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Another Open Letter to Ed Decter

ShadowhuntersTV

Dear Ed Decter,

It’s Alyssa again. Amidst all of the excitement following the official pickup ofShadowhunters (congrats, by the way), I have to admit that I’m feeling some stuff I wish I wasn’t feeling. Worry. Concern. Anxiety. I wish I could just relax and be happy about the great prospect of having a show, but one thing makes that impossible: the script.

Now, I know that the author’s said that she was told that the script that’s been floating around, the one that’s up on Showfax and SidesExpress and a million other places, wasn’t going to be used. That she’d been told the character Natalie was going away. Thing is, since then we’ve seen the script be updated online and everywhere. And it’s basically the same script it was before with small changes. Now while we’re sure it isn’t the final draft, why bother updating a script that you’re not using? Seems suspicious.

We’re really all hoping, Ed and writers, that you’re not telling the author untruths, and us untruths, to get everyone onside. Because fans will only stay onside as long as they think you’re being straight with them and respectful of the books. Lying is not ever the way to go.

As a fan of this series I’m protective of the characters and the story when it’s in the adaptation process, as Shadowhunters currently is. As is the rest of the fandom. This is a series that we’ve dedicated ourselves to, grown with and love.

The fact of the matter is that we don’t know what’s going to happen plot-wise and character-wise with the show in the long run. But we’ve put our blind faith in you to not betray us. But there are some pretty discouraging aspects of the “updated” pilot that make me really worry about how you will approach Shadowhunters.

Don’t get me wrong; it’s not changes that I’m worried about. Those are inevitable and to be expected. But it’s the underlying theme, the plot and the essence of the characters that worries me. I hope you don’t feel like I’m attacking you, but I feel like I’m doing my duty to the fandom in trying to voice my concern and disappointment about certain aspects of the show. Better to voice my opinion now while there’s still a fighting chance before filming begins.

Here are my concerns about the script and suggestions as to how they can be remedied:

Theme of Strong Women

The Mortal Instruments is a series for women, about women; women who are strong and don’t need to take their clothes off to get what they want. In the first version of the script, Isabelle was a stripper. Who thought that was a good idea? Isabelle is a Shadowhunter; a warrior. She does not need to resort to stripping to get what she wants. Show her — and the other women — a little more respect than that. Clary and Maureen expose their breasts to get into a bar. Clary would never do that. (Maureen is a child in the books, so who wants to even go there.) In the pilot, Clary is stripped of her clothes and given Isabelle’s sexy clothes to wear. Except the clothes thing is totally removed from its context in the book AND movie, where Clary is dressed up by Isabelle in fancy clothes to go to Magnus’s party, and now makes no sense and doesn’t connect to anything. Why wouldn’t she just put back on her regular clothes and then change when she got home? Why is the Isabelle-clothes-makeover thing happening HERE? It seems like there’s no reason except to make Clary naked. It’s not sexy, it’s gross.

Alec and Isabelle

In every version of the script we have seen, Alec and Isabelle barely exist. Alec and Isabelle are not minor characters. They are beloved fan favorite characters that fans love and can relate to. You see, Alec and Isabelle were neglected in the film. We never really got to see what kind of characters there were. How Alec, is sensible, kind and thoughtful, and Isabelle is strong, vulnerable and loving. You need to use Alec and Isabelle like the main characters they are. With the additions of new original characters it looks as if Alec and Isabelle risk getting shoved aside again. Don’t do it. Because I and many other fans will stop watching if you do.

Jace and The Rune

The one good thing I have to say is that at least Jace isn’t applying the healing rune to Clary’s upper thigh as she lays there unconscious. Because that was downright disturbing and so not like Jace. The thing is, this pilot Jace still isn’t like Jace. We miss his smart obnoxious comments from the club scene. We miss him being impressed Clary killed the Ravener. We miss Clary slapping him and the way he takes it because he knows he deserves it. Not showing fans the things they love can be just as bad as putting in things they’ll hate. Now maybe Jace does these things in later episodes. Maybe he’s sarcastic in later episodes. But you have one chance to get us on board, and that’s the pilot. And right now Jace is not Jace.

