With another edition of Harry Potter takes flight with the eight installment Cursed Child, fans of the longtime series are still itching to explore the fantasy realm of magic. The Syfy channel brings The Magicians, a series based on Lev Grossman's New York Times best seller.
Based on the New York Times bestselling series, Quentin Clearwater is a troubled but brilliant grad student. Obsessed with the fictional land of Fillory, Clearwater's dreams (or nightmares) come true when he discovers that magical landscape he loves truly exists. He is accepted to attend Brakebills University for Magical Pedagogy, a secret upstate school in New York that specializes in magic. As darkness unveils itself, he and his 20-something friends poses grave danger to humanity.
Among his group of friends and living out the college scene, Clearwater feels out of place. His inability to connect with the world around him, and believe there is another place like Fillory that he is better suited for, makes him a relatable protagonist for Harry Potter fans. How many of us have wanted J.K. Rowling's wizarding world to be true. When he discovers that a school of magic is tangible, it's a wild ride to be immersed in another fantastical adventure.
The series cast is well-played by it's lead Jason Ralph as well as the supporting unit Stella Maeve, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Hale Appleman and Arjun Gupta. As an ensemble, they create strong, eccentric group of characters that surely viewers will love, or love-to-hate.
His friend Julia who isn't accepted into Brakebills attempts to learn magic from a much darker secret society. Played by Stella Maeve, Julia is determined to enter her friend and their childhood turf by any means necessary. Their parallel journeys to fending off or getting too close to evil entities in both worlds offers a dynamic adventure.
It's easy to hear the comparison between Lev Grossman and J.K. Rowling's series, and believe that the former may be more suited for audiences of all ages. While Quentin's discovery of a magical school and the darkness it entails is similar to the boy wizard Harry Potter and his journey to Hogwarts, Syfy's series doesn't explore the same kid-friendly themes of youth.
College-esque hijinks permeates through Brakebills University, much more than anyone would assume took place at Hogwarts. This adaptation delves into sex, drugs and violence, including sexual assault and rape. The graphic nature varies to the comfort level of individual viewers - some of which I personally could handle and others not so much.
Overall, The Magicians is a fun series. For adult fans of J.K. Rowling series, the adapted tale of Lev Grossman's novels and the exciting world of Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy offers an intriguing experience to once again descend into magic.
If you want to experience the magic and drama, you can own The Magicians season one - available on Blu-Ray, DVD, and Digital HD from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.