I preempted this show for you last year, when I informed you Matthew Daddario and Harry Shum Jr were ready to play gay lovers on the drama.
The main question I walked away with was, “what the hell did I just watch?” The show has absolutely no subtlety or tact in any way, shape or form. From clunky dialogue, to awful wigs, and unsightly tribal tattoos, there is no sense of mystery as they thickly lay the plot on you.
There is not a moment during the opening episode that you fully get to grips as to whats happening, who, or what the individual characters are, or how the story is supposed to progress. Perhaps the sense of mystery is key to the viewing but just a little crumb of information would go a long way.
As mentioned before, there are no room for imagination as the lazy writing sees characters explain every moment and thought process going through their head, as well as discussing complex, yet unexplained matters that leaves us scratching our heads. The pilot moved extremely fast, never allowing us a chance to comprehend what we just encountered, though this could prove positive preventing us from episodes of filler.
Dominic Sherwood, Harry Shum Jr, Isaiah Mustafa and even the ‘geek’ of the group Alberto Rosende are each drop dead gorgeous hunks, not allowing a bad apple in the bunch. Then there is Matthew Daddario, who we are clinically obsessed with, no matter how terrible the show may get I will probably continue watching just for him.
The acting overall is what you’d expect from a teen-led programme, they won’t be winning any awards but they aren’t so terrible they pull us from the story altogether. Surprisingly, while not outwardly capturing the characters have room to be interesting so we’ll see how that develops.
A romance subplot is quite clearly implied between the two leads Clary and Jace, as they despise one another, but are drawn together, emitting the faintest sparks of chemistry with their polar-opposite personalities.
The show featured a heavy amount of action which was somewhat entertaining but the special effects throughout were laughable, appearing to have come from a 90’s Mortal Ninja game. When actors are standing atop buildings it is difficult to not realise there is a noticeable use of green screen, and the monster that appeared early on was jarringly CGI. The lack of realism was so palpable it has us wondering why they could not either cut back, or find a better production team.
From what I have read online, those who have read the books enjoyed the episode for the most part, while viewers going in blind (such as myself) felt a lot was left to be desired, so there may be hope later on in the show if you can make it that far because with a slight rework to focus more on the core cast and drop the sub-plots, there could be a decent series here, though nothing close to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer levels they were clearly aspiring to.
Airing on Freeform, (the revamped ABC Family) the book-based show debut to good ratings and average reviews.
Our Verdict Is: Very poor. A convoluted plot, jarring acting, and terrible production, i’ll wait a few weeks and see if the reviews pick up, but until then i’ll pass on this one. Which is a shame because the cast is so cute!