Simon’s Girlfriend

After the fandom voiced their negative opinion at the addition of Simon’s girlfriend, Natalie, it seemed as if you’d listened to the fans and gotten rid of her. Only, all you did was replace her name with Maureen, an actual character from the series. Come on, we’re not stupid! Right now Maureen is a Mary Sue. Clary loves her. Simon is dating her. Luke and Jocelyn know her. She’s in practically every scene.  It’s one thing to have her show up once or twice. Having the whole pilot revolve around her is a recipe for sending fans like us running!

We hate the idea of Simon having a girlfriend. It makes him having feelings for Clary gross and evil. It makes him an asshole. And it very much makes him not our Simon.

Valentine

This Valentine makes movie Valentine seem calm. Look, if you don’t know, movie Valentine is a joke in the fandom. Even people who were sad that a second movie wasn’t being made were glad to get a second chance at a real Valentine. This guy is nuttier than Cobra Commander. He just kills everyone in sight. Maybe he would work as a villain in a show for little kids. But we want our book Valentine.

The Magic

Believe it or not we fans are really invested in the magic of the world. We care about the runes. About Downworlders. Nowhere in the script is it explained what Shadowhunters are, what they do, what Downworlders are, how the runes work, what warlocks can do. Instead there is a lot of stuff where Clary gets a magical lavender pendant from Dot because Dot is really important. Clary gets marked on her neck even though Shadowhunters never mark anyone on their neck. And what’s a “warlock potion”? Why are steles weapons? This script reads like no one who wrote it ever read the book, they just saw the movie. And the movie didn’t do all that well. You really need to be diverging from it way, way, way more than you are.

The first lesson you need to learn about this fandom is that we are a powerful one. We get things done. It’s a testament to the fandom’s long-standing reign and dedication to the series. This fandom has been around since 2007. We’re in it until the end.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, please give us a reason to love this show. This show is being made because of the fans, so the fans should be in mind when you’re writing it. You already have an audience who’s ready to support you if you succeed or can as easily tear you down if you fail us.

We all essentially want the same thing: a successful show. But for the show to be successful it isn’t dependent only upon new fans; it’s dependent upon the long time fans who care about its faithfulness to the source material. So I hope you choose to honor the fans that supported this show long before it was announced and will remain long after the television series is gone.

(One last thing: there are hundreds of Shadowhunters living in the Institute instead of the six that live there in the books? The Shadowhunters, who don’t even have electricity in the books, now do everything on iPads? Interested to see how you work that out. I wish I had faith. I really do.)

Best,

Alyssa from TMI Source

 

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About Alyssa (2775 Articles)
Owner of TMI Source. Journalist and teacher by day, fangirl by night. Alyssa is too obsessed with sports, television, books, superheroes, and Shadowhunters for her own good.

46 Comments on Another Open Letter to Ed Decter

  1. Damon Casale // April 8, 2015 at 6:12 PM // Reply

    Theme of strong women, agreed. Alec and Isabelle, I can see later episodes possibly getting into their characters more. Valentine, agreed. Magic in the series, agreed.

    Jace and the rune, I’m iffy on this but imho, the characters need to be taken back a couple of steps from where they are in the books anyway. They need to have *more* room to grow into themselves, because the TV series will span a longer time period.

    Simon’s girlfriend, I’m thinking that having Simon with Maureen as a girlfriend can work, but not if she’s THAT big of a focus. Unless they’re going to add some major plot point that’s not in the books. That’s possible, too, and I’m certainly open to that. But as Alyssa said, be careful of making Maureen into a Mary Sue.

    • I don’t understand how Maureen could work as Simon’s girlfriend, as in the first book one of the main plots is the love triangle with Clary, Jace and SIMON. Simon loves Clary. Adding a girlfriend into that situation makes Simon look like a horrible person, even possibly a cheat if he still has the feelings for Clary as he does in the books, and quite frankly, Simon would never hurt someone like that, especially a girl.

      • Damon Casale // April 8, 2015 at 6:49 PM //

        First of all, in the books, Maureen *thinks* she’s Simon’s girlfriend. So here, in the TV series, she actually is. I speculated about a month ago that having “Natalie” as Simon’s girlfriend *could* work, if it ended up being an on-again, off-again relationship, with “Natalie” pulling a Maureen in season 3 of the TV series. Simon would start with “Natalie” as his gf, but with strong feelings for Clary (which seems very plausible to me), and move into a relationship with Isabelle by mid first season.

