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Review of Syfy's The Magicians

Quintin, the main character in Syfy's The Magicians When I first heard about Syfy's The Magicians, I was a little skeptical. I first thought it was just another Harry Potter.

Don't get me wrong; I have nothing against Harry Potter. In fact, my wife is a huge Potterhead, but when I heard that Syfy was creating a series about Magicians, I didn't have high hopes.

In fact, 5 episodes in, I still don't have high hopes. A friend of mine wanted to read the book summer of last year, and I didn't think much of it.

However, I bit the bullet (read: I was bored) and watched the first episode on Syfy.com. The beginning was a bit rough, as the main character was a bit timid. I will admit that having main characters timid at first is nice, so they can build up from there. But the main character doesn't get better!

The main character (to me) looks like Jim Carrey mixed with Jared Padalecki (Supernatural). He was in the hospital for something, and now he was trying to get an interview for grad school, which turned out to be a setup. He was then "handed" a mysterious (and missing) 6th book of a "Narnia" series, which the last page flies away and he chases it - into the magical campus of a magical university called Brakebills.

I won't give away too much, but I will do a quick comparison list:

Pros

  • The series itself includes a lot of adult themes (which Omega Noir has)
  • It introduces classes, which allows me to get a better perspective of how the classes work
  • Magic isn't limited to the elements (elements, telepathy, psychics, etc)

Cons

  • Time moves at an unknown speed (there aren't any transistions to tell you when an hour has passed versus 3 months)
  • The primary plot is very confusing (subplots include the Beast, Allison's dead brother, Quintin's friend getting into a rival magic group, the rival magic group has double agents in the school, Quintin's issue with the hospital, etc)
  • Summoning magic takes spells, but looks like Naruto instead
  • There is "Battle Magic", but it's only used once, and never brought up again
  • The rival magic group has powerful magic, but it's confusing how their structure is and what they are supposed to do (especially operating out of the back of a minimarket)
  • The main character (Quintin) is too timid, and is unsure of himself all the time
  • Syfy allowed the F word to be said, but then bleeped it out on production (although the S word is thrown in and is uncensorred a lot)
  • There are only 2 professors: the headmaster (or counslor - I couldn't tell), and one other professor - who gets meaninglessly killed in the first episode, in which case the headmaster/counslor subs! (There is a recruting agent, but I am completely unsure of her role, aside from assessing Quintin)
  • 5 episodes in, and (aside from the multiple subplots) there are too many characters introduced, and it's getting hard to separate them and figure out who does what (aside from Quintin, Penny, and Allison, who seem to be the most frequently recurring characters)


I'm sure there are more Pros and Cons, but this is the list that I have as of this posting.

If you are enjoying the series, please let me know, as I am still on the fence about it. If you have read the book, please let me know if it's better than the TV series or not.

On a semi-positive note, I've thought about my own magical series, and what can and can't be done. The weird thing is that if "Harry Potter" and "The Magicians" got together and had a kid, it'd be "Omega Noir". It's nice, but a little unsettling.

(And if you're wondering, I have not read the Harry Potter series yet, because Omega Noir was going to be based on Harry Potter, but I didn't want it to be a copy-and-paste result. I will read HP after I'm done with Omega Noir)


Tags:#themagicians, #syfy, #magic, #supernatural