Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Which is Better? The Magicians

At first, I thought the show was terrible. I was confused by the complexity and rushed first episode. Josh had read the book before I did and inform me that the first half episode covered about 200 pages of the book.

We're not given much of a set up as Quentin and Julia are hurried into Brakebill's to take their exams, with Quentin passing and Elliot to show him around while Julia, being told that she's not good enough, is exported back to NYC. She leaves a mark on her arm so she remembers through the strong memory spell they put on her. 

Throughout the episode, it seemed like characters would say things without any background or context, expecting the audience to go along with the fact that though we hadn't seen Alice and Quentin interact before, we are expected to believe that Alice is ace at magic and Quentin sucks at it. Everyone, including Quentin is incredibly good looking, but we're expected to believe that Alice is a gross nerd and Quentin is a weird geek. Oh, and there is a lot of sex, 'cause pilot.

By the end of the first episode, the Beast arrives, but I was so darn confused for the entire episode that I had no idea who the Beast was, or why he was so dangerous, or why he arrived for the first episode. If he's a big bad, like the characters stated, briefly, that he was.. shouldn't he have been wielded out for a episode later on in the season? It seemed a bit unnecessary with Dean Fog getting his hands and his eyes removed by the Beast right off the bat.

The writers aged up the characters, made Brakebills University a magical graduate school and Josh disclosed that Julia's story was from the second book, instead of the first.

I figured that was my cue... So, I read the first book, wrote a review, and discovered that they added a few characters, took away a few characters and even changed a few characters' names.

As I continued watching the show, I just blatantly ignored "graduate school" since the book so expertly placed them in college. Hollywood has a habit of casting much older people in younger parts anyway. 

The pilot was confusing and terrible, but we hoped that the pilot followed the rule of most pilots: the first one of a series is never any good. Josh and I turned in week after week, dismantling the show and making fun of it's disconnected episodes. However, our snarky comments and  ripping apart every episode diminished as we watched, and after the episode where they turn into geese, Josh turned to me and went...

"Do we like this show now?"

And the answer is.. Yes, yes we do. Somehow, the show stumbled through way more voiceless episodes than allotted for a new show, especially during "peak TV," and managed to become a funny show about the price of magic sans Harry Potter.

As Josh and I recapped, we maintained that if we hadn't read the books, we still wouldn't have known what was going on in the series. However, it did get renewed for a second season, so I guess people that didn't read the books liked it.

I since read the second book, and soon I will read the third book. I can't wait to see where they go with this, providing they keep the steam they built over the last several episodes.

My only hesitation is Alice. Quentin finally came to the conclusion that Alice was the one, and not him, which lead to their demise in the season finale. I hope they use Alice the way she was used in the book, because she turned out to be an undeniable bad ass that saves the day. So, don't undo all the goodwill you've mustered, show! Keep a good thing going! 

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