‘The Magicians’ 101 Review ‘Unauthorized Magic’

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The Magicians is just my kind of show, because I’ve always been intrigued by the idea that there is something ‘magical’ going on outside my own little world. Unauthorized Magic is the title of the first episode, and I found it to be very appropriate because that’s exactly what we see in this episode.

There are times when that magic spills into that world, at Christmas, and at Easter. We all believed in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and that we could take a trip through a wardrobe to arrive in Narnia. We knew that simply just reading a book could take us anywhere we wanted to go, and that still holds true today.

We know that certain things are just not possible, such as Santa going to every house in the world in twelve or so hours, or a bunny leaving you candy, and the Tooth Fairy leaving you money, in exchange for your baby tooth. We act as if we put away such childish things, but we still hold onto the possibility of something being real, even as adults.

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I was instantly hooked on this show, based on the preview that I saw, and I couldn’t wait to see what a whole hour would bring. I thought the pilot moved at a fast pace, but not so much that you couldn’t keep up with the storyline that was falling into place.

The story follows Quentin Coldwater, who like us all at one point in our lives, is trying to let go of those childish things, and looking for a place that he belongs. I am a major bookie myself, and could understand his passion, and/or obsession with the fictional world of Fillory.

Speaking of Fillory, I really want to know more, and I hope we find out more real soon. Martin Chatwin certainly believed in Fillory enough to take his siblings there, where they learned that Fillory needed them. I want to know what it was like at Fillory, because I felt as if we didn’t receive enough information.

Jane Chatwin comes to Quentin in a dream, and tells him to “stay on the garden path” and that he won’t be at Brakebills long.  She tells him that he must learn, and burns a symbol into his hand.That’s when magic started getting real, and fast too!

Image courtesy ofSyfy

Image courtesy of Syfy

I love the look and feel of Brakebills, and the diversity of students that attend. When I say diversity, I mean more of the different types of magical ability, rather than race or gender, I mean illusionists, telepaths, and so on. Outside of Quentin, I am really loving the characters of Eliot and Penny.

Image courtesy of Syfy

Image courtesy of Syfy

Alice is a bit of a mystery to me, and I wonder just how the disappearance of her brother comes into play with the symbol that was on Quentin’s hand, or how it relates to Fillory. I have not read the book series yet so please don’t spoil me. It is Alice who Quentin turns to for help, about what the symbol means.

Julia, who was the ringleader of the ‘letting go of childish things’ has a hard time adjusting to the fact that she just didn’t have what it takes to get into Brakebills. My first thought was that Julia never truly let such childish things go either, which proves my point that we never really stop believing.

The lengths she went to in order to NOT forget Brakebills existed seemed a little crazy, but I don’t think I could move on as if real magic didn’t exist either. I think Quentin might have had a point about Julia not liking the fact that she wasn’t good at something, and he was, but yeah Ouch! I fear she will end up going down a very dark path, in order to learn magic.

Image courtesy of Syfy

I thought it was crazy that untrained magicians were attempting a summoning spell, or séance (if you will) in order to learn what the symbol meant. Alice was desperate to find out what happened to her brother, but I don’t get what that had to do with the symbol on Quentin’s hand, not yet anyway!

Penny can read the minds of others, and he was more or less led to the room where Quentin and Alice were prepping for their bit of ‘Unauthorized Magic’ and two became four. It turns out that four was the magical number needed for the spell/séance to work, but it appeared that nothing happened with that spell. At least, until we were left with one hell of a cliffhanger. I liked the Dean too, that poor man! Oh, my eyes can’t unsee what they have seen!

While The Magicians will make the viewer intially think of Harry Potter or the Chronicles of Narnia,  it is soon apparent that this show can stand on it’s own merit. I was having trouble with trying to figure out how to describe this show, but then realized that I don’t have to. All you have to do is watch, and you will see what I mean, it simply speaks for itself. By the end of the first episode, we know we are dealing with something the likes of which we have never seen before in other magical pieces we have read before.

Image courtesy of Syfy

Image courtesy of Syfy

This show, and the books it which it was adapted from has a place reserved for them on my magical bookshelf, and my collection of TV shows . I have not read the book series yet, but I cannot imagine not loving them, as it seems to have everything I am addicted to.

I absolutely loved this pilot episode, and I am really hooked. I cannot wait to see what the rest of the season has in store for us.What did you think of the pilot? Do you think the Dean is dead?  Perhaps we will find out during the double episode premiere tonight!!

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Diane Selburg