  2. This is so perfectly written, and announces everything that needs to be addressed. If Alec and Izzy aren’t main characters then the show won’t be successful, at all. Right now the show doesn’t look too promising. The thing that’s really bugging me is that the people who are working on the show also worked on the movie. And the movie didn’t do well. So how will they make any improvements to the fandoms opinion when they are still continuously changing aspects of our shadowhunter world? It’s all ridiculous. Why not just use the books as a script? I get they have to make changes and add in things, but the things they are choosing to add in has no relevance to our favoured books, characters or plot. It’s making me angry. Why not ask fans what they want? They are barely even including Cassie in the loop. What they are doing is not the right thing, and if they continue, they will figure that out when the show has aired and fans are complaining that they have done it wrong. And it won’t be a first time they’ve done it wrong, it will be a second. So good luck to the directors, producers and writers because I really hope all of the rumours I have heard are not true. God forbid if they are.

    • DJ- Borntoread // April 13, 2015 at 11:42 AM // Reply

      I agree. Its been a trend of people making a movie based on books to not follow the story in the book. In order to make it more interesting. What they don’t see is that the existing story has a great fan following and people love the books and all they really want is to see the story they imagined in their head while reading coming to life. I for one stop watching when the story digresses. For those who haven’t read the books are also sure to like the original story.
      Simon is easily my favourite character, So is Alec. I wouldn’t want the characters and their personalities to change.

  3. I strongly agree with everything you have mentioned above. I am also worried about how this will turn out and I hope they stick as close to the books as they can. Hopefully they can take this advice on board before filming.

  4. Gisell Aguirre // April 8, 2015 at 7:30 PM // Reply

    How do you even know that the scripts going around are real, maybe they are old scripts that will go unused. Cassie herself said the scripts floating around are fake. I think we as a fandom should be patient and wait it out, we have no way of knowing if the writers of the show are working on a brand new script that is faithful to the books. Honestly I love TMI and I am so excited to see it a show, I personally would not mind changes as log as it follows the essence of the books and stays faithful to the mythology and heart of the books. Sometimes I think that some shows like TVD are nothing like books but the show is fantastic. Now I am not saying that I don’t care if the show is nothing like the books I am just saying let’s all chill out, we won’t know what the final outcome will be until we do. If the script sucks once it is finalized for sure, then we can bitch about it. That is my two cents lol.

    • Totally agree, and what sucks is that we can’t change any of this. The producers wont listen, hopefully Cassie puts her foot down sometimes.

      • She can’t put her foot down. She has no power over anything they do with the show. She has said so a hundred times.

  5. Lizzy Fandomlover // April 8, 2015 at 7:37 PM // Reply

    Wait, there’s a script I can read?!? Where do I get it??

    • Most of them we know are fake and the ones this is referring to are probably also fake. The real script hasn’t been leaked as far as I know and I refuse to believe these are real unless Cassie or the producers say so. So you’re really not missing anything lol

  6. Tris Fray Potassium Potter // April 8, 2015 at 9:19 PM // Reply

    I’m really nervous about TMI becoming a television show and as it comes ‘closer’ to the release date, I want don’t want it to become one, as, the same as when Harry Potter became a movie, everybody stopped reading the books. So I believe that we’ll have all these mundanes thinking they are the biggest fan of the series ever, and they still have no idea it’s a book.

    I also think that the characters will not be themselves. Like in the movie, Magnus was not nearly fabulous or sparkly enough, and Jace was not the sarcastic, loyal, loving person the Shadowhunter Chronicles fandom has come to love.

  7. She said it all. Please listen to her.

  8. As I see it some of the TMI fans were ungrateful. They won’t be any different with the series than they were with the movie.

