Fans of the bestselling young adult series, The Mortal Instruments, written by Cassandra Clare, rejoice!

Why? Because ABC Family Freeform decided to remake The City of Bones – and it looks a whole lot better than the movie that flopped a few years ago!

Party like it's your birthday. []
So party like it’s your birthday. []
The pilot premiered last week and it looks like this show will check all the boxes the movie never did. For one, it seems like it adheres pretty faithfully to the book’s plot. The actors are endearingly earnest, if not a little green, but that’s forgivable. The CGI looks completely ridiculous. It’s obvious that the detail from the books is much better suited for the slow buildup of a television series than the short burst of a movie.

All in all, the show is a quaint gem in the network’s lineup – if ABC was looking to rebrand, it seems like they picked a fun, refreshing start.

The pilot opens with Clary Fray, the protagonist with the horrible dye job, celebrating her eighteenth birthday. She hangs out with her friends, including her best friend who is so horribly besotted by her that it hurts to watch, she receives a weird wand from her mother, and she ends up killing a demon in a nightclub.

You know. Normal teenage girl things.

Suddenly, Clary is thrust into a world she never imagined – the world of shadowhunters and demons. Just as Clary discovers this hidden world, her mom gets kidnapped and Clary teams up with her new shadowhunter acquaintances to get her back.

Besides the horribly unrealistic CGI, Jayce, the eventual love interest, seems particularly poorly cast. Or at least poorly styled. The actor (Dominic Sherwood) is attractive enough to play the leading male on his IMDB, but something clearly went wrong in hair and makeup. Instead of being the mysterious, bad-boy heartthrob from the books, he’s more akin to an early-days Draco Malfoy. His hair is so gelled that if I were him I’d be terrified to go near an open flame. The fans wanted explosive, but not that kind.

Complaints aside, this show reminds me a lot of a young Vampire Diaries. TVD took a while to find its footing – it was comically gory and bad for the better half of its first season. Shadowhunters has the same over-the-top CGI, but just like Vampire Diaries, Shadowhunters also has a kind of magnetic quality to it. Along with the chemistry between its leads and solid source material to fuel the rest of the season, I’m excited to see what comes next. And if Vampire Diaries is any indication, I’ll look forward to watching this show for at least another six seasons.

Cheers to second chances!

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