The Magicians

Dax
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Joined: March 16th, 2008, 3:48 pm

February 2nd, 2016, 6:47 pm #1

The ads looked kinda neat, but I'm not watching.

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bilki >> Surprised at how much I liked The Magicians on SyFy, which I just finished watching for 2 hours. Wasn't expecting that, though I do have a soft spot for fantasy. The allusion made to a Narnia-like world made me feel like a kid again. Pleasantly surprised to see Kacey Rohl here.

KMI >> You liked Magicians? Well then I'll try it. I usually like 'smart' fantasy that's grounded in some internally consistent world building.

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I thought there might have been more, but this was all I found when I went hunting...
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KMInfinity
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Joined: March 17th, 2008, 1:09 am

February 2nd, 2016, 7:15 pm #2

I think that's it. But I have a lot to say soon.

In general, I can't decide it I should take notes when I watch my favorite shows, since that's what i used to do analyzing Survivor and Buffy (on rewatch) or just relax and watch and post randomly when a thought crosses my mind.

I can't tell you how often I think, "Damn I meant to say blah blah in that thread...." Yet, I do know the 'TV Critic" style of watching initially really does put a distance between the viewer and the material.

Maybe I should get into this 'live-tweet-while-watching' that some people are doing? In that case, a cell phone would be better than a laptop.

:D
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Dax
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Joined: March 16th, 2008, 3:48 pm

February 2nd, 2016, 7:45 pm #3

I can't/won't do live-tweet-style for anything but awards shows, and then, you know, not a lot.

I'll make mental 'for conversation' notes on shows we talk about (like TGW). I HAVE jotted notes down 'so I don't forget', but not lately... I do try to post right away, rather than 'save up' a thought, because, right, you end up forgetting those...

Whether it's lack-of-time-busy-busy or interest-ebbing-and-flowing, it's interesting to me how we'll go in spurts of talking a lot and sometimes hardly saying much of anything at all.

Someday... I've said it for years and not done it, but someday... I will marathon BSG and FNL, and hope to do a running newbie commentary (shh, don't spoil me...).
Last edited by Dax on February 2nd, 2016, 7:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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KMInfinity
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Joined: March 17th, 2008, 1:09 am

February 2nd, 2016, 10:16 pm #4

That would be fun!
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KMInfinity
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Joined: March 17th, 2008, 1:09 am

February 3rd, 2016, 2:00 am #5

I watched 1&2 last week so I’m gonna just list stuff as I remember related to all three episodes……

• I wonder how much of this will play as urban fantasy (where the real world mixes in) VS traditional fantasy. (I count HP as traditional, muggles nothwithstanding).

• I’m not familiar with the books, billed as Harry Potter for adults. PTV review said something like: Mix HP and Narnia, make the kids twenty somethings so they can have sex and get drunk, and presto…. :D

• Having a hard time sorting out the dark haired fems.

• Character roundup:
-Quentin is sorta cute, in a post-grunge sad sack way. I appreciated the theme he and his bff girl represent – feeling there’s something missing in life, some path undiscovered, and how that might be a difficult life challenge.
-Alice still seems aloof and unfocused to me.
-I know four female Pennies. I have never met a male Penny. It’s driving me cray-cray. BUT I like the actor and the talents he shows. He reminds me of a young Jason Momoa.
-I don’t know if I’m supposed to feel any sympathy for Julia but I do not at all. The whole meat locker scene and denouement was a fail for me.
-My favorite character so far is Elliot, in all his Brideshead revisited circa Oxford charm.The moth monster was creepy. Very scary scene.

• Very intrigued with Fillory, the alt worlds possibilities. Love that the books are a central focus.

• This show is having trouble with tone, imo. It veers too abruptly from farce and snark to dark dramatic moment. That tonal variety is what made Buffy awesome, so I hope they keep the range but get the flow down better.

• A major flaw in my mind is the lack of a clear, objective morality. Most good fantasy plays that pretty straight. Gray areas are limited and clearly defined. Instead, we have the Dean claiming Brakebills is there to unlock your potential, and not so worried if you then use it to take over the world. Yet, somehow, the Mothman is a bad guy. That’s disingenuous.

• Better is the question of whether the hedge witches are justified in engaging in magic without oversight/training.

• Some serious missteps that made me think of dropping out right then…
-Quentin is already The Chosen One…
-Mindwiping the students who fail. I hate mindwiping. Still hate what Who did to Donna. Hoping Chibnall fixes that somehow.
-Julia’s fake rape to ‘activate’ her powers
-The badly handled conflicts with Quentin and Penny, and their roles as the guilty MothMonster inviters. (I understand the pilot globbed thru tons of the first book, so some stuff was being rushed