TV Recap: Shadowhunters Ep 1

27 July, 2016 TV Recap 19 comments

Okay, I know what you’re thinking. I am absolutely the worst person to review this series.

I mean, after all, I couldn’t read the books and I’m not the biggest fan out there ever.

But when you think about it, I’m the best person to review this series because I can’t fall back on book knowledge to make sense of the show and I’m going to be critical.

So let’s start out with episode one and both the pain and the pleasure this show put me through.

Because, let’s face it. Yes, this show is such trash. Hold up: That’s not entirely a bad thing. I know, I know I’m saying this and that’s going to shock some people. But there are good things about this show.

Like that it’s trash. Beautiful, beautiful trash.

And there are bad things about this show.

Like that it’s trash. Horrible, horrible trash.

Good and bad, like two sides of the coin. Seriously, this shit is addictive and there should be regulations on how much you watch because otherwise it’s all a blackhole of bad fake swords and overacting.

We start off the episode with the worst wig I’ve ever seen. Only, unlike the rest of the show, this one’s actually supposed to look like a wig. Then she does The Superhero Jump of Awesome TM.

Also, just for fun, here’s a gif of superhero jumps before CGI.

Hollywood jumps without CGI

Then we get our first shot of Jace. A combination of asshole and handsome diluted so fine as to be undetectable in small quantities. What am I saying? jesus, even I don’t know. Let’s move on. There’s a demon afoot and the good guys have to get it.



Jace and Clary literally bump into each other!

Dun, dun, DUN. Sparks of anger and lust fly. Okay, maybe I’m imagining the lust because Dominic Sherwood is a little bit fine. MOVING RIGHT ALONG.

We switch to eight hours earlier. Where Clary is being accepted into an art school and it only gets more ridiculous from there. Unfortunately, whilst the storyline is as unbelievable as the wigs they make everyone wear,



The special effects are also pretty much unbelievable. But this is TV so I’m going to let it slide.

Cut to Clary meeting Simon for breakfast and the clear set up for a very one-sided love affair which the audience knows is immediately doomed to failure. But the actor is absolutely adorable so we’re going to just ignore instincts here and bask in his puppy dog eyes.

HE’S SO CUTE! I’m enjoying this trash despite everything.

Cut to Luke investigating a dead body and he does this freaky thing with his eyes that makes a dog stop barking so you know there’s something going on. As if I wasn’t immediately suspicious of someone who turns me on so immediately!

Then he spits out the line, “Me and Jocelyn… we’re different.” with such fake sincerity that I’m once again ripped out of enjoying a perfectly good trashfest with the reminder that some of this trash is just regular ol’ shit.

Then we leave Luke to go back to Clary. Oh how I’m already sick of this girl! But now she’s in one of those occult shops. She gets a gift and then heads up to Mummy dearest. Who gives her daughter a weird artefact and then goes all vague on talking to Clary about something real important. And if Clary had stopped for five seconds then everything would probably have been fine and dandy. Kids, aye?!



And just to reiterate how shitty Clary is, we have a cut scene of her mum sitting alone looking miserable. ARE YOU HAPPY NOW, CLARY?!

Anyway, cut to ten years earlier and there’s an eight year old Clary playing by a pond. Cue water monster, cue her mum doing some fancy sword work and then cue a rushed trip to Magnus’s place for… I’m sorry. I don’t care. I was too busy having extreme lust for Magnus. I mean, this guy is no Godfrey Gao but I’m not one to complain.

HAHAHAHA! I am totally one to complain.

Anyway, back to Luke and Jocelyn talking about Clary’s future and all that jazz.

Then Clary spits the line, “What is with you guys? I’m turning 18, not heading out on some epic journey.”

Just in case you missed that she’s about to head out on a journey. I refuse to use the word epic though. Refuse.

Anyway, the delightful Simon is back which makes everything a million times better.

