Winter is usually super difficult for me. I hate the cold. I hate the snow. And I hate how dark the evenings get. From the January to March I turn into a sentient blanket burrito. This year hasn’t been that bad for me and I know I have to give thanks, in part, to the unseasonably warm temperatures in New York (that pesky global warming strikes again). But I’ve also found solace in a cozy new fandom space. In honor of its winter break finale, I felt it only right to discuss my fairly recent television obsession: Shadowhunters. Though Shadowhunters is a Freeform network series clearly aimed for a teen audience, what it lacks in steamy makeout scenes, it makes up for in campy, supernatural adventure.
When I first decided to started watching after the recommendation of friend, I won’t lie, I was ready to tap out after the pilot. The acting somehow felt both stilted and over the top. The wardrobe and makeup was terrible (if I ever get a hold of Kat McNamara’s wig, I’d like to be the one responsible for setting fire to it). And above all, they kept trying to convince me, the viewer and native New Yorker, that the show takes place in Brooklyn. Even with the artfully injected stock footage, I found it very difficult and distracting at times to suspend my disbelief.
But every show has growing pains! I stuck by Clary and the Lightwoods. With season two came a bigger budget and the cast members themselves grew more confident and secure. As a direct result the characters felt more well-rounded and easy to connect with and love.
Queer representation within the media is always tricky thing. The ultimate goal is to have fully-fleshed and realistic characters who have healthy platonic and romantic relationships. I crave romantic relationships that are tender and compassionate without being watered down to it more palatable to the heterosexual but not explicit and over-sexualized to the point of fetishism.
I say all of that to say this: the relationship between Magnus and Alec (or "Malec" as they are affectionately referred to within the SH fandom) is one of my favorite queer couples on television currently. From day one the relationship always been about open and clear communication. They are allowed to argue and disagree, but more importantly they are given a change to talk and listen and move forward. Together. Stronger.
Shadowhunters isn’t perfect. Can any show ever truly be? But every week I find myself genuinely looking forward to new episodes and for now that’s more than enough.