Some girls wish for a new car on their 18th birthdays, while others — like the leading lady of Freeform’s Shadowhunters — have to settle for a supernatural hand-me-down.
Tuesday’s series premiere introduced viewers to Clary Fray (played by Katherine McNamara), a promising art student whose mother drops a hell of a family secret on her: It turns out she’s a Shadowhunter, a human-angel hybrid destined to defend our world from the forces of darkness.
Of course, none of this would be new information to Clary if her mother Jocelyn (Maxim Roy) hadn’t repeatedly asked a somewhat-fabulous warlock named Magnus Bane (Harry Shum, Jr.) to zap her memories when she was merely a child. (Don’t you hate when parents do that?)
Fortunately for Clary, she’s not facing her new destiny alone. A chance meeting with a devilishly handsome Shadowhunter named Jace (Dominic Sherwood) leads to her first kill — another surprise birthday present, I guess — and a pair of new allies: Alec Lightwood (Matthew Daddario) and his younger, whip-wielding sister Isabelle (Emeraude Toubia).
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There’s also Clary’s bespectacled best friend Simon (Alberto Rosende), a guitar-strumming “mundane” — that’s Shadowhunter lingo for “non-magical human” — whose feelings for Clary come across even louder and more obvious than her own carrot-hued hair.
Other outliers include Jocelyn’s NYPD-detective boyfriend Luke (Isaiah Mustafah), whom Clary doesn’t believe she can trust, and a sinister gentleman named Valentine (Alan van Sprang) whom Clary hasn’t encountered yet… but will definitely learn not to trust.
Newbies, did Shadowhunters leave its mark on you? And if you’re a fan of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments books, what did you think of the page-to-screen changes? (There were many, and I’ll be posting a full breakdown tomorrow morning.) Grade the premiere below, then drop a comment with your full review.