Harry Shum Jr.: Malec stans call for a ‘Shadowhunters’ spinoff
Magnus Bane (Harry Shum Jr.) and Alec Lightwood (Matthew Daddario) really need no introduction. They are two parts of a whole couple affectionately known as Malec on the show Shadowhunters.
When the series was cancelled over a year ago, Malec shippers fell into quite the slump. They took to social media and protested as vehemently as they could, proclaiming they would do just about anything to get these two boys back on screen. Their fight has not slowed even one iota.
So what is it about these two characters that has viewers so captivated and crazed? For starters, the chemistry between Matthew Daddario and Harry Shum Jr. is undeniable. Their ability to bring Malec alive for the fans is nothing short of magical.
It probably doesn’t hurt that both men are totally smoking hot, and the sexual tension they create on screen from the get-go is pure fire. We thank you, gentlemen, very much.
Yet it’s more than that. While fans do go on about the sex appeal of the couple quite a lot, they seem more taken with the realism and relatability of their relationship. Despite the demons and the magic and the superpowers, people flock to this couple because they don’t come off as a glamorized television representation of something that is unattainable for us mundanes.
Malec feel real, and people see themselves in each of them. They mean a lot to people all around the globe and the fandom desperately wants them back on screen. We agree! In the first in our series of Shadowhunters spinoff ideas, here’s why we think Magnus and Alec deserve a show all of their very own.
Constantin said Shadowhunters can’t exist in the same form, but never said anything about a spinoff.
Remember when Constantin Film said that “it isn’t possible for this version of the show to continue”? We do, and we were paying careful attention to their words. Shadowhunters as we know it might be off the table, but a spinoff isn’t. While it’s clearly very complicated, finding a new home for these characters is entirely possible.
Alec Lightwood once said to us “impossible just means try again.” Well, we agree, Alec. If the right buyer comes along and flashes the right amount of money in front of the powers that be, bringing these characters back to our screens in a new form is possible.
The Malec fans – and there are a lot of them – are very vocal about this: if this is the only option, they want a Malec spinoff. The collective outcry of pain over how much this onscreen couple is missed is quite overwhelming. Even after being cancelled for so long, the Shadowfam tweets about this very issue every single day.
The story is far from over.
Talk to anyone that loves Shadowhunters, and they will tell you that Malec’s storyline was just beginning to scratch the surface. The trajectory of their story arc is a slow burn, and viewers didn’t really get into the nitty-gritty of how Magnus and Alec were going to navigate this relationship until well into season two. Amid the cancellation, there is just so much Malec we didn’t get to see.
For example, Magnus & Alec settling into domesticity: fans were treated to some of these moments in the latter half of season 2 and into season 3 – does anyone remember Alec walking around Magnus’ apartment in his underwear? Lawd, we do!
What about all those times Malec sat down for those very elaborate breakfasts together? Sigh. This aspect of their relationship is so wildly popular with viewers and there are so many untapped moments that fans didn’t get to see – and they desperately want to.
The storyline of Malec playing uncles to Madzie (Ariana Williams) is also extremely popular among fans. This lends itself to the idea that Magnus and Alec could, one day, become parents themselves. We agree that watching Malec with Madzie is ridiculously adorable and we found ourselves exclaiming “Awwww!” when she was around. Would we tune in to see how this plays out if Malec got their own show? Who wouldn’t?
However, it’s not just the domestic life that people love about this couple. Labelled as a power couple, fans are desperate to see how Malec rule over Alicante and systematically dismantle the Clave, and its antiquated practices, from the inside out. Inquisitor Lightwood and the High Warlock of Alicante? Yes, please!
Everyone is dying to know just how Alec got promoted, and what he had to do in order to make sure Magnus could sit alongside him. We all know Warlocks weren’t allowed in Alicante before; those details are omitted from the last episode.
Instead, we were given a “One Year Later” scenario that had the ShadowFam screaming for more. A whole season could be developed around this storyline alone, and fans would eat up every single moment of it.
The fans want it, really really want it.
The ShadowFam labels Malec as one of the healthiest representations of a loving and stable LGBTQ relationship in television history. This is why they’re so incredibly popular. Malec’s relationship is multidimensional; fans see themselves in them. Their relationship isn’t dressed up in television glamor and people are extremely invested in watching them succeed together.
The LGBTQ community really wants it. ShadowFam member Planet Nibs @DramaticDustbin says:
“We would get a fantastic show, led by two queer men in a loving relationship. With straight people as the side characters for once. Shadowhunters gained so many viewers because of Malec and they deserve to lead their own show. We deserve it.”
We couldn’t agree more! Imagine getting to witness two queer men successfully lead and rule a society into a new era. With the Shadow World providing the perfect backdrop of drama, darkness and angst, the plotlines are endless. That sounds like groundbreaking television to us.
However, it’s not just the LGBTQ community screaming for a Malec spinoff. Everyone shipps this couple. They’re far from perfect and definitely encounter their fair share of problems – how many times did we see Alec hightailing it back to Magnus’s apartment to apologize for messing up?
