i haven't been on the shadow and bone train as long as everyone else, i only recently got into it in the past couple of years at the latest but i immediately knew it was something i would've been obsessed with in high school and i still enjoyed it immensely. so i was beyond excited when i heard it was being turned into a show AND WHEN THEY ANNOUNCED BEN BARNES AS THE DARKLING. WHOOOOOO DADDY.
but i digress.
i recently binged the show because i didn't want to be spoiled by tumblr or twitter. even if you've never read the books i think you'd enjoy the show. there were definitely a couple of moments where i realized i only understood what was going on because i'd read the books but otherwise i think just about anyone can follow along. i thought it was really sweet that they gave leigh bardugo her couple moments on screen (and they gifted her purple keftas it was so cute).
i thought the acting was great, especially for a cast of people who were largely unknown and i'm so eager to see what they bring to season 2. the effects were wonderful and netflix really went all out with their special effects. there was no secondhand embarrassment.
archie renaux did such a good job of making mal more likeable than the books (like he was fine in the books but he was way better in the show) and the tension between him and alina was more believable than whatever the two of them had going on for the first two books. i personally didn't think there was a lot of tension between the darkling and alina and i think that's partly because of the giant age gap between ben barnes and jessie mei li, and also because they're such good friends in real life that you could tell in the show.
i could go on and on about ben barnes because i'm in love with the man. his hair was spectacular. gorgeous. he was so handsome. his acting was so good. when he said to alina "you look lovely" i was ready to swoon (but that's because i love ben barnes).
i feel like i'm using a lot of words to say nothing but i feel like there's no way to describe it. it was a ride and it was enjoyable and you'll get sucked into the story. i think the only criticism i have was that i hate how netflix sticks to 8 episode seasons. i feel like if they had expanded to 12 it would've done more for really bringing you into the world and story and getting you settled. as it is it's still good but it feels like you've just gotten used to the world building and the little palace and the darkling before everything immediately goes tits up.
the crows were wonderful. i absolutely cannot describe how much i love freddy carter as kaz brekker. he's phenomenal. something about that man's cheekpoints, the serious murderous look on his face and that trillby of his in the show in combination with his limping strut has me fascinated. the energy he gives off like you literally can't stop staring at him. i'd watch any future movie or show that freddy played as some sort of mafia gangster or what have you.
and i cannot emphasize enough his perfect bone structure.
anyway go watch shadow and bone. it's only 8 hours of your life. you won't regret it.