We poured ourselves a pitcher of our new favorite cocktail The Brakebills Gimlet and settled in to watch The Magicians on syfy. From the advance trailers we were guardedly optimistic, but we’ve been let down before. Some shows start with a whimper, but The Magicians started (and ended) with a BANG! Episode 1 set the pace with an introduction to Quentin Coldwater, Brakebills University, the magical world of Fillory and…..The Beast. We were under The Magicians’ spell almost immediately. We recap and review here:
Quentin (Jason Ralph) and his best friend’s girl Julia (Stella Maeve) are both on the way to their Yale interviews when they get waylaid and end up sitting for entrance into Brakebills University of Magic instead. Quentin performs well, but Julia…not so much.
Quentin is ushered through the hallowed halls of Brakebills where he meets fellow Magicians-In-Training Eliot (Hale Appleman), Margo (Summer Bishil), Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley) and the often shirtless Penny (Arjun Gupta).
As Quentin embarks of an official magical education, Julia takes a different path. She remembers magic, but can’t touch it, which is driving her a little nuts.
But magic isn’t all fancy parties and unlimited froyo in the magical cafeteria.
Quentin and his classmates have accidentally conjured something that’s pure evil. Enter The Beast.
And this is just the FIRST episode!
The Magicians TV isn’t following the book faithfully, but we certainly didn’t expect it to. Actually some of the criticism of book is it’s slow pacing, which doesn’t work for everyone. Well, they’ve clearly solved that problem! It’s GO from the first few minutes of the show right up to the chilling end. The look, feel and virtual texture of The Magicians all work. There is a darkness just under the surface of the beautiful special effects that I can’t wait to delve into. Lev Grossman should be proud of how The Magicians was artfully pulled from page to screen.
The Magician has what it takes to be a MUST WATCH staple. If they can keep the spell going next week and beyond, we’ll be glued to our couches.
Join us next week for more Magicians watching and Live tweeting. Follow along at #YAWDrinking. See you next Monday.
If you missed the first episode you can watch online here.