Now Clary is hanging out with friends and she casually uses the word “mundane” like that’s a thing that actual people say. What is this, the SATs? I did not watch this show to brush up on my vocabulistics.

And just to annoy me, Clary says, “It’s not possible my mom is concealing anything from me.” just before we cut to Jocelyn pulling out weird artefacts and doing some serious mojo shit with a sword!

But this is the point in the episode where things start to get good. Because Isabelle just turned up rocking the best outfit ever and looking hella fine.

By the time we finally meet Jace I am already prepared to pack up and hide under my sheets. I’m not supposed to be enjoying this. At all.

But everyone is trying so hard and you have to give them points for that. And points for Simon’s abs.


Yes? Good, we can proceed. Because I thought I should just stop and mention SIMON’S ABS OMG.


Oh wait, Clary just spray painted weird shit on Simon’s van. Rude. I missed that while I was looking at Simon’s Abs. Did I just mention that again? Good.

Someone just accused her of having a brain injury. Ruder.

The Pandemonium sign flashes so you just see “demon” because we needed that reminder that this is all ridiculous. I was starting to forget. My bad.

And then Clary and Jace – they have the weirdest exchange ever.

“You have the sight.” Jace says using his super serious acting voice. And Clary’s eyes keep dipping below the belt.

I think I need more booze.

Oh, didn’t I make it clear I was drinking? My bad.

Clary rips off her jumper in a fit of lust (that’s what I’ve decided just happened there) and followed Jace into the bar. A demon does demony things and then Magnus shows up being unspeakably hot which is why I can’t really concentrate on everything that’s happening here.

Especially because Isabelle just got up and started gyrating on a table in a way that made all my neurons explode. Clary gets herself involved because, of course she does. And just as I’m about to nod off into a drunken stupor…

A fight just broke out! So exciting!

Jace’s hair is flying around like it just don’t care.

Which, considering how much hair gell is in that shit – it’s impressive.

Does anyone else think Jace kind of looks like a Pidgeotto?


No? Just me? Okay then. Moving on. Clary got freaked out and ran away, bumping into Magnus as she does.

She goes home and talks to her Mom about Jace when bad shit starts to go down. DOWN I SAY! And the acting here is kind of causing me physical pain. Anyway, Clary is only supposed to trust Luke. That’s what I’m taking away from this scene.

Oh yeah, Clary just disappeared into some weird purple special effect. It was particularly bad.

But Clary’s mother is now fighting and she’s reminded Clary that she’s more powerful than she knows. Female empowerment. I can get behind that.


Wait. Dot just got thrown out a window! NOOOOOOooooooo! Not a character we barely met and know! How could this be so cruel.

These swords look so lame.

And the Mortal Cup gets brought up. Then a potion is drunk and mommy dearest is out for the count.

But is Luke trustworthy for our heroine (ugh) Clary? Well! Maybe not. As the next scene shows him talking to some very dodgy characters. Clary is legit crying cause Luke has betrayed them. BETRAYED THEM LIKE A BETRAYING BETRAYER.

Cue running through the rain tragically.

Now we’ve skipped to Chernobyl. And more bad special FX. Oh no! Clarly’s mum’s all deadified and there’s some creepy guy making moves on her.


Guys, please don’t be creepy about women. It isn’t cool.

Now Clary is a mess, walking through her mother’s home and Dot is all not-dead which is good. And I can feel myself being drawn in. Why? Why? I don’t want to like this. I don’t want to enjoy this.

But then Dot turns out to be a demon which a creepy face which is freaky as all hell.

But there Jace is saving Clary and I’m kind of like… Oh, I’m interested.

And now Jace is being an ass.


I’m done.

FUCK YOU, JACE. I already can’t stand your weasel face. Actually, I don’t think you have a weasel face but I’m going to call you that from now on.

“What? No, “Thank you” for saving your life?”

Dude, you didn’t even give her a chance to say thank you. Why are you such a shitty human being?

So Clary is asleep and the creepy guy is actually Valentine. And he is STILL being creepy. Like, gross dude.


