I spent far too much time last weekend trolling for something to watch. It turns out, my Netflix queue is pretty dark, and I wasn’t in the mood for anything too grim. I ended up picking up The Magicians again, which is a show I have a bit of an on-again off-again relationship with. Whenever I come back to it, I fall in and wonder why I kept putting off watching it.
In case you haven’t heard of The Magicians, here’s what IMDB has to say: “After being recruited to a secretive academy, a group of students discover that the magic they read about as children is very real-and more dangerous than they ever imagined.” That… sums it up rather nicely. I wish I’d thought to check IMDB for the other shows I summed up awkwardly. What can I say, long form is more my thing. 😉
I’ve tried watching The Magicians when it airs on Syfy, but as you may recall from a previous post… weekly viewings are not my favorite way to consume TV shows. So, I tend to wait until a new season pops up on Netflix to catch up. I’m not sure how long Season 4 was available before I realized it, but apparently Season 5 wrapped up this month, so… I’m a bit behind. I started watching Season 4 but after few episodes ended up rolling it all the way back to the beginning of Season 1.
Watching the pilot, I remembered how I stopped and started it a few times, having trouble getting into it until the very last scene… which completely hooked me. If you’ve ever tried watching The Magicians and couldn’t get through the first episode, I urge you to try again. Watch it all the way through, and if you still don’t want to advance to Episode 2, then the show may not be for you.
There’s something about re-watching a series you like that’s almost magical, especially if it’s been a while. I discovered I’d forgotten so much of what happened that it was almost like watching it for the first time again. And yet, I still noticed things that I didn’t pick up the first time around and reasons behind things that happened that I didn’t quite get before, probably because there were long gaps between binges.
But I think the thing I like most about The Magicians is it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Sure, it can get tense, but there are quips and pop culture references that make it entertaining, relatable, and relevant. If I had a nickel for every Star Trek or Game of Thrones reference… okay, I’d probably have about a dollar. But they do pop up. The show is also inclusive, with one of the principal characters being gay, and it doesn’t shy away from depictions of love between men. (Granted, poor Eliot sure has bad luck when it comes to love.) It also has a unique magic system involving mathematics and hand gestures that is super cool.
In the end, The Magicians may not be Emmy-winning television, but it is one of my favorite shows. And I’m glad I discovered two new seasons waiting for me when I needed something a little lighter. (Not that it doesn’t get pretty dark at times, but there’s always light to be found somewhere!)