Paste sat down with Michael Reisz, Shadowhunters executive producer and “Malec” episode writer, to discuss the jaw-dropping scene’s inspiration, his effort to write authentic characters, and the pressure of bringing new life to an already popular LGBT romance amid controversy.
I want to say so many things, but first and foremost thank you Michael Reisz for writing the episode “Malec”, and being such an outstanding advocate for this ship. Above everything I love about how this ship is written on the show is how realistic and organic it feels. It doesn’t feel rushed or hand fisted like some other show’s gay relationships on television are *cough* Teen Wolf *cough*. It took real courage to write this relationship, especially one of the characters is bisexual.
I think this is actually a first on American television, that there was an openly bisexual person in a relationship. I also how you and the show are not taking the easy and predictable roads biphobia, or a Alec/Magnus/Camille love triangle. It means so much not only to me, but to all those young bisexual teens who finally see some representation.
As for Clare herself, I’m going to say that she played a good game. It’s been more than obvious that she only wrote Malec to get a pat on the back, and maybe some recognition at the GLAAD awards. From what I hear (and those who have read all the books correct me if I’m wrong) Magnus and Alec only got a little bit of “screen time” in the books, and the readers barely got to saw their relationship progress. Then add in the biphobia, and yeah the only thing I will give her credit is writing Malec in the first place. Actually Reisz wrote more onscreen development for Malec, then what Clare for the entire series. So kudos to Reisz for doing what Clare wouldn’t do.
ETA: So I am correcting myself here, actually Malec wasn’t the first openly bisexual character to kiss someone of the same-sex on televison. I think “Lost Girl”, and “The 100” did it way before Malec. However, a bisexual person kissing anyone on screen is rare as hell.