Ever since the whole Harry Potter phenomenon the world of magic has in the forefront in film and television. Everyone is trying to cash in on the popularity. Exactly the same thing happened with vampires and apocalyptic films/television. That is not necessarily a bad thing as long as what is coming out is quality.With The Magicians the premise is a cool one (a parallel magical world existing alongside the one most humans know about) but the execution of that idea leaves much to be desired.
The Magicians is based upon the New York Times (fake news!!) best seller list novel by Lev Grossman. We begin with two friends – Quentin Coldwater (played by Jason Ralph) and Julia Wicker (played by Stella Maeve) – are interested in magic. This has been the case since childhood. But both are focusing on applying for grad school. Quentin is a genius so he is thinking of the Yale or Harvard route. Suddenly he and are writing entrance exams for Brakebills. Brakebills is a secret upstate New York college which takes select students who show abilities in magic.
Quentin gets in while Julia doesn’t. Their lives go very different ways as a result though magic is still part of it.
There is a modern feel to the show which is quite good. The language is up to date and at times salty (if you catch my drift) sounding quite age appropriate. Plenty of attention has been paid to making the characters behave like 20-somethings actually do. They have sex, drink, are filled with angst, and do drugs. It is a time of experimenting and messing up.
What I could not sink my teeth into were the personalities of the magic doing kids. They are all rather odd (and not in a good way) and unrelatable. It all might have worked if more of the emphasis was put on Julia rather than Quentin. Maybe it is because nary an explanation is made about why a character behaves the way they do. As a result the characters all seem rather childish most of the time with all their brooding and yelling. It is almost as if they have made them so you could not possibly like any of them.
Though there is action and magic stuff happening somehow I found my attention drifting off at times. I think that plenty of the plot turns or action sequences that happen do not have the impact hoped for.
-The World of The Magicians