  9. “As proven with the movie, fans are not enough to carry the franchise” Maybe if it had actually been good, more fans would have watched it, enjoyed it, and it wouldn’t have bombed. I read the books about 3 years after the movie came out. After I finished it, I heard their was a movie and I was super excited. But all my friends that were fans told me not to even bother, because it was a horrible adaptation. That’s why it failed. Because the fans, the people who would have gotten the word out and had other people, like their friends, watch it were disappointed and they didn’t want anyone to watch it. “What is so disturbing about Jace putting a rune on Clary’s thigh” Well. She just met him. If you were passed out and some stranger you just met was drawing on you thigh, wouldn’t you be the slightest bit creeped out? Just sayin.

    • Wow I was off. For some reason I thought the movie was made in 2010. Yikes. I read the books about a year after the movie came out.

  10. There is no evidence that this is real. It is more than likely just another fake script going around. None of it makes any sense so I would like to believe the writers are smarter than that. This makes it sound worse than the movie. I really really don’t think it’s real. So please stop making these posts every time you hear any tiny rumor about the show. If something real happens, then of course let us know. But this is almost definetely not real and i think you just need to stop believing every rumor ok? I am worried too but I really don’t think any of this is going to really happen.

    • They are not rumors. I read the full script. Was it the final version? I surely hope not. And if you don’t want to read this then you don’t have to. Your choice.

      • Lizzy Fandomlover // April 10, 2015 at 11:19 AM //

        But where did you find the script to read, I would really like to read it if I had the chance.

      • I know you read the script but where did you read it and how do you know that website was telling the truth? Because the others that were going around before that everyone thought were real Cassie confirmed were not real. So I really don’t think this one is either. I mean, I could be wrong. But at this point these are all just rumors we don’t actually know yet.

      • I didn’t read it online. That’s how I know.

  11. WISEST WORDS, I hope they listen to us.
    And where did you read the script?

  12. I Could have written this. Professionals know what to do…
    But I have to admit the last sentence of the article was so clever. “The fandom will remain way after the TV Show”.
    The Tv show is not for us, it’s for a larger audience, and if we love it, it will be a sort of bonus and if not, well… you have a remote turn the tv off and read the books, because the books will remain longer after and way after us.
    Reading all the comments make me think that we all think it differently, like we all think differently with the casting. Some are choked with simon having a girlfriend, and Jace putting a rune on the upper thigh, and others just don’t.
    I’m dying to see what they’re going to do with the story but I know that everybody is not going to be happy with this show. Will the director worry about it? If he thinks the show will be a success the way it is written… Absolutely not.
    I hope for you and your worries that this open letter is not a sword stab into the water.

    • Of course, the thing I could have written is the comment that had been erased, clearly not this open letter… I replied to this wise comment. Sadly you censored people who disagree with your position.

  13. I agree with the whole letter. The people making the TV Show really need to get their facts straight and look into the book, not the movie or their imaginations. If they follow the book then the fandom will be on board and pleased and that will make them money, and through word of mouth will the fandom grow if the TV show is successful. I really hope they don’t screw it up.

  14. A good question to ask is why in this world would they make the ‘script’ so easily available to non actors/actresses? It makes some fans freak out. Especially with this series since it was already something else (the movie).

    My advice to everyone is to wait to find out more information about this show at the Upfronts at ABCFamily on April 14. Perhaps we will have some questions answered then.

    One thing I do fault Ed Decter for not doing is not creating a Facebook, twitter, or ask.FM page. He should have gotten out way ahead of these rumors and not have poor Cassie answering the same questions over and over again. Then again Harold Zwart talked a lot to the fans, and we all know how the movie turned out.

  15. Dear Alyssa, Could you please provide a hyperlink to the script so I can read it and form an opinon of its authenticity for myself? Thanks in advance.
    ShirlB

  16. Yes yes yes yes, I agree with everything that you said in the letter. ABC network needs to understand that compleat lay rearranging the story line let alone the characters of the books is just going to turn this TV series into a failure. I won’t watch the series if any of those things you mentioned shows up

  17. I’m really not sure how to feel about this whole TV thing. Firstly, I’m disappointed as I live In the UK and I will have to try and find ways to watch it as it is guaranteed it wont be aired over here. However, from what I have read, it seems that they seem to be changing things again, just like they did with the film (which I actually really enjoyed, despite the massive changes). I also really don’t want the cast to change. I have tried to access those websites which have casting and script snippets but can’t, but from things I’ve seen, the possibles for Jace are terrible.I love Jamie and Lily to bits and feel so so sad that they have been taken out of the franchise because they deserve so much attention, they are amazing. I’m so unsure how to feel about all this, I feel like my favourite ever books are being torn apart in front of me. I just want everything to settle and finally have a adaptation I can watch without screaming internally..!

