Happy Monday evening. How was your day today? I hope it went well and it wasn’t chaotic as I know Mondays tend to be. If it was chaotic, then know that the day is coming to a close and you made it through. I am proud of you!! And you should be proud of yourself too.
Today, I will be discussing my thoughts on the Shadow and Bone Netflix series. I buddy watched the show with Leslie @BooksAreTheNewBlack. My sister even got in on the action and watched it with me. We all finished the show earlier this week but since we finished, I may have re-watched the show yesterday and today 😂 My sister and I might just be a little bit obsessed with it. 😂
I want to caution anyone who has not yet watched/finished the show as there may be spoilers in this review!
My Thoughts on the Shadow and Bone Netflix show:
Overall, I thought that the show was wonderfully done. The acting was fantastic. Ben Barnes is 😍. Jessie is an outstanding actress… Archie as Mal was 👌🏼 (Netflix Mal >>> book Mal) and the Crows were amazingggg. Freddy = awesomeness. Amita was exactly how I imagined Inej. Jesper was freaking hilarious and provided lots of comedic relief when things were pretty intense! Oh, and Nina and Matthias… I loved them!
It was interesting to see how the writers wove the dregs/the crows into the Shadow and Bone plot. I really liked how the story switched from Alina to the Crows to Nina and Matthias. It really reflected the structure of the books with how the books switched POVs/time periods. I never found myself confused, either, so I thought that they did a great job!
Things I Loved
The Darkling: Okay. So let’s talk about how great Ben Barnes is as the Darkling. Ben did an amazing job with his portrayal of the Darkling. I loved how Ben is soft spoken yet he radiated power and authority. He was the perfect Darkling! I thought it was interesting that they gave the Darkling more of a backstory… They made his character more morally gray than just being a power hungry eternal dude. Since I have not yet read the other books, I was not sure if what was in the TV show was the same as the books or if it was even in the books and Leigh and the other writers just fleshed out his motivations a bit more for the purposes of the show.
—I was literally screaming when the Darkling and Kaz came face to face. Who do you think would win a fight between the Darkling and Kaz? My money would be on Kaz! While the Darkling has his Grisha powers, Kaz has his unique genius… and, knowing Kaz, he would have already anticipated the Darkling’s play!
Mal: I thought Mal was okay in the book but Netflix show Mal had my heart melting. I know a lot of people were tired of seeing the same meadow scene over and over, but I think that it was important for that to be in the show in order for the viewer to really get the feeling of the connection between Alina and Mal.
Nina and Matthias = perfection. Loved it!
-I loved Matthias’ accent. I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard Cal talk without an accent!
Leigh’s cameo: I was totally screaming when I saw Leigh in her purple kefta! What a huge moment for her and then for fans to see her on screen as a character in the books she created! It was wonderful (not so wonderful for my sister’s ears because like I said… I was legitimately screaming with delight).
Jesper: loved Jesper! He is just as lovable as book Jesper. Loved Inej! That moment when she sees Sankta Alina summon the sun was so beautiful!
Sound effects: I thought it was really cool that they added in a sound effect for when the Grisha use their powers. From an outsider’s perspective, such as my sister, it was really helpful to know when they are using their powers!
Show structure: I loved how it flipped back and forth to the past and present, to the Crows and Alina. It really reminded me of the structure of the book and, as it did in the book, it really gives an extra punch to the feels.
Random side note: I totally fan girled whenI saw that The Lives of Saints was actually in the movie. I am also pretty sure that the book that David threw at Jesper was a copy of Shadow and Bone! 😂 I love when little things like that are throughout the show. It really demonstrates that the creators of the show cared about the books and doing right by the reader.
Kaz: I found myself a little disappointed with the writing with Kaz. I thought that Freddy did an amazing job portraying Kaz BUT I think that the writing was what was disappointing. I felt that you really could not see his genius behind his plans and honestly felt that the side character Arken was doing the plotting and not Kaz. So in that way the show fell short on that front for me. However, I will say that I appreciated the “lynx flush” twist. I just wish there had been a bit more of Kaz’s classic, witty lines from the books but I also realize that much of the material was “prequel,” and thus the Six of Crows lines might be mostly saved for the next season?
Things that could have been improved
I wish Inej did more scaling. Sometimes, I feel like TV shows try to convey impressive skillsets by having characters do things like jumping down from impressive heights but Inej’s talents are rooted in her discreteness and her ability to find a way when no other could. In other words, her methods are not the “in your face” type. I felt like her jumping down in front of Kaz was just “typical” and and a too obvious effort to make her talents impressive.
Kaz’s Crow Club Fight Scene: Can we talk about how in episode 2, Kaz is taken down in, like, two seconds by Pekka’s men? That is literally so unrealistic. Your girl may have shouted at the TV at that 😂 But seriously.
Alina’s fighting skills: I thought that there was a lack of development between Botkin and Alina and even with Baghra and Alina… I thought that, since it is a TV show, there would be more development in that area but they ran through that pretty quickly – much like a movie would have (okay, the scenes would have been a bit shorter still but my point still stands).
Show length: the episodes were about 45-50 minutes long, which I thought was a great length. There were only 8 episodes though, which I found to be very disappointing. I think that the series could have been stretched by at least one more episode… if they had included a bit more of the Crows in there and more of that training development with Alina.
I absolutely loved the show overall! I think that the episodes got better and better as they went on. I think the acting was fantastic, the creators of the show did right by the reader, etc. My sister and I may be a bit obsessed with the show as we have re-watched all the episodes 😂 We have also rewatched episodes 4 a few times over and over. If you are so curious as to why we watched episode 4 over and over.. it is because my sister is obsessed with the part where the Darkling says, “please, call me Aleksander.” She basically swoons every time. 😂
I hope you all enjoyed reading my thoughts on the new Netflix TV show, Shadow and Bone. What did you think of the TV show? Did you have a favorite episode? Let me know in the comments below.
I would also like to thank Leslie @BooksAreTheNewBlack for buddy watching this series with me. It was so much fun to fan girl and discuss the show with you!❤️