The Magicians Season 1 Review
So the first season of The Magicians is over. In case you didn’t see it and are thinking of watching it let me give you a short spoiler-free review of why you SHOULD watch it. The Magicians is based on the novel by Lev Grossman. The story follows Quentin Coldwater (Jason Ralph) as he attends Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy, a school where he learns magic. Just in case you think this is some sort of Harry Potter, well at the end of the first episode the headmaster has his eyes gauged out by the mysterious antagonist known as The Beast. The Magicians doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to mauling, death, sex and broken relationships.
The show is certainly not afraid of countering most story-telling tropes. Most of the action is seen through the eyes of Quentin, he can be wrong on many issues, quick to anger and absolutely ruin relationships. In short, The Magicians has a sense of reality with the intent of putting its characters through a veritable gauntlet of painful development. The show keeps its focus through Quentin’s quest to defeat The Beast and find the magical land of Fillory. Meanwhile Quentin’s childhood friend Julia Wicker (Stella Maeve) takes a different path as she is refused by Brakebills College and is recruited by a secret magical society. Some of the plot development feels random initially, but Lev has written an complicated story and show runners Sera Gamble and John McNamara have maintained this and even added material. At times at the cost of its pacing.
Yet, despite the brazen storytelling The Magicians is not without its flaws. At times the characters performs illogical actions or suddenly have a history that feels ret-conned. The pacing can be awkward and at times the pace is just insane with character actions following each other at great speed. Often, I felt confused. With internet and Wikipedia you can easily retrace an episode but then I discovered from reading episode summaries that I often missed something or had made an incorrect interpretation of events. The Magicians can thus be frustrating to watch, but when it is good it is very good. With the first season of The Magicians over the question is where will the show go from here. So far author Lev Grossman has written three novels with the first season covering about two-thirds of the first novel. Thus it looks as though Syfy has found yet another major franchise that can act as a tent pole next to The Expanse.
The Magicians has been renewed for a second season also consisting of 13 episodes. The season will air sometime on 2017. I hope the cast will be enlarged as I was sad to see actress Laura Fraser only got limited screen time in the first episode. This show definitely deserves to get higher viewer ratings. This was The Magicians Season 1 Review. I hope you made your mind up!