Monday, February 8, 2016

Syfy's The Magicians

I've been sitting around the past couple of days wondering what my next post should cover, since I've been finding it difficult to read and nurse at the same time. The little munchkin likes to punch the book and lose my page, so it's slow going. Then I realized what I've been doing for the past two weeks - binge-watching good TV! Bryan and I are finally making our way through The West Wing at a respectable pace, pretending to keep up with current events via Stephen Colbert and The Daily Show, and devouring Syfy's small screen adaptation of Lev Grossman's trilogy The Magicians.

Let's talk about The Magicians. The first three episodes are streaming for free here, and the fourth airs tonight at 9/8c. I am in love. I've lost track of the number of times I've watched the first three episodes at this point, because it's too hard to wait a week to see the next one. (Why wasn't this a Netflix original series?! I need them all now!) I'm feeling the need to read the books again, too, so I've definitely got to figure out that skill ASAP. The show is nowhere near a perfect replica of the books, but to me, that's okay. As Bryan pointed out, it's like the movie they made for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - not an exact match in content or tone to the source material, but lovable all the same. It stands alone.

Aside from the superb writing that went into it, this show works because of the talented, diverse cast the producers pulled together. There aren't many recognizable names involved, but for me, that just means that I'm totally sucked into the universe. I'm not distracted by watching some big deal pretend to be Quentin; Jason Ralph simply is Quentin at this point. To be honest, very few of the actors look anything like what I imagined (a little more glamorous than the nerds described in the books), but they all handle their roles well. In my mind, there are two absolutely perfect casting choices: Hale Appleman is Eliot through and through, and I didn't even need to wait for anyone to say her name to know that when Olivia Taylor Dudley showed up on screen, she was playing Alice. It took some convincing for me to accept the rest of the cast, but once I saw how well they worked together, I was hooked.

One small note, for anyone who wants to dive into this show: watch the first two episodes back-to-back. They're essentially one gigantic episode, and without its second half, the pilot is a bit choppy. That shouldn't be hard to manage, though - once The Beast shows up at the end of the first episode, it's almost impossible not to find out what happens next.

A last update before I conclude: I do not get a list of email addresses associated with the mailing list. So, if you want to stay updated on posts, rest assured that your information is as secure as anything else powered by Google!

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