It’s these moments, and these solid, mature, and admirable character traits, that viewers go mad for. It’s okay, Alec. We love watching you apologize. It’s ridiculously adorable! Apologize more!
It’s a sound financial decision.
With a fandom as intensely involved as the Shadowfam, whoever decides to invest in a Malec Shadowhunters spinoff is looking a major cash cow right in the face. This fandom is not afraid to throw money at their show. Look at the Shadowhunters convention lineup over the next year alone: nine upcoming events all around the globe.
The conventions are extravagantly expensive; passes go from hundreds of dollars well into the thousands. And the tickets don’t even necessarily cover everything! Attendees need to buy extras if they want to get up close and personal with their favorite stars – and the Shadowfam doesn’t hold back.
When tickets for big names like Matthew Daddario and Harry Shum Jr. go on sale, fans break the internet trying to get the coveted tickets. The sale of these activities crash convention servers all the time as attendees fight for the passes; they sell out in minutes.
People are throwing thousands and thousands of dollars at these conventions. Right now, they’re operated by companies independent of anyone tied to the show’s production, but that doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. Future investors could easily capitalize on this lucrative opportunity if they wanted to.
Shadowhunters conventions are just one money-making avenue here. Something that Freeflop and Constantin did a terrible job of while Shadowhunters was on the air was the creation and promotion of official show merchandise. While official merchandise did exist, it wasn’t promoted well, and the fandom wasn’t all that taken by the designs.
There are dozens and dozens of fandom-designed merchandise sellers on Redbubble responsible for providing the bulk of the fandom’s merchandise purchases. And purchase they do. A future investor could easily tap into this market and make a killing here.
Something else Shadowhunters never did, which a Malec spinoff could (and should) do is make seasonal holiday specials. Apart from the fact that these would be a huge hit with the fandom, there is potential here to grab extra advertising revenue.
Feature-length holiday specials generally come with a much higher price tag on advertising and product placement opportunities. It’s a win-win for everyone: the fans get feature-length episodes and the show brings in extra cash in advertising. We will never understand why this didn’t happen before! We’re thinking stupidity and naivete.
There are so many money making initiatives that FreeForm and Constantin didn’t pursue. It’s all very frustrating and disappointing, but we’re confident that whoever comes along to save the day will be smarter and wiser than their predecessors.
Magnus is hundreds of years old, so his flashback opportunities are nigh-infinite. There is so much rich content about his life that was left untapped by Shadowhunters, and the fans are definitely here for it. He led an outlandish life before Alec came along, and we can’t help but think it would make for some quality television comedy & drama. Hey Magnus, can we talk about Peru for a moment?
A Malec spinoff would also open up the opportunity to shift the driving force of the show away from the Shadowhunters to the Downworld. That’s not to say that the Shadowhunters wouldn’t pop by from time to time. Given Jace (Dominic Sherwood) and Alec are parabatai and Izzy (Emeraude Tobia) runs the New York Institute, we would bear witness to Lightwood shenanigans often enough.
However, with Magnus and Alec’s mission to unite the Downworld, the potential for new & enigmatic characters and storylines is nothing short of exciting. We imagine Malec will have their hands full as they try to resolve centuries of prejudices and bad blood between the different parties.
Don’t believe us that a Malec spinoff is the way to go? Take a look at what fans had to say about it.
@ClaireDodds894 “Because the last episode jumped a year and we missed so much, a wedding is never an end of a story it’s the beginning of a new chapter together. Malec fans deserve the next chapter.”
@Kevin4661 “More representation of us, LGBTQ! And c’mon, they are just soooo adorable together aren’t they?”
@BigAssSnakeGuy “Because I want to see them settle down and start a family together. I want to see them be happy and enjoy being husbands. I want to see them doing the most mundane of tasks just because it will mean that their story isn’t over.”
@Sarux_CG “There are multiple reasons to want it. The love of Magnus and Alec deserves much more than three seasons. They represent values that are very positive for the world. His story has a lot of future and much more to show. It is impossible not to want them.”
@irisqmagical “Because they mean a lot to many people including me! And they deserved more screen time, instead of so many scenes cut short. Grateful that we had them though but I would like to see more. More domestic malec, more malec working together. Missing them!”
@RJFlamer “I want the spin-off because they were such a positively portrayed Gay couple with really situations that I as a gay man can identify with… I’d love to have seen more with Madsie too! They were so good with her!”
@Nhixxie “The Malec storyline has been written in a way that reflects real life struggles with the Shadow World draped in the background. There may be epic battles and demonic magic, but at the core of it is two people trying to work through seemingly insurmountable differences + they love each other.
“Nothing is perfect and they have to work through the muck of having a relationship just like every other couple out there. They don’t pretend to be happy and perfect all the time; they make their mistakes and learn from them.”
@sian265 “#Malec sets the example for other shows to follow in how to have healthy LGBTQ characters without falling into the traps that most shows set them in! Not to mention their characters have more to share and stories to tell!”
@CaroNahya “Malec as a perfect representation of a healthy relationship, filled with love, trust and respect. We need to see them evolve together, in their new roles, adjust to their lives and grow as a couple (with or without kids, no opinion on that). And honestly they feel like family.”