A nice distraction from what I just saw.

Isabelle. Marry me, already. We would be perfect for each other. Can’t you see that?

“I’m miraculously healed and all of you stunning people have magical powers?”

This is ABC television, Clary. Pretty sure that’s just what has to happen. There is no choice in the matter. It’s deemed by the fates. Only beautiful people are allowed to save the world.

Now Jace says something just downright perplexing.

“All the legends are true – we’re Shadowhunters-”

Legends? What legends are you talking about, Jace?! Oh god I’m so confused. SO CONFUSED. What is going on? What are these mythical shadowhunter legends that I’m supposed to know? I have literally never heard a single legend about a Shadowhunter or even what that is. BE MORE SPECIFIC PIDGEOTTO-HAIRED-DUDE!

Simon tracks Clary’s phone to where she is, which is a creepy ability to have. But it’s Simon so I’m going to be very forgiving because he and Isabelle are frankly the best thing about this show.

Ugh. Jace. I just can not with you at all.

Then after a frankly anticlimatic fight, Jace stabbed a guy and whispered, “This is for my father!”

And I legitimately snorted.


I’m just going to be shouting that at random all day now.

“Hi dear, how was your day?”

“This is for my father!” *Stabs my partner*

“What?!” he gurgles as he lays dying on the floor.

“Sorry, darling. Shadowhunters made me do it.

Anyway, the scene wraps up with Clary needing to make a choice between accepting Simon’s help or Jace’s. The smart decision would be to slap some truth out of Luke but we cut away before Clary even thinks of that.

And straight to Valentine screaming about his stupid cup and finding out about Clary’s existence.

And that is me done with episode 1 and apparently also with this bottle of gin I had bought especially for the occasion.




Kat Kennedy

Kat Kennedy

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
Kat Kennedy is a book reviewer and aspiring author in the Young Adult genre. She reviews critically but humorously and get super excited about great books. Find her on GoodReads.
Kat Kennedy

19 Responses to “TV Recap: Shadowhunters Ep 1”

  1. Kate Copeseeley

    SO MUCH EXCELLENCE IN THIS RECAP. All reviews should be drunken and you are spot on with the Pidgeotto hair. hahahaha
    The writing is atrocious, but the actors aren’t horrible, and they are also pretty, which allowed me to get about 4 eps in before I decided the whole thing wasn’t worth the effort. hahaha
    Kate Copeseeley recently posted…Progress Report: So Far So Good!My Profile

  2. Fangs for the Fantasy

    Oh the horror that awaits you! Oh the horror!

    I have honestly never seen acting as bad as on this show. Even better, the actual decent actors are so clearly phoning it in while mentally cursing out their agent next to the trying-so-hard-but-failing-so-badly fellows that it becomes a comedy

  3. JennRenee

    okay i may be one of the few but I enjoy the show. Yes its not the best in the acting and doesn’t follow the book exact but for some reason I do like it. I wasn’t even much on the books. I like the books but i am not like an obsessed fan. Anyways. Loved your post so funny. And I do think the show gets better a bit after 3or 4 episdoes. Maybe I am just not hard to please though.

  4. Makayla

    I had to push myself through those first 3 episodes. But then…well I’m a fan of the book so maybe that changes my perspective, but I thought it hit its beat at episode four. I still have a hard time dealing with the actress that plays Clary though ? Izzy is freaking awesome though! Just keep watching for her and you won’t regret it

  5. Carina Olsen

    lol 😀 Your review is all kinds of awesome Kat. Thank you the most for sharing this. <3 Hugs. I actually love the books a whole bunch 🙂 They are awesome. But god. I don't think I can ever force myself to watch this show.. no no no. Your recap of this first episode.. holy crap it seems awful o.O Nothing like the book, haha. Not for me 😀 But I love that you are watching it, haha 🙂 Loved reading this. <3
    Carina Olsen recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday #251My Profile

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