Beginning with some context, I have in fact read the first two books in The Magicians series but I’m still working my way onto book number three (so many books, so little time). That being said, I am not one of those purists who requires the book and the movie/TV show to be exactly the same. TV and Movies and Books are entirely different media with entirely different contexts. That being said, unnecessary changes should still be avoided.
However, so far I have no complaints about the changes they made to The Magicians show. The two major ones are increasing the pace of Julia’s storyline and aging the characters and of course a wealth of little ones.
Both of these decisions benefit the show rather than take away from it. By aging the characters from undergrad to graduate school, Syfy allows this show to take on the delicate issues of suicide, depression and the complexities of an adult world with real magic. I can just picture the terrible Freeform version of this show with a bunch of sex-driven angsty teenagers. Thank goodness Syfy saved this wonderful story from this terrible demise.
I also want to give a major shout out to the casting team for this show. Everyone from the Dean to Quentin was cast beautifully. Seeing the giggly Jason Ralph play the brooding Quentin is surprisingly satisfying. And he does it so well. Julia is also the stunningly beautiful, but bitchy overachiever I envisioned. I really hated her during the beginning of the books and I still don’t like her in the beginning of the show, even if I can sympathize at times. The only casting decision I am unsure about is Alice. I expected her to be mousier, but we will have to see what happens.
As for the writing and the show itself, I do think this was a solid first episode. I worry that it wasn’t quite exciting enough to attract non-book viewers, but I do believe that this is a series that could interest, inspire, and enchant even those individuals that don’t read the books first. But, maybe that’s just because I know where things are going! If you’ve given this show a try and are unsure, stick with it a little while longer. I think it will surprise us all.
I have several other thoughts about this first episode, but am having trouble making pretty paragraphs so here’s a few.
I don’t understand how we can trust magical doings to a school clock. In my experience they never tell the right time.
Creepy smiley face is creepy. Creepy beast is creepy.
Mad props should also be giving to the effects crew. One of the wonderful things about Syfy is while they don’t have the budget to do everything with special effects, they make up for it by putting in the time and effort to use classic manipulation and engineering to still provide us with that other world experience. See floating sex.
Procrastination and Giggles,
The Red Queen
P.S. I too do not want to die in the first 10 minutes of the movie because I was stupid enough to play with the Ouija board.