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Just before long-awaited season 3B cast its first nets on the Shadowfam, we asked some dedicated 'Shadowhunters' fans about their experiences with the show.

Fans cast their lots as to why ‘Shadowhunters’ S3B can’t be the last hunt

Throughout Film Daily’s journey to save our favorite shows from the ashes of cancellation, we’ve had the immense privilege of reading some incredible, life-affirming stories from fans around the globe.

You’ve got a broken heart fixed by a stirring romance, seen your community represented on screen for the very first time, and even found a remedy for mental health issues in the adventures of various groups of plucky misfits. Now long-awaited (and carelessly delayed) season 3B has aired – beforehand, we asked some dedicated Shadowhunters fans about their experiences with the show.

The responses were overwhelming: detailed, passionate, and deeply personal. We were incredibly moved by the sheer volume of responses and regret we won’t be able to showcase them all. Needless to say, the Shadowfam is comprised of the best of the best, and we’re so thrilled to consider ourselves a part of this vibrant and supportive community.

What drew you to Shadowhunters?

@LeesyPeesy28: “It was a Netflix algorithm that showed me Shadowhunters. I watched the trailer and got really interested. After the first episode I bingewatched it over and over again.”

@DianaLorenaDav3: “I was a fan of the books way before the show even started. I knew that the show wasn’t going to follow the books every step of the way, so I didn’t have very high expectations – but once I saw the first episode I was hooked.”

@orca122: “I was having a miserable pregnancy, experiencing nausea from 5pm until bedtime. So for about 9 1/2 months I was bedridden at night. I was binging so much TV and I happened to stumble upon Shadowhunters.”

What about the show makes it so special?

@zeejade88: “This show has united so many people from across the world in a way that I’ve only witnessed in the Star Trek fandom before. Additionally, it was the first time I saw a bisexual character in a show that wasn’t presenting the character as overly promiscuous or just finding their way to being flat-out gay.”

@cbwentworth: “No matter who you are, where you’re from, what you look like, your sexuality, your body type, your skin color, gender, your strengths and weaknesses . . . you will see yourself on Shadowhunters. Whether it’s the scrappy nerd from Brooklyn or the bisexual warlock who is afraid of having his heart broken, we are all represented.”

@OumyLightwood: “The way it deals with real, raw everyday issues so seamlessly, whether it’s sexual identity, race, mental issues, or addiction.”

@writeywritey: “The characters. The main eight are rich and complex, vibrant and endlessly interesting – they have so much potential and so much life. They make me laugh, they break my heart, they make me believe in love.”

What was the most frustrating thing about the way your show was cancelled?

@zeejade88: “First of all, the show was only just starting to hit its stride when it was cancelled, in pride month, by a network that claims to be very interested in LGBTQ+ representation and wants to be seen as an ally for underrepresented groups. However, nothing has been more frustrating than the complete and utter disregard Freeform has had for the show, its cast and its fandom.”

@_LightwoodBane_: “The downright unfairness of it. The cast and crew weren’t even notified beforehand. Everyone was blindsided and heartbroken.”

@cbwentworth: “Aside from disappointment, the frustration from the ’wall of silence’ is testing even the most stalwart fans. Despite all of our efforts, the response we get is absolute silence. For me this is not only an issue for Shadowhunters, but an issue between networks and viewers that has long been brewing.”

Have you made friends in the fandom?

@lovelyshums: “I have made a ton of friends, so many of which are incredible and wonderful people. I count myself very lucky to have met all these amazing people through this show.”

@Tenshi_no_Akuro: “Oh yes, we have! We are good friends with Lucifans. Scorpions fandom supports us as well, and we made a #Shadowearpers movement with fans of Wynonna Earp. When one journalist wanted to make a fight between Daredevil fans and us, we instead became friends and signed petitions to save each other’s shows.”

Committed fans are feeling nonplussed after 'Shadowhunters' was cancelled by Freeform in June. Their rage is palpable and justified.

How did you make friends?

@MalecFicLibrary: “The majority of my friends in the Shadowhunters fandom were made online, primarily during the #SaveShadowhunters campaign. However, I did get a coworker and her daughter hooked on the show and we frequently bond over it.”

@lovelyshums: “My friends already watched the show from the beginning even though they weren’t as invested in it as I. But I found so many people on Twitter who shared my love for the show and I became friends with them.”

Have you attended any fandom events? Which ones?

@cbwentworth: “In July 2018, I attended The Italian Institute Convention in Milan, Italy. It was an amazing experience and unlike any convention I have ever attended. When we call ourselves the Shadowfam, we mean it. The love, joy, and camaraderie are deeply felt – in many ways it felt more like a family reunion than a fan convention.”

@wckdmeg: “I have been to NYCC 2017 and 2018. I was able to meet Matthew Daddario, Alisha Wainwright, Katherine McNamara, and Isaiah Mustafa outside of NYCC in 2017. It was an amazing experience I will never forget.”

How did the show get you through dark times?

