The Magicians is a not-so original premise revitalized and revamped. Taking place at a school that teaches students magic in secret would have been a big deal back in 1996. Now, its all considered “Harry Potter spoofs”. I’m a HUGE HP fan, I won’t lie, that is why this attracted me. But, I’m here to tell you this stands alone, no matter the existence of other movies/shows/books like it! The Magicians series premier introduces you to Quentin Coldwater, our main character. A brilliant move by the creators is making him depressed, and lonely. This is brilliant because it is revealed he is feeling these things because he is magic, and surrounded by those that can’t relate. Given that a lot of people feel that way, it is a great way to speak to your viewers, make them feel part of the show… This show introduces us to many other side characters too. From the ass hole roommate, to the weird best friends, and the geeky-cute girl. All serve a great purpose, but you can tell some will be more important than others. Another reason this show is relateable and brings you in the story is the ages. The Magicians is set in a college instead of a boarding school for kids. If you think about it, it just makes more ACTUAL sense, but it also brings you in the story more… The use of magic is great as well. Giving an aura of sophistication and power based on who uses it. When a character started talking about being sorted into houses, or something, I rolled my eyes, but that was done well! Each person holds a different magical ability such as flying, telekinesis, nature, intelligence, etc… An underlying sub-story that hints to Quentin being a “chosen one” peaks up every now and then as well, which I am not a fan of… And, finally, our main villain is a giant guy who is covered in moths. Throughout the episode the characters talk about moths, secret shit happening, and the talk of a rising… So you see it coming, but the power behind this antagonist is wonderful… Almost as if he is only toying with everyone. In the end it CLEARLY borrowed so much more than just the base premise from Harry Potter, but that is okay. It is a very welcome re-imagining of a beloved series. Relateable in many more ways, and original in just as many… I will happily watch every episode of this for as long as it airs JUST based on this pilot.
(PS. Since they are in college now, we still all have a chance to get our letter from our magical school!)