After watching the first episode, I whispered to myself, is this a Narnia-meets-Harry Potter story with an older cast? I haven’t read Lev Grossman’s books from which the show is based on, so I will be commenting on the show as it is. And with similarities from stories that I have read, I didn’t put much hopes on it.
The cast is lead by Jason Ralph who stars as Quentin Coldwater, a college student who was enrolled in Brakebills University for Magical Pedagogy. He has been a fan of the book series Fillory and Fuller and will eventually find out that the stories he loved are more than just childhood tales. Stella Maeve plays Julia Wicker, Quentin’s bestfriend who shared with love with the books but failed to be admitted to Brakebills. Olivia Taylor Dudley takes the role of Quentin’s classmate and love interest, Alice Quinn.
Joining the three as main cast members are Hale Appleman, Summer Bishil and Arjun Gupta who plays fellow Brakebill students, Eliot Waugh, Margo Hanson, and Penny Adiyodi respectively.
Though, I was not too excited with how the series started, the show eventually builded up and left me with my jaw ajar as the first season ended. The show is definitely for more mature audiences because of scenes that are not suited for people who easily gets squeamish with a bit of gore. The premise of the show may have had involved a childhood story but it brought out a more grim side of that fairytale.
The interactions between the characters also fun to watch. Character-wise, Quentin’s “the-boy-who-lived” or “chosen one” and Alice’s “prodigy” and “gifted” female personas exudes too much Harry Potter. But with the added touch of snarkiness from Margo and Penny, and flayboyance from Eliot, the show gets more amusing. Julia’s story also breaks away to the “school for magicians” theme.
For me, who likes fantasy, it is an entertaining watch.
You can catch The Magicians on Iflix. You can catch new episodes on Thursdays. Season Two is on its last three.