be a fun quarantine watch even if I was a year late to "The Hunt" (once you hear the theme song, you'll get the reference), and I'm so glad I did.
*Disclaimer: There will be spoilers, and while I tried to keep them at a minimum, it is not spoiler-free.*
1. The cast is literal perfection.
I've watched a lot of TV shows, but I've seriously never seen a cast all so perfect for their roles. Not to mention, it's clear from interviews that these beautiful people also have the biggest hearts for each other and their fans. I could binge-watch their cast interviews as often as I binge-watch the show if I'm being totally honest.
2. The acting is out of this world.
I don't want to spoil too much, but the scene between Jace, Alec, and Izzy that took place in Jace's mind in episode 3x08 is the perfect example of the cast's amazing emotional range when acting. I am not kidding when I say I was actually crying real tears during that scene. The cast has a way of diving deep into their characters' psyches and giving us a performance like no other show in this genre.
3. The relationships in the show are beautifully subtle.
A lot of shows in the Young Adult genre are known for literally shoving relationships down your throat, especially when they're book adaptations. But "Shadowhunters" has a way of crafting and evolving swoon-worthy relationships without making it feel like that's all the show is about.
The relationship between Magnus and Alec is easily the central love story on the show, and viewers are quickly enthralled in their intriguing story. However, we still get to see Magnus and Alec separate from each other, in their own elements as a warlock and a shadowhunter. I think this is so important because it resembles a real-life relationship. The overwhelming love is masterfully balanced with the individual strength and independence of both characters.And there's also the other central relationship between Jace and Clary, but as fans know, their relationship had a lot of devastating obstacles to overcome. We didn't get a lot of this relationship, which was the central love story in the books, but it made their moments together all the more special and powerful. And I think the show's take on this relationship made me love it even more. We got to see how Jace's love for Clary really got him through some rough times.
4. Friendship is a key theme throughout the show.
I think my absolute favorite part about this entire show is the friendship, the parabatai bond, between Jace and Alec. The parabatai bond explores all the nuances of friendship - the good and the bad. But at the end of the day, we see that Jace and Alec would do anything for each other. Jace outran a pack of werewolves to save Alec, and Alec went inside the dark depths of Jace's mind to save him.
I think the most poignant moment of their friendship happened in the season 2 finale. I won't spoil that major moment, but we got a glimpse of what happens if the parabatai become separated - the pain, the sadness, and the emptiness. Jace and Alec teach us the meaning of friendship, the meaning of sticking by someone's side through all their highs and lows, and the meaning of empathy.
5. Dominic Sherwood and Matthew Daddario's real life friendship is goals, too.
Honestly, the brotherhood between Jace and Alec is so powerful because the actors who play them, Dominic Sherwood and Matthew Daddario, have an amazing real life friendship. Not only is their beauty overwhelming when together, but these two friends are absolutely hilarious. If you've ever watched them in an interview together, you'd totally understand why they are so good at playing parabatai on the show. It's seriously heartwarming.
6. The storylines will have you on the edge of your seat.
The storylines on this show are so captivating that you'll be pressing Next Episode at 3 a.m. without thinking twice about it just to see what happens. The villains are frighteningly good, the action is amazing, and the suspense is thrilling. The show really goes in every single direction - some you may predict but other plot points come out of nowhere.
7. Be prepared to cry for Jace... a lot.
And unfortunately for Jace, the roughest parts of those storylines usually go to him. There's no doubt every character goes through some challenging times on the show, but Jace is served the worst of it time and time again. From having four different last names (talk about an identity crisis) to being locked away in his own personal mind prison, you can't help but want to give him a hug. He had some serious strength to make it through everything he did during those three seasons, though.
8. It's very different from the books, which in my opinion, isn't a bad thing.
I know this is an unpopular opinion, especially because a lot of book fans stopped watching the show for this reason. And maybe it's because I haven't read the books since I was in middle school and only remember some of the major plot points, but I thought it was refreshing to see things from the show's perspective. I think all the actors did an amazing job putting their own spin on the characters, and I thought the TV show characters (at times) gave us some more emotional insight into certain situations.
Additionally, some of the show's storylines were unique and original, which was incredibly refreshing to watch. While the book's original plot was amazing already, it was fun to watch the show creators develop the parabatai bond and the central relationships differently. Sometimes it's fun to relive the emotions we felt in the book, but honestly, sometimes it's fun to experience the unexpected in adaptations, as well.
9. Long story short, "Shadowhunters" is a roller coaster of emotions.
"Shadowhunters" will make you laugh and smile. It will make you cry and want to jump through your screen and help your favorite characters. It will make you dream of love and magic. It truly is an amazing show, and just know, it's not too late to join "The Hunt" and go binge-watch it on Hulu.