| 7.5/10 |
16 December 2015
22 (list of episodes)
| Sera Gamble
by Lev Grossman
Olivia Taylor Dudley
New Orleans (pilot), Vancouver
Mike Cahill, Michael London, Janice Williams, John McNamara, Sera Gamble
12 Monkeys, Childhood's End, Hunters, Wynonna Earp, The Expanse
The Magicians is an American fantasy television series that premiered on Syfy on December 16, 2015 as a special preview. The rest of the series premiered on January 25, 2016. It is based on the novel of the same name by Lev Grossman. Michael London, Janice Williams, John McNamara, and Sera Gamble serve as executive producers.
A 13-episode order was placed for the first season in May 2015. On February 8, 2016, the series was renewed for a second season consisting of 13 episodes, which premiered on January 25, 2017.
The Magicians (U.S. TV series) Wikipedia
Quentin Coldwater enrolls at Brakebills University for Magical Pedagogy to be trained as a magician, where he discovers that the magical world from his favorite childhood books is real and poses a danger to humanity. Meanwhile, the life of his childhood friend Julia is derailed when she is denied entry, and she searches for magic elsewhere.Jason Ralph as Quentin Coldwater, a graduate student. He enrolls at Brakebills University for Magical Pedagogy to be trained as a magician. A lifelong fan of the Fillory and Further series, he discovers that they are in fact based in truth and pose a danger to his world.
Stella Maeve as Julia Wicker, Quentin's childhood friend, an Ivy League student who is not admitted to Brakebills, and is recruited by a secret magical society.
Olivia Taylor Dudley as Alice Quinn, a magician and Quentin's love interest whose parents are magicians and who comes from a neglected home life.
Hale Appleman as Eliot Waugh, a student at Brakebills and senior to Quentin. He is a heavy drinker and frustrating ally to Quentin.
Arjun Gupta as William 'Penny' Adiyodi, Quentin's roommate and peer, deliberately intimidating and edgy.
Summer Bishil as Margo Hanson, equivalent to Janet from the novels. Her name was changed to avoid confusion with other names beginning with "J".
Rick Worthy as Henry Fogg (season 2; recurring season 1), the Dean of Brakebills.
Jade Tailor as Kady Orloff-Diaz (season 2; recurring season 1), a tough, rebellious and sexy Brakebills student who attracts Penny's attention in and out of the classroom. After she flees Brakebills, she joins a group of magicians led by Richard and befriends Julia.
Michael London first optioned the books in 2011, intending to develop the show at Fox. X-Men: First Class co-writers Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz wrote the pilot, but did not get the green light. London then redeveloped the pilot with McNamara and Gamble taking over writing duties, and took the script to Syfy, which ordered a pilot. The pilot, directed by Mike Cahill, was filmed in New Orleans in late 2014 and wrapped in December. Syfy picked up the show for a 13-episode first season, to be aired in 2016. McNamara and Gamble became executive producers.
Series production began on August 4, 2015, in Vancouver, and it was announced that Olivia Taylor Dudley had replaced Sosie Bacon as Alice Quinn. It was also announced that Rick Worthy had been cast as Dean Fogg, Anne Dudek as Professor Sunderland, with Esmé Bianco also cast. Syfy aired an advance commercial-free screening of the first episode on December 16, 2015 ahead of its January 25, 2016 premiere, when it was shown along with the second episode.
The show was renewed for a second season in February 2016, and the second season premiered on January 25, 2017.
The first season received mixed to positive reviews. On Metacritic, it holds a rating of 60/100, based on 24 reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has a 70% approval rating, based on 37 reviews, with an average rating of 6.4/10. The site's critics' consensus reads: "The Magicians' impressive special effects and creative storytelling help compensate for a derivative premise and occasionally sluggish pace."
The second season received positive reviews. On Metacritic, it holds a rating of 74/100, based on 5 reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has an 88% approval rating, based on 17 reviews, with an average rating of 7.9/10. The site's consensus reads: "A clearer sense of purpose and extra helpings of cynicism and danger lead The Magicians to a higher level of engagement."
Some critics and fans criticized the show for its brutal depiction of Julia being raped and that the rape gave her extra magical powers. The incident was also criticized because, after Julia remembered the assault, she betrayed her friends by forming an alliance with, and literally embracing, a murderer – who is also a rape survivor. As Lisa Weidenfeld of the AV Club put it: "the show has now suggested that the two victims of sexual assault are its villains".
The first season of The Magicians was released on DVD and Blu-Ray on July 19, 2016, in Region 1. The release included all thirteen episodes, as well as multiple special features, including Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel, The World of The Magicians, and UltraViolet Digital Copies. The first season was made available to stream on Netflix on December 26, 2016.