  18. Are these pilot scripts real? A few possibilities…

    1. The scripts are totally fake. Ed Decter knows that wild speculation is a normal part of making an adaptation of a fan-favorite book, but he’s still quite baffled by the fans’ willingness to believe everything they read, not to mention their tendency to insinuate that he is somehow at fault. However, he’s a professional and he doesn’t have the time to respond to rumors because he’s too busy making the Shadowhunters TV series awesome. He trusts that all these ridiculous rumors will vanish when the show airs and fans will judge it on its own merits. Fans would be wise to become a bit more skeptical of unsubstantiated rumors and show more faith in the production team.

    2. The scripts are a decoy. Ed Decter knows that in order to make Shadowhunters he will have to make a few core changes and he knows fans will not be happy about them. He got one of his writers to write decoy script for casting purposes that was over-stuffed with unnecessary and infuriating changes (that he never intends to use). Fans panic! But then the show airs fans discover it’s not nearly as bad as they feared. Fans are so overjoyed that there is no boob-flashing that they accept the key changes Decter intended to make all along (you know, like the changes to the characters’ ages that everyone has miraculously stopped talking about). In the mean time, the decoy scripts give the fans something to talk about and create a bit of publicity.

    3. The scripts WERE real but have since been superseded. Ed Decter knew he needed to get some sort of pilot script done as soon as possible to start the (lengthy) casting process. He wasn’t too concerned about the quality of the script because he knew that the writers had months to revise it before filming actually started. He basically just needed all the recurring characters to have a couple of scenes each for auditions. Fans should remember that a script is just a guide. Actors will put their spin on the characters (eg, the actor chosen to play Valentine might do all his scenes in an extremely calm manner. The actor chosen for Jace might ad lib lots of sarcastic dialogue). Things will change during post-production (eg, the network might complain that the rules of magic are unclear so request more exposition is added. The network might decide the sexiness is too much for the intended audience and edit it out.). Meanwhile, the new-and-improved real pilot script (the one that Cassie saw) is under tight wraps and not freely available online. Fans should not assume Decter is lying without clear evidence. Innocent until proven guilty, remember?

    4. The scripts are totally real. The minor differences between the first and second scripts indicate just how much Ed Decter is willing to compromise on his vision for the Shadowhunters TV show. He is willing to concede that making Isabelle a stripper was a step too far, but is otherwise determined to make the show sexy. He’s happy to admit that inventing a brand-new non-book character (Natalie) was a foolish idea, but will promote a minor character from the books (Maureen) to fill the role he is determined to include. Fans should be constructively critical. They should propose compromises that satisfy Decter’s vision while maintaining the core of the books. For example, if the show is indeed going to be sexier, how could they pull that off without making it gratuitous or exploitative? What is the strong female character version of sexy that allows characters to show sexual agency and be empowered – but doesn’t involve characters being stripped naked for no purpose? If Decter agrees to reduce the screen-time of Simon’s girlfriend in favor of Isabelle and Alec, will fans begrudgingly accept Maureen as a minor character?

    Besides all that, I honestly thought this open letter was a real step up from the last one. Sure, there were still a few parts that sounded patronising (eg, I thought this part sounded like a parent scolding their misbehaving child: “We’re really all hoping, Ed and writers, that you’re not telling the author untruths, and us untruths, to get everyone onside. Because fans will only stay onside as long as they think you’re being straight with them and respectful of the books. Lying is not ever the way to go.”). But most of this letter sounded genuine and candid.

    • Damon Casale // April 11, 2015 at 1:52 AM // Reply

      Assuming the worst (#4) still leaves us with constructive criticism as a very reasonable option. And if the worst isn’t the case, we don’t have anything to worry about.

      I like the way you think.

    • BayLeaves I love your whole post!

