SHADOW HUNTERS RECAP, EPISODE 1: THE MORTAL CUP (IT WAS LOVE AT FIRST GLOWER)

The episode kicks off with the Shadow Hunters stalking a man who changes appearance.  while cool music plays in the background. If you’re undercover stalking demons, you’re going to look as cool and sexy as possible doing it.. Jace bumps into Clary and gives her the full Cullen treatment, glowering at her and being surprised a mundane (muggle) can see him.

Cut to an art audition. Clary is auditioning for an art college and they are unimpressed with her entries. They then see Metallica cover-art sketches all over her book, and because they’re obviously fans of 80s metal, they let her in.

She then has a conversation with her obviously lovestruck best geeky friend (we know he’s a geek because he has glasses). He starts saying ‘to think you could be in love with someone and they don’t realise it’, thus giving us a premonition about how much nuance the show will use when handling relationships.

Clary goes home to visit her mother’s shop and their assistant is acting weird. She goes upstairs and her mother Jocelyn gives her an ancient light saber. Now, we know we’re supposed to feel tension because they’re playing ominous music. Ominous music.

Her mum starts acting distressed all of a sudden. She tells her daughter that there’s something she desperately needs to tell her, but Clary blows her off to talk to her friends. I’m sure it’s okay though, because I’m sure Jocelyn isn’t going to reveal things at the most dramatic moment.I’m also sure Jocelyn is going to live a long and fruitful life…

‘I love you mum.’

OH MY GOD DON’T SAY THAT! YOU’VE JUST ENTERED A BLATANT TRAGIC FORESHADOWING SCENE, YOU AIR HEADED AMOEBA.

So that we’re not kept in any kind of actual suspense, we’re kindly given a flashback of when Clary is playing by a lake and HOLY CRAP WHAT WAS THAT? Jocelyn saves her from what can only be described as a terrible CGI Lock Ness monster.Instead of deciding that maybe it’s time to maybe start teaching Clary how to defend herself , the first thing she does is to rush to warlock Magnus Bane and ask him to wipe her memories.Because that decision always turns out so well.

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See? See how well this is going?

Meanwhile, Clary talks with  the world’s most sidelined black best friend (she’s stuck being Clary’s emotional sounding board and totally brushed aside by love interest in favor of the white lady? Here’s hoping she becomes a lesbian and gains magical powers or her life is gonna suuuck. Right Bo?) They have a Totally Subtle foreshadowing conversation about keeping secrets. ‘My mother is incapable of concealing anything from me.’ ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Your mother was obviously on edge and then she gave you a weird heirloom saying she had something to tell you – that  screams family secret! What more do you want, Clary?  Do you need a giant neon sign telling you whenever something’s going to happen?

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I hate you, Shadowhunters.

Team Zoolander (I’m calling the Shadowhunters that from now on) enter the club on a mission and we’re back at our starting point.Clary follows him in and we go to a curtained off area of the club (don’t VIP sections usually have security?) Then Izzy starts doing a dance… I’m really not sure why she’s dancing, as they start hacking their foes away two seconds later. Clary gets involved and uses the force to defeat one.

Clary is royally freaked out. She finally has a conversation about the Shadowhunters with Jocelyn at the most dramatic moment possible and learns about the existence of the supernatural. Jocelyn is tracked down by the Circle and refuses to give over the Mortal cup and sends Clary to safety in an unconvincing magical portal. Meanwhile, she traps herself in this green energy… stuff… so the Circle can’t interrogate her. Nice work Clary, you just had to set up that tragic foreshadowing, didn’t you?

Clary’s transported to Luke, but as he’s being questioned about her whereabouts, she does to get out of her way. A woman tells her about her mum before she turns into a weird chest hugger faced thing.

Jace rescues Clary from a monster and takes her into the Shadow Hunter HQ (at east that’s where I think they are). He takes her to the Shadow Hunter HQ and he and Alec have a lover’s tiff about bringing her there and Izzy suggests that he’s jealous because it’s the first time he’s shown interest in someone. Really? Did I miss something, because Jace looked like he was glaring and folding his arms. Is that how flirting works in Shadowhunter society?

Finally, the Big Bad reveals he wants to find the mortal cup and learns about Jocelyn’s daughtet. Now he’s determined to track her down to find the cup.

 

I’ll admit, this episode was a lot better than I expected- though that’s a really low bar to clear. This show wasn’t good. It really, really wasn’t. The acting is so, so bad- but then again, saying half of those lines with a straight face must be challenging enough, let alone making it sound like stuff that real human beings would say. Everyone sounds like they’re rushing through it and trying to skip through as many of the book’s events as possible.

But I wasn’t bored for a second. Harry Shum Jr was kinda badass and I’d like to see more of him. The cast are gorgeous to look at (especially Izzy and Alec- seriously, did the recruit Shadowhunters by sifting through CVs for Abercrombie and Fitch models?); hell,  they even took the time to show the unlucky-in-love geek best friend is ripped. It also helped it was unintentionally amusing. Some of the cliches and scenes were so ridiculous, so heavy handed, that it was funny to watch and I laughed my ass off.

Maybe as the series progresses it will develop its characters a bit more and spend more time building tension and not jump from pace to place so much. As someone who never read the books (but has a vague idea going in about the premise and who Clary, Jace, Alec and Magnus Bane are) I was a bit lost about who some of these people were and why there are so many face huggers. However, I’m hoping it will get clearer as the series goes on. But if Jace goes full Cullen, I’ll watch just for the pure comedy.

RATING: 2.5 Abercrombie and Fitch models/ 5

 

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