As time draws near for the season two premiere of Freeform’s new hit TV show Shadowhunters, fans are on the edge of their seats with enthusiastic anticipation. Having survived a long and arduous nine month hiatus the prospects of what has been called a “darker and more emotional journey” for the treasured characters of Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter Chronicles has worked fans into a frenzy of excitement. Having built a strong and passionate fandom community on social media in a very short amount of time, the Shadowhunters fans have already been named the Most Social TV Show of 2016 by Variety Magazine in their “freshman” category beating out heavy hitters like Lucifer and Stranger Things. As well as ranking #4 on Tumblr’s list of Top TV Show – Live Action, above mega-hits like The Walking Dead and Teen Wolf. Suffice it to say that no one can doubt the undying support and devotion the show has assembled this year with a combination of longtime book fans merging with new fans to the Shadow World.
Taking a look back to how we arrived at this success, we begin with the season one premiere on January 12, 2016. The show debuted to a hopefully optimistic yet slightly skeptical fandom, anxious to see if their beloved book characters would be portrayed on screen with the care and respect they deserved. While at the same time a spotlight was also being focused on the LGBTQ representation desperately needed for the fan-favorite characters, Alexander Lightwood and Magnus Bane. The pairing referred to as “Malec” has become synonymous with the epic story as a whole, and has amassed legions of fans since their introduction in the books dating back to 2007. Many were left disappointed after the limited portrayal of Magnus and Alec’s budding relationship in the film adaptation, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, and naysayers were quick to assume the embodiment of these characters would be lacking on television as well due to the show airing on what was previously ABC Family, now known as Freeform. Thankfully by the time episode 12, aptly titled “Malec”, aired on March 29, 2016 there was little doubt left in anyone’s mind that the full journey of Magnus and Alec’s individual character representation as well as their relationship with each other would be explored fully and without limit. The show also didn’t shy away from the fact that “Malec” is not only a biracial same-sex couple, but also two individuals with their own sexualities, and putting an emphasis on the fact that Magnus is bisexual and Alec is gay. At the helm of this commitment for season two, showrunners Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer have reassured fans they will not be disappointed with Magnus and Alec’s continuing development, and have openly pledged their dedication to telling their story with the utmost consideration and dignity.
Both actors have also been recognized for their work on the show and won awards as breakout stars in 2016, Matthew Daddario winning a Teen Choice Award and Harry a TV Scoop Award. And from what Todd Slavkin has been sharing with the press so far, we can only expect to be even more blown away by their acting in this second season.
“Matt (Daddario) and Harry (Shum Jr.) are terrific. We’ve given Magnus a lot more of his own story outside of Malec, so there’s stuff we get to look at there. Harry brings so much pathos to that; it’s great. Way beyond his relationship with Magnus, Alec goes through a total odyssey in 2A. It’s amazing he’s still standing. Daddario brings a great grace, elegance, humor. He’s really special.” (Quote from TalkNerdyWithUs’ interview with Todd)
We here at ShumDario News have dedicated ourselves to full coverage of Harry Shum Jr. and Matthew Daddario’s portrayals of Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood in the upcoming season of Shadowhunters. We are excited and eager to share our thoughts and opinions with fans each week as we break down the episodes and relish each nuance Harry and Matt bring to the screen. You can follow us on Twitter and also stay tuned for our live coverage of special Shadowhunters cast events, comic cons, and conventions. Shadowhunters premieres on Freeform in the US on Monday, January 2nd at 8:00 PM and internationally on Netflix January 3rd.