SPOILER WARNING! ~MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD~
The Magicians premiered last night, January 25, 2016, the show is based on the novel, by Lev Grossman. The premise of the show is Quentin Coldwater enrolls at Bakerbills College for Magical Pedagogy to be trained as a magician, where he discovers that the magical world from his favorite childhood friend Julia is derailed when she is denied entry, and she searches for magic elsewhere.
For not having cable, I sure do watch a lot! In the opening scenes we meet Quentin (Jason Ralph) and find out his having a hard time going on in life, but he has an up coming interview. We also meet Julia (Stella Maeve) who Quentin is attracted to but Julia has a boyfriend. The interview ends up being a bust, in which a dead body is discovered- who turns out was diabetic shock-but them magic starts happening.
Before they know it, Quentin and Julia find themselves taking the entrance exam to Bakerbills. There were a few moments as the show continued on, such as Eliot Waugh (Hale Appleman) says something to the effect “That’s what they don’t tell you, magic doesn’t come from talent, it comes from pain” I thought that was such a unique idea to present to an audience in the pilot episode.
We also get to meet our villain, referred to as the Beast, he appears with a ton of moths flying around him, so we never see his face. Very mysterious! We learn that this guy is a good old fashioned meanie, and he has an not so epic battle with the “headmaster” (I’m not sure if he actually was the headmaster of the school) and the headmaster looses big time. His injuries result in loosing his sight and use of his hands. But he’s not dead so thats something!
We also start to see something that is called Battle Magic, I’m going to assume it’s a class of spells that when casted do signifiant harm. The students at the school are not to cast them as our hero, Quentin, finds out.
One of the characters I really liked was Alice, if you’ve read the book, it’s apparently common to think it was a miss casting, but I really liked her. She reminded me of an older Alice in Wonderland. I also thought the special effects they did for her creating a mini horse out of ice was super stinking cool.
Actually all of the special effects were really on point. I like that we are now to this place where high quality special effects can be in a tv show, not just in movies. Especially in a show that is about magic, those special effects could make it or break it.
What I don’t like/I don’t understand is the sub-story line of Julia. Julia failed the entrance exam and wasn’t allowed into the school. They erased her memory, but she cut her arm so she would remind herself magic was real. Then she freaks her boyfriend out by acting weird, and finally she end up in a meat locker cutting some dead dudes gut open for mutton to cast a spell with. I just don’t understand where it’s going or why I should care. For me I am far more interested in Quentin & friend’s story. After two episodes I should know why I care about Julia and her story and I just don’t.
I was also impressed in the script writing for the show, there wasn’t really anything corny or over the top, it all kinda seemed real, as in it could happen in real life and my friends and I could have those same conversations. Which I found very refreshing, and hope the writers continue with.
I am very interested to see where this show goes, and to maybe go read that book it’s based off of now (because it’s not like I don’t have a ton of books I’m reading right now or anything! haha). I think out of the new shows I have watched recently, this is the one I am the most impressed with and left wanting to find out more. Not just about the story and characters but also the world in which the characters live.