'Shadowhunters': The Malec Kiss

Shadowhunters, a new series on ABC’s Freeform, just finished its first season on air. A 13 episode run, the show’s first season follows the first novel in The Mortal Instruments book series by Cassandra Clare. While there are some changes between the novels and the television episodes – as is to be expected – the show does carry the same heart and adventure as the original story.

Since the first time Harry Shum Jr. and Matthew Daddario stepped on camera together in the show, as Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood respectively, their chemistry has been through the roof. They play off each other extremely well while portraying complete justice for their characters.

A large sub-plotline within the show follows Alec coming to terms with his sexuality, his feelings towards his parabatai Jace, and his mutual attraction with Magnus. He constantly tries to suppress his feelings by refusing to accept who he is. It isn’t until he begins to spend more time with Magnus – who flirts with him unapologetically – that he begins to act more comfortable in his own skin. However, in a move to try and save the weight of his family’s name, he agrees to marry Lydia, another shadowhunter from the shadowhunter home country Idris.

With the wedding planning in full swing, Magnus is unable to toss away his strong feelings for Alec and realizes that he cannot let him marry someone else – especially when it would bury who he really is. He crashes the wedding – at Isabel’s (Alec’s sister) invitation – to convince Alec to be with him. Alec, unable to deny himself any longer, stops the wedding despite his mother’s qualms and meets Magnus in the middle of the aisle where they share their first kiss. Watch the entire scene below:

Now, for a teen fantasy series, this may not seem like a big deal – two lovers finally coming together – however this is a big deal for LGBTQ+ representation in the general media. Having two openly queer characters displaying a positive example of a same-sex relationship on screen will be inspiring not only for viewers but hopefully other television writers as well. Seeing the amount of positive responses these characters are getting could encourage other writers to write more fully formed queer characters rather than continuing to write stereotypes that often do more harm than offer positive representation.

As the first season draws to a close, we can only hope ‘Malec’ continue to thrive in the rest of the series and that other shows will get the hint that we need better representation like this.