I love this weird little series, for all its flaws.
Now in its second season, The Magicians is perfect for anyone who has a love of fantasy or ever wondered what magic would look like in the real, adult world. Darker than Harry Potter, with hints of Narnia around the edges, The Magicians initially follows Quentin, a shy awkward 22 year old as he attends Brakebills, a grad school for magicians. Jason Ralph does a great job embodying the character, conveying his neuroticisms and thoughts through the smallest and fullest gestures.
However, as the series progresses, it begins to focus more on the small band of friends that forms around Quentin. It is here that the series really hits its stride in my mind, as the ensemble cast is truly great, especially in parts of the second season.
Olivia Dudley is so great as Alice- thank god the character was recast from Kevin Bacon’s daughter, who I don’t think would be as much fun to watch at all. Trying to avoid any spoilers here, but after Alice undergoes a harrowing event, Olivia Dudley just does such a masterful job of capturing her new wickedness.
I can’t think of a cast member who hits a sour note (except maybe Summer Bishil in the bank episode but I think that was bad directing ). I’m afraid that if I keep going, this will just turn into a gush-fest of praise.
So I’ll be brief: the Margo/Eliot dynamic is a joy to watch, Penny and Kady are both amazing, Julia is such a complex character, and Mayakovsky is hilarious. The way magic works in this series is fascinating.
My one fear is that they may get too bogged down in Fillory, but with the second half of season 2 still left to air, I have hope that they’ll get back on track.