@sh_wanderlust: “Magnus and Alec were, for a long time, the only confirmation I had that I can still feel, that I’m still human. They’ve been and continue to be my anchor when everything is crashing down on me.”

@cbwentworth: “Six members of my family and circle of friends passed away in the span of just a few years. I was in a constant state of grief as I dealt with a new loss every few months. That amount of grief in such a short period of time was devastating and I found myself falling deeper and deeper into a darkness I couldn’t escape.

“I needed something to remind me that the grief shouldn’t swallow me whole. That’s where Shadowhunters came into play. Having something to look forward to made all the difference in the world. For an hour each week, I got a chance to live outside of the grief and experience emotions beyond those of loss and sadness.”

@sabrixxvanss: “At the beginning of 2018 I was dealing with anorexia. I was hospitalized several times before watching the show. At one point I had permission for staying at home for a few months, and my classmate talked to me about Shadowhunters. I literally watched 22 episodes in two days.

“I stopped thinking about food, weight and calories when the characters were on my screen; I was so focused on their problems that I forgot mine. I am currently 100% recovered. In December 2018, I went from Spain to London to fulfill my dream. I met the cast, including Matt Daddario. When he listened to my story, he hugged me and told me he was proud of me.”

How did the fandom support you in times of need?

@irisadler379: “I’ve always been on the peripheries of fandom. Shadowhunters changed all that as I got to know one person, then another. Like in real life, some are casual friends, people I wave at when I see them pop up on Twitter or Discord. Others are much more. Found family is something I’m very passionate about in my fandoms, and through Shadowhunters, I’ve found a family.”

@writeywritey: “They helped me get through the process of grieving the cancellation, honestly. And I needed them for that. I’ve never been hit so hard by the ending of a show.”

Have you ever read fanfiction from members of the fandom?

@enthusiasm85: Yes! Absolutely! I love too many authors to name, but I am one of Lecrit’s biggest fangirls. She and several others in the writing community have inspired me to start writing fanfiction myself. (My username on AO3 is Coveswena). Two stories that stand out in my mind and heart are ’Of Splendor in the Grass’ by Lecrit and ’Unlocked’ by Evil_Keshi.”

@lovelyshums: “Although I have read so many good ones, my favorite has to be ’Appassionato’ by Chonideno. I read this in one sitting at about 2 in the morning and loved every single thing about it. It’s beautifully written, its own piece of art.”

With our tissues at the ready, we trepidatiously watched 'Shadowhunters' S3e20 “City of Glass”, and it was another doozy of an episode.

What lengths have you gone to to save your show?

@mellyb6: “I have written emails (oh, so many emails!) to Netflix, to Freeform, to other networks to ask them to save the show. I have also written emails to Freeform’s sponsors to let them know how unprofessional the network has been. I have donated money to The Trevor Project through the @ShadowMerch initiative and I have also donated some money to special projects to ask networks to save the show.”

@F_F_podcast: “Honestly I am not sure there are many more lengths we can go to.
We have raised over $30,000 for charity. We have tweeted over 19 million times.
We have over 164,000 signatures on a petition to continue this show. We have had vast and ongoing international media coverage, 95% of which agrees that cancelling Shadowhunters is the dumbest decision they have ever witnessed.

“It is out of our hands at this point. All we can do is continue to make networks aware of the fact that we are still here, that this show is important. And that any network would be lucky to have us and the show.”

What lengths will you go to in order to save your show?

@Angela55117916: “Honestly, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do to save this show. Nothing.”

@OumyLightwood: “I’m in it to win it. I don’t see myself ever giving up on the show, so as long as a shadow of the #SaveShadowhunters campaign remains, I’ll be here letting people know about how this show changed my life, donating whatever little I can, making sure everyone who ever worked on the show knows how much their work is appreciated.”

Is there a charity that your fandom is supporting? How has your fandom helped support that charity?

@KathrynLaprade: “We have donated over $32,000 to the charities we support. And we will continue to raise money. The money will be used for young people and teens to get help or support as they are dealing with the different things that LGBTQ people go through. Many of these children feel suicidal and we want to get across that they are loved and accepted for who they are.”

@xhollie_sealeyx: “The Trevor Project is an organization which provides crisis intervention services to LGBTQ+ youth. If anyone reading this article does need someone to talk to, their number is: 1 866 488 7386.”

What else would you like to add?

@irisadler379: “Because of Shadowhunters, I’ve fallen in love in a healthy, interracial, MLM ship. Because of Shadowhunters, I’ve felt seen and represented. Because of Shadowhunters, I’ve rediscovered my passions and been reminded all over again that there is nothing wrong with being a loud, enthusiastic person with zero chill.”

@OumyLightwood: “Coming to terms with my sexuality has always been a sore subject for me. It was always this part of me that I knew existed, but that I actively ignored. Watching Shadowhunters and following Alec’s journey was the first time in a long time that I felt heard. I’ll never give up on trying to save this show, but in case it’s not meant to be, I find solace in the fact that it made the path for me, and plenty of young people like me, a little brighter.”

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