Comparing Mortal Instruments: City of Bones to Freeform’s Shadowhunters

Credit: Freeform

In the last month or so, I started watching Freeform’s Shadowhunters, and have finished it three times now. I have yet to get to the books mind you, so I’m going to be comparing the movie, Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, and the TV Show only. And mainly I’m going to be comparing the first season of Shadowhunters to the movie, since they cover the same amount of material since the show has continued onto the other books and now gone sort of in their own direction at this point.

Going over the representation of the characters in the movie compared to the show, I much prefer the ones in the show. Though watching the movie, I could instantly pick out who was who before they were introduced. So in that way the casting works for both. But when it comes to chemistry between the cast, I think the ones in Freeform work better together. They actually had more of the characters, time to develop the characters, and Alec actually used a bow.

Plus I seriously love Alec in the first season purely for how awkward he is around Magnus. The movie just didn’t have the chemistry between the two as the show did. Mainly as Alec is hardly in movie. And though I love Jace and Clary together, my favorite pair from the show is Alec and Magnus. So the movie just misses out on that mark for me since it spends more time on Jace and Clary. But like a matter of day or two in time, so them falling in love so quickly seems a bit off though I’m not going to argue with the movie. The movie also reveals much sooner that Valentine lied about Jace and Clary being related while the show takes half a season. It also doesn’t include vampire Simon, Clary still has the cup in the end, and Jace didn’t leave with Valentine. Clary also learns her abilities much quicker including the ability to make new runes, while that didn’t become something she learned until season two.

Also besides there being little to no chemistry in the movie, it doesn’t do a good job at explaining anything. If I hadn’t watched the show, a lot of it would make no sense. Plus it just feels rushed to include everything from City of Bones. And the acting is not the greatest, but I can say the first season of Shadowhunters has bad acting in a lot of parts as well for the first season though it improves overtime as well as the writing of the scripts.

Credit: Freeform

As for the writing if I’m only looking at Season One of Shadowhunters, it’s not good for a great part of the first season. Whereas, the movie writing of the script flows better though is more rushed since they only had two hours to fit everything of the first book in.

Going into costumes, I love the ones in Shadowhunters more than the ones in the movie. I just think they suit the characters more. Though the tattoos of the movie compared to the first season of Shadowhunters look a lot better. Though they are roughly the same compared to the later seasons. The weapons on the other hand look pretty identical between the movie and the show. However, the show’s weapons in later seasons does improve and I prefer those as they are more intriguing. But when it comes to the set design, I much prefer the Institute from the movie. It’s much more grand though lacking all of the other shadowhunters.

Overall, I love Shadowhunters more than Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. The writing might be bad for a good majority of the first season and awkward, but I never get tired of watching it and want to continue watching over and over. And some shows I can’t say the same thing about. That being said both are good in their own right, if you want a shorter version of it but almost no details on what’s happening watch the movie. Want all of the details and then some new ones (cause I know not all of the TV material is from the books), then watch the show. There are three seasons in total though at the time of writing this the third and final season is not complete.

Credit: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones movie by Sony Pictures


Love ya,

Mae Polzine

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