Last night I had a typical conversation with Caitlin. I showed her the trailer for The Magicians. Her reaction was pretty close to mine, initially.
“Ew. No. It looks derpy.”
I get it. Syfy has never been a pinnacle for good television.
Let’s just get this out of the way – the first few episodes are not great television.
- The actors fall flat. The first season of shows tend to feel weird. The Magicians cast is not well-known. The chemistry feels off at times and the characters themselves feel silly. This can be remedied.(I am hoping it will be during hiatus.)
- You were expecting Harry Potter and ended up feeling like you were given meth. Seriously. It’s hard to love this show when you are waiting for Hermione to tell Penny to stop taking all the drugs and start focusing on his traveling abilities. Let’s just agree that Harry Potter is not The Magicians and leave it in the Room of Requirement.
- Magicians. This is a new magical experience. It feels weird. No one likes magicians, they feel douchey.
- Sex, drugs, booze, sentence enhancement words. The actors are adults playing post-grad collegiates. These things feel like gimmicks. They are at first. Being inundated with all of this will pay off. Just keep trying.
- Putting glasses on the obviously hot blonde girl does not make her look like a nerd. Stop trying to pull that Syfy.
Okay, the complaints are reasonable. I agree. I continued because the story was different. Now, here is why I think you should try it again before Monday evening’s finale:
- The story is interesting. (Remember, we left Harry at Hogwarts.) This is Brakebills. Brakebills has Eliott and Margo. We have weird gang-style finger movements that I will not take seriously until later, but damn, they are still pretty entertaining.
- We are given adult scenarios. I can take anything you throw at me, as long as it makes sense. This story does make sense. I am not avoiding sex. I am not pretending people don’t get high and drunk. Bad decisions are made at Brakebills, yo.
- Penny. Arjun Gupta is the guy to watch here. This is his role. He was made for greatness. Arjun has been on Nurse Jackie and How to Get Away With Murder. He has range. Plus, he gets all the action. Go Penny!
- Fillory. Our lead, Quentin, (played by Jason Ralph) has been obsessed with a book about kids who go to a magical school in a place called Fillory. Fillory is pretty amazing. Fillory may be real.
- The Beast – Oh, yeah, there’s this really bad magical dude who kills a lot of people in episode 1. It’s pretty nasty stuff. He’s called The Beast and he continues killing. Q and the gang have to figure out why and how to stop him.
It does come together. It’s crazy at times, but just enough that it holds my attention. Then, about halfway through season 1 magic happened. It got good. The last episodes have been great stories. If the cast can just find that sweet spot then this show will be fabulous. It’s still season 1. Every show gets a terrible season. This is it. Come on, Magicians, I am rooting for you!