There are things that just stick with you once you done with them. You know the kind the ones that you think about during of the day or in the middle of night when you can’t sleep. Entertainment of any kind can do that to you. Over the last year three TV shows have done that to me. They are the Netflix series Marvels: Jessica Jones (for obvious reasons I think), Mr Robot and todays review The Magicians.
Like my previous TV review on Shadowhunters, The Magicians is based off a book series by Lev Grossman. I do own a copy of the book but lent it out before reading it to my sister-in-law and have since bought a copy of the audiobook which has just become available on audible and have almost finished listening to it. I also have gotten the second book in the series now that Magician King.
Admittedly I torrented the first episode when the show was first aired as it was not available here in Australia and I couldn’t get invested in it to begin with it but I think that was again due to distractions and maybe a little to do with the quality of the torrent. It has become available here and I bought a season pass via iTunes and though only six episodes available so far I am enjoying it.
The show consists of 13 episodes and airs on Syfy. It is created for TV and produced in part by Sera Gamble who I know from my love of Supernatural and despite what she did with that show and the dislike most Supernatural fans have for her I have to say she is doing a good job so far with The Magicians. Like most adaptations is has deviated from the source material but for the better.
Speaking of the material it has been described as being like Harry Potter for adults or Harry Potter at university. Both are accurate to a certain extent. The story is about friends Quentin Coldwater (Jason Ralph) and Julia Wicker (Stella Maeve) who after attending a failed interview for Princeton (failed because the interviewer died) are instead whisked away to sit an entrance exam for Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy. Quentin is accepted and Julia is not and is supposedly wiped of her memory of the experience.
It show follows their experiences Quentin’s at Brakebills and Julia’s in New York as she remembers Brakebills and learns magic from Hedgewitches, led by Marina (Kacey Rohl). Quentin makes friends with Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley), Eliot (Hale Appleman) and Margo (Summer Bishel) and is frenemies with Penny (Arjun Gupta).
As mentioned the show has deviated from the book in so much as Penny has a bigger part in the story than he initially did in the book and that is a much better character, so much so that he is probably my favourite of the main cast. They have added a the character of Marina and another called Kady (Jade Tailor). The main antagonist is a character called The Beast (Charles Measure) but he is much more scarier in the show.
The staff at Brakebills are aware of him from the beginning, however, unlike they are in the book. The staff including the Dean of Brakebills, Henry Fogg (Rick Worthy), teacher Pearl Sunderland (Anne Dudek) and the mysterious Eliza (Esme Bianco) who has been assisting Quentin from the beginning, seem to think that there is something special about Quentin, Alice and Penny as it relates to The Beast.
All in all this a very enjoyable show and I recommend it highly.