Show: The Magicians
How much I’ve seen: Season 1
You should watch it if you like: The book series its based on, Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia
Where you can stream it: Unfortunately, I don’t think you can. Syfy, like FX, is too restrictive about streaming their shows.
The second season of The Magicians started last night, and it completely snuck up on me. I had no clue it was on last night until this morning. I really liked season one of this show. Maybe even more than the book series by Lev Grossman that the show is based on.
I don’t like spoiling too much of a show by talking too much about it, but the premise of the show is too interesting not to describe. If you’re the type of person that likes to know as little as possible going into something, stop reading now and just go find a way to watch season 1.
I was thinking about how I’d describe the concept of this show, and it made me think of the Codex Alera book series by Jim Butcher. Butcher was challenged that he couldn’t make a good book out of a bad idea, and Butcher said he could do it with two bad ideas instead. The bad ideas were “Pokémon” and “Lost Roman Legion” and he made not just a good book, but a whole 6 book series out of it. The Magicians is kind of like that, except the ideas aren’t necessarily that bad.
Idea 1: what if there was a magic school like in Harry Potter, but it was a university (or graduate school depending on the book or the show)?
Idea 2: what if the Chronicles of Narnia weren’t fiction?
The Magicians takes these two ideas and does some beautiful world-building. Or even worlds-building. If that doesn’t grab you, then I’ve done a disservice by my description, because the show is absolutely worth watching. And it has a top-notch villain. If I haven’t convinced you, watch at least until he makes his first appearance, and I’ll be shocked if you stop there.