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We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

TV Series Review

Turning 18 is a pretty critical moment in many a life. It's the age at which we make a bevy of critical decisions. Do I go to college or get a job at Chipotle? Is Betty Sue really the woman for me, or should I keep looking? And, perhaps most importantly, Am I ready to take up arms, draw strange runes on my body and fight demons in a shadowy, ill-defined contest between good and evil?

What? That last choice doesn't sound familiar to you? Well, it would've sounded outlandish to Clary Fray too—right up until her 18th birthday.

Before that fateful event, Clary was your average New York hipster teen. She had absolutely no interest in creatures of the night or glowing swords. Oh, sure, she might draw an occasional demon, but that's to be expected. She's an artist, after all. She and her best friend, Simon, are working on a graphic novel, and what's a graphic novel without a few demons? A rather boring graphic novel, Simon says.

But Clary is no mere Mugg—er, Mundane. She's a Shadowhunter from a long line of Shadowhunters—half-angelic beings who wage eternal war against the forces of darkness. Clary's mom tried to keep this dangerous secret from her as long as possible, but secrets—particularly secrets involving slavering denizens of hell—have a way of popping up in unexpected ways. So instead of blowing out 18 candles on a birthday cake, Clary watches a handful of demons get snuffed out at a nightclub. Now, whether she likes it or not, the girl is being drawn into the strange world of the Shadowhunters. She must learn how to survive. Hopefully quickly. You know, before this fledgling series on the newly renamed ABC Family channel, now Freeform, disappears into the dark TV night.

Same Story, Different Demon

Shadowhunters is based on Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments series, and anyone who read the books (or, for that matter, saw The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones in theaters in 2013) probably has a good idea how the first season might go. And even if you aren't familiar with The Mortal Instruments, this might feel like well-trod ground anyway. It's practically a requirement for teens (the fictional ones, anyway) to have some sort of secret power that draws them into a mysterious and vaguely sexy new world, after all.

Hey, if it worked for Harry Potter, Bella Thorne, Percy Jackson and all those brooders from The Vampire Diaries, why not once again for the Disney empire?

But does it work? That depends on your definition of work, I suppose.

Who Knows What Lurks In the Heart of This Show?

Shadowhunters is silly. It's at least partly aware of that fact—at least I hope so. Surely the writer who makes Clary say, "I'm miraculously healed and all you (dramatic pause) stunning people have magical powers?" understands that she's not writing for American Crime. But the show doesn't help its credibility much with its swords, which look a little like the glow-in-the-dark lightsabers I used to play with as a kid.

And it doesn't help that most of the men on the show have only one emotive tool in their chests, and that's the aforementioned brood.

And it doesn't help that no one seems quite sure how to pronounce the main bad guy's name, despite the fact that they've been pretty well acquainted for ages now. (Valen-tine? Valen-tin?)

And it really doesn't help discerning families that the show is obsessed with painting the night with a vibrantly hued occult vibe. Like the CW's long-running Supernatural, Shadowhunters is steeped in the concept of spiritual warfare, and its battlegrounds are filled with demons, witches, warlocks, vampires and who knows what else. And even though the Shadowhunters are, at least in the books, half-angelic beings, God—at least early on—seems to be out of the picture.

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Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Shadowhunters: Jan. 12, 2016 "The Mortal Cup"

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

Katherine McNamara as Clary Fray; Dominic Sherwood as Jace Wayland; Alberto Rosende as Simon Lewis; Matthew Daddario as Alec Lightwood; Emeraude Toubia as Isabelle Lightwood; Isaiah Mustafa as Luke Garroway; Harry Shum Jr. as Magnus Bane; Alan Van Sprang as Valentine Morgenstern

Director

Distributor

Network

Freeform

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

Released

On Video

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Paul Asay

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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