As Shadowhunters ushers in two new showrunners for its second season, there are a lot questions surrounding how the show will play out in the hands of Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer.
The first thing you have to understand is that bringing in two new showrunners with unique visions that differ from former showrunner Ed Decter means that Shadowhunters is essentially being rebooted. And that might not actually be a bad thing.
We had the opportunity to chat with Slavkin and Swimmer, along with Cassandra Clare, at New York Comic Con about some of the hot topics surrounding the fandom. Of course the focus on Slavkin and Swimmer centers around transitioning between showrunners and remaining faithful to the story.
“The reason why we’re here is the books,” Slavkin said. “So for us, and while we respect season one, but what really turned us on was the books and saying, Wow, the emotionality that’s in that book needs to be more in the show. The stuff that Cassie has set up on a character base needs to be more in the show. So what we wanted to do was create more relationship-based character storytelling and a little bit less plot.”
Hailing from Smallville, Slavkin and Swimmer understand that the characters are the ones that should drive the story, not the plot or action.
“The fight sequences will dazzle you,” Slavkin said. “But all of that stuff doesn’t work if you don’t have heart and soul.”
Of course one of the most controversial and passionate topics in the Shadowhunters fandom — and any fandom, for that matter — are the ships that add the heart of the show. But something that Slavkin really touched upon that had me nodding up and down was his definition of “ship.”
“The word ‘ship’ to me doesn’t mean sexual,” Slavkin said.
That’s absolutely right. A “ship” is basically two characters that you enjoy watching interact and share an emotional connection. And while more often than not it tends to be of romantic implications, ships aren’t always romantic.
Watch the full interview below where the showrunners discuss Sizzy and Saphael, integrating scenes from the books, the passionate fandom, and more.
Shadowhunters season 2 premieres Monday, Jan. 2 at 8/7c on Freeform.
Stay tuned for more interviews from the Shadowhunters press room at NYCC!