      To add to that, everyone should keep a ear and eye out for ABCFamily’s Upfronts on April 14. We will probably get info on Shadowhunters then. Instead of wild speculation, we might get to actually hear from those in charge of the show (i. e. Ed Decter).

    • Personally, I think the likelihood of the scripts being fake is minuscule – they have been posted to professional casting websites where prospective actors pay money to download them. Right this second, actors and actresses across the country are rehearsing these scripts and auditioning with them. This means the scripts probably can’t be totally fake. They are official enough to be used for casting purposes – even if they were never designed to be shot.

      However, it’s also important to think about the casting process. It’s actually illegal for casting calls to focus on the physical appearance of the actor they are looking for – they can only describe what the character is like. Otherwise they get in trouble with anti-discrimination laws. This is why the Shadowhunters casting calls specify the characters age and gender and not much else – not even ethnicity. The only exception to this rule is when the actor needs to have some physical feature for the show to function. But even in cases where it’s not strictly illegal to specify that the actors needs to look a certain way, it’s still not politically correct and often creates bad publicity. The people who write casting calls/pilots beat around the bush – implying that a character has a certain appearance without actually saying so in order to avoid all that.

      I think this is what has happened with the Shadowhunters pilot. Think about how Isabelle is described in the books. She is absolutely beautiful. She is thin, has pale skin and wears super sexy clothing that shows off her gorgeous body. But if Ed Decter writes any of that in the pilot or the casting call, he might get into trouble.for discrimination (Imagine! “Isabelle Lightwood: ugly actresses need not apply.” There is NO WAY that would sit well with anyone.). So how can he imply that he wants actress that looks like a Victoria’s Secret angel for the role? He makes her a stripper in the pilot! Actresses that don’t look like strippers get the message that they aren’t right for the role without anyone having to specify Isabelle’s body type.

      And now it turns out that Isabelle is not a stripper in the second version of the script. I don’t think the general fan community knew that Isabelle was originally a stripper so it appear Ed Decter made the change on his own accord. I certainly only found out about it when I read this open letter – which is after it had already been eliminated. This could suggest they were never really planning to make her a stripper, they just wanted to make sure the right sort of actresses were auditioning for the role.

  19. Come on. Maybe you should think about the possibility that producers don’t want every single fan to know what’s gonna happen in pilot? They made a script for actors/actress and others for casting so they could show their skills. The pilot would be probably different, because I honestly think they would rather surprise us than simply just tell everything.
    As to that, I watched tvd (when it still was good) and I remember exactly how was it with the scripts. Everybody read that and it was like wtf??. In the end there was no similarities between the scene from the script and the one in tv series. So people chill. I’m not saying this script is a fake, because maybe it’s not. I’m just completely sure it’s not the same what will happen in pilot, just like Cassie said, sooo people again chill out and stop making those theories.

  20. DevotedFangirl // April 11, 2015 at 9:39 AM // Reply

    I was wondering if someone could supply a link to the scripts, whether fake or real?

  21. Seems like you guys are the only viewers

  22. I just hope they won’t ruin the story!

  23. A few of the comments on here actually have me rattled. Of course fans are going to be worried and nervous about all the rumours flying around. With the failure of the movie, people are worried that the TV Show will have the same end. Hopefully it wont, if the directors realise their mistakes from the movie, but I don’t think its fair for the fans to have negative comments posted about what they have wrote and their opinion. That is totally uncool. Everyone has their opinion, I’m one of the many who are nervous for the show. And whoever mentioned the whole being in the UK thing I totally agree. With the worldwide fan base TMI has, it should be aired in as many countries as possible. It isn’t really fair that everything always airs in America or other countries and we have to wait until the next day, or the next few days for it to come on the internet and we UK citizens have to watch it online. But hey, the suspense of the show is killing us all, so don’t be rude or negative to fans because their worried. That isn’t friendly.

  24. I hadn’t really been keeping up with all the news about the show, and, while it’s disheartening to hear about the current state of the script and the changes being made, I think we should be prepared for a final product that differs extremely from the books. I understand the points about strong female characters, and those are relevant, but certain supporting characters being changed, or not included at all, is something I’m bracing for.

    Think about what happened to the Vampire Diaries when it became a TV show. Right off the bat there were major changes to the characters personalities, entire plot lines were discarded and created, and secondary characters were cut, changed, made up, etc. to make the final product. The end result was a successful TV show (two, actually), but generally there is a big difference between a fan of the TVD show and the TVD books, because they ended up as two completely different stories with a few similar names. I wasn’t an avid book fan, so I wasn’t bummed about the changes, but I know I’ll feel differently about it if, and maybe when, it happens to Shadowhunters.

    I know people have also been trying to look at the failures of the movie to get some idea of what could happen to the series, which is an interesting discussion. I mean, this is a strong fandom, but I don’t think it ever gained enough momentum to carry a franchise. I think back to the quote from Magnus about the steady flame in contrast with the brighter flicker of light (immortality vs. mortality; I’m really pulling out the references); this fandom has been solid and steady, not too overwhelming, but strong, and movie producers recognized this and saw potential with the YA elements of the story. But the thing about this series it that it never went viral. Franchises like Twilight of the Hunger Games reached a certain point of popularity where they just went viral, became ridiculously popular, and the fan base reached a high enough point where a franchise was viable. The aftermath of this mass hype is that a lot of people lose interest or resent the franchise for its popularity; either way, the success for those franchises was very real. TMI just never hit that point of going viral, and it hasn’t ever had a mass hype or buildup surrounding it, despite having a loyal following.

    I think momentum could have built up if we had a good movie. CoB has so much story and exposition that you need to keep for the sake of understanding the plot and the world, and where the writer and director failed to make this series accessible to mass audiences, these new tv producers have to learn from past mistakes. Not only that, but they need to package the series in a way that’s going to make people want to return week after week, and I think we need to be prepared for the changes that are definitely going to come. Ultimately, I think fans can have personal expectations for the show, but we should be prepared to see our beloved story in a very different packaging. With TVD, there are people who like both the books and the show; but those people have had to become fans of two very different stories, and I think that we should be prepared for this.

    • Very wise words.

      What happened to The Vampire Diaries is the norm and it is what TMI fans should be realistically expecting. Faithful adaptations are the rare exception – and they still manage to disappoint some fans.

      For example, I have seen a lot of TMI fans use The Hunger Games as a best-case-scenario of how a faithful adaptation should be done. However, The Hunger Games movie still made numerous changes that many fans were unhappy about. For example, the whole reason it’s called The Hunger Games in the books is because everyone is on the brink of starvation – but the movie doesn’t convey that the characters are perpetually malnourished. Katniss and Gale are described as as mixed-race in the books (they have olive skin and black hair. Author Suzanne Collins has confirmed she intended to show that pretty much everyone in Panem was mixed-race). But when white actors were cast, many fans complained of white-washing. The character Madge got totally cut even though she plays a pivotal role in the books – she gives Katniss the mockingjay pin. Avoxes weren’t explained. The cat was the wrong color. People in the Capitol don’t have rainbow-colored skin. Peeta doesn’t get his leg amputated. Katniss doesn’t lose her hearing in one ear. The movie implies Katniss has some genuine feelings for Peeta whereas in the book it’s abundantly clear she is just faking it to gain sponsors. And so on. Many fans of the books hated these changes! And this is in the best-case-scenario adaptation that all other franchises should aspire to!

      Even though the Shadowhunters TV show hasn’t started shooting yet, I can already guarantee that every single episode will include at least half-a-dozen moments that fans of the books will HATE. Hopefully, every single episode will also include at least half-a-dozen moments that fans of the books will LOVE. If it does, then it will still be worth watching. (I can already imagine the joyous fan reaction to the episode in which Clary and Jace kiss in the Fairy Court. That moment alone could make the entire show worthwhile for some fans – even if all previous episodes have been riddled with infuriating changes.)

      I personally haven’t read the pilot script so I don’t know if there is anything redeeming about it. (Although, I am assuming it can’t be all bad. Surely it is impossible for it to be so bad that fans would be better off with no TV show at all). This article focused on the 6 worst things about the pilot that need to be changed/removed. It could also be worthwhile to focus on 6 fan-favorite moments that could be ADDED to the pilot. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

  25. the script are real?

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