Another New Series From Syfy: The Magicians


Jon Pearcy, Staff Writer

This month, SyFy has rolled out another of its new series, The Magicians. Based on the book series by Lev Grossman, The Magicians follows Quentin Coldwater, a college student turned magician upon his invitation to attend Brakebills College, a school for magic.

Before his admittance, Quentin was a depressed college senior, who hadn’t found his place in life. Rather than dealing with the world around him, Quentin retreated to the world of fantasy and magic which he and his friend, Julia Wicker, had been obsessed with in high school. One day, when expecting to be interviewed for graduate school, Quentin and Julia are surprised to find themselves transported to Brakebills, where it is revealed that the world of magic is real. After this, they both take an entrance exam to the college, which Quentin passes and Julia fails. Julia is sent back to the normal world, and Quentin begins his life at the college. The rest of the first episode follows how Julia deals with being sent back to the normal world with no magic, and how Quentin deals with the sudden change to a more fantastical world.

While on the surface The Magicians’ plot may sound overdone, the show really does manage to bring something new to the table. Where most magic based shows cater to younger kids, The Magicians is really meant for an older audience. It could probably be best compared to a college version of Harry Potter, but with much darker and serious undertones. It provides a very different view to the idea of magic and what it can do to people, while managing to feel very real.

The show is extremely well produced: from the cast to the set, everything fits together very nicely. One of the first things that struck me was the different atmospheres. The “normal world” scenes take place in a busy, overcast, gray city, while the “magic” world of Brakebills is sunny and full of color. This scenery fits really well with some of the themes of the show, and the attention to detail makes me excited to see what’s to come. All the characters are equally well casted as Quentin is played by Jason Ralph and Julia by Stella Maeve.

Overall, the first episode has me in high hopes for the rest of the series. If their success with the first episode carries on to the others, I think this series has a good chance of turning out well. I hope that they continue to follow the books closely, and develop more on what they’ve done.

You can watch the first episode for free on SyFy’s website: