Angels, I’ve taken forever to digest the ending of Shadowhunters. Not because it was a fantastic show that ended on its highest achievement. Not because it was a fantastic show that in the last season made its main female protagonist turn crazy wanting to burn down cities. Actually, it kind of did do that. But no, it wasn’t fantastic. It was polarizing from the moment it aired. But through its shaky three seasons, it had nuggets of truth and joy. Yet the last season of Shadowhunters let me down.
Hope is what killed me. I had hope for so much more, down to the last two hour episode. Two hours, people! Almost a whole movie to get this thing right! But the story went off the rails, and I’m not complaining about it going off book but about the lazy writing. Clary gets kidnapped. Clary is saved. Clary gets kidnapped. Clary is saved. Jonathan was more her whiny, annoying little brother instead of an older, psychotic mastermind until they bleached out his hair. Not sure why that wasn’t done from the beginning as the actor was able to transform his character into the Jonathan we love once that happened. Granted, it is easy for me to sit here and talk about lazy writing when I’m not in the writers room and under the gun to deliver, but in case anyone didn’t notice there were six books they could’ve tapped into for depth and development versus rehashing the same plots over and over again.
I had hope that with the last season the show would throw all their heart and rune power into delivering to the fans what we’ve been craving. Hope is a fool’s dream.
Despite the last season being a total mess, IMO, I will always oddly treasure this show. It kicked off this blog, for starters! When I thought I was the only one obsessed with Cassandra Clare’s series, it opened up a world of fans I didn’t know existed. I spent a night a week watching Shadowhunters with my husband. He may have begrudgingly sat through most of it, but he could’ve left the room at anytime and he didn’t. That has to count for something. It introduced me to Matthew Daddario and his dreamy despondence. And although I think Katherine McNamara still has growth away from her Disney roots as an actress, I will forever be thankful for her amazing, exclusive interview she gave Novel2Screen and amazed at the strong role model she is through her charity and intelligence.
Shadowhunters did get one thing right. It was inclusive: a multi-ethnic cast, a diverse writing room, interracial relationships, and more than one LGBT-Q couple. When it came down to what matters at the core of Clare’s stories – the power of acceptance – the show got it right. Even beyond the show, the cast and creators of Shadowhunters are bringing into the real world their positivity for all with their donation of a Shadowhunter bench in Central Park. The plaque reads, “A seat for every person, creature, and legend to share love, acceptance, and equality. Love, Shadowhunters Family/Freeform.” In a time when I feel like we are living on the verge of The Handmaid’s Tale more than Friends, it’s a nice reminder that love is greater than hate, acceptance more powerful than exclusion, and equality is something we still need to fight for.
Thank you, Shadownhunters. It was a bumpy road, but I wouldn’t miss the memes for anything!