We’re less than a week away from the premiere of Shadowhunters, Freeform’s (formally ABC Family) new fantasy epic drama, and if you haven’t been living under a rock for the past couple of months, you would have heard the excited flailing and distant painful wailing of the show’s impressive PR team slowly driving their anticipated audience insane.
If you have been living under a rock, here are ten reasons to be excited about Shadowhunters!
- A Brand New Cast
The relatively fresh-faced cast of Shadowhunters includes the likes of Katherine McNamara (The Scorch Trials) as the fiery redheaded Clary, Dominic Sherwood (Vampire Academy) as the charmingly arrogant Shadowhunter Jace, Alberto Rosende as Clary’s best friend and our nerd crush Simon, Emeraude Toubia as the fierce, beautiful Isabelle, Matthew Daddario (Delivery Man) as battle serious Alec, Harry Shum Jr (Glee) as the magnificent High Warlock Magnus Bane and Isaiah Mustafa (probably most recognised as the Old Spice guy) as NYPD detective Luke Garroway.
For some, this new cast means the end of the old. For most, that’s a good thing.
- The Television Format
Why have yet another book series made into a film franchise with a typical two-parter finale created specifically for the purpose of emptying your wallet, when you can get the luxury of in-depth story exploration and character development in a 13-episode season?
The Mortal Instruments series introduced millions around the globe to the rich world of the Shadowhunters – a 2 hour film was only ever going to be capable of merely scratching that surface. With a 13-episode first season, Shadowhunters has more than enough time to do the first book justice, as well as getting the chance to shift up some characters and storylines from others to keep us all on the edge of our seats.
- The Series Is Executive Produced By McG
With a plethora of directing and producer credits to his name for shows like The O.C., Chuck, Nikita and Supernatural, McG also directed the pilot episode of Shadowhunters and gets the responsibility of kicking the show into it’s first gear. He also takes the show’s built-in fan base very seriously and considers it his duty to deliver the goods, which is exactly the kind of guy you want in your corner for a show like this.
- The Show Aims To Retell The Story With New Twists And Turns
In an effort to entice viewers, the show has adapted the much-loved stories with some new added flourishes and roadblocks to keep book fans and non-book fans guessing. Luke Garroway, who was once the humble bookstore owner of the YA series, is now an NYPD detective investigating demonic murders and keeping his eye on Downworld alongside the show’s Shadowhunter populace. It manages to inject an added shot of adrenaline to what already promises to be an action-packed ride.
- A Diverse Range Of Representation
From the wonderfully diverse ethnicities of the cast to the delicious complexities of the show’s main characters, there is something for everyone. And whether it’s mixed-race families, political tensions, good vs. evil, romance, bromance, romance-bromance, teens with the weight of the world on their shoulders or secretly wanting to get to know that gorgeous warlock guy on the side while keeping you sexual orientation on the DL – this show has something that everyone can relate to.
- It’s The First New Show Attached To The Freeform Name
Being the guinea pig for a rebranded network can be a gamble, but with Freeform’s intention of expanding their audience demographic, this can only mean darker, sexier, scarier things for a show that wants to do darker, sexier, scarier things.
- The Show’s Visual Effects Are Top Notch
Responsible for all of the seraph blade destruction, portal making and demon summoning is Encore Post, the creative minds behind shows such as The Flash, Gotham, American Horror Story, Orange Is The New Black, Hawaii-5-0 and Homeland. That’s some pretty high-caliber work there, and inside a world full of Vampires, Werewolves, Warlocks, Seelies and Angels? How epic is that going to be? One can only assume pretty freakin’ epic.
- No Shortage Of Action Sequences
As Shadowhunters, their main mission is protecting the human world by fighting down the demon world, which means the audience is in for a lot of combat, a lot of stunts, a lot of weapons and many fantasy effects. But it won’t just be the good guys battling the bad guys – expect some Shadowhunter-on-Shadowhunter scrappage too, just to really drive home the drama.
- At It’s Core, It’s All About Being Human
The Shadow World may be full of fantasy creatures and things that go bump in the night, but beneath all of that lies an intricate threading of individual characters who just want to find their place in the world. It’s about finding yourself and overcoming adversity and staying true to who you are when the odds are against you. It’s about first and last loves, family, friendship and opening up to things you never dreamed possible. It may also be about doing what your parents tell you to do.
- Everyone Likes A Good Vs. Evil Plot
There’s nothing quite like watching a film or television series with a hulking great big bad there to rile up your favorite characters and make you worry for their safety. Shadowhunters has it’s big bag in the form of Valentine Morgenstern (Reign’s Alan Van Sprang) who aims to create a new world, and since he’s the villain-with-the-villainous-end-game, you know it’s not going to bode well for our Nephilim pals. Violence, mind-games and treachery galore! And will Valentine be the only one responsible for it all?
Shadowhunters, in a nutshell, could be your new favorite show. Watch the premiere on January 12th at 9/8c on Freeform, or January 13th internationally on Netflix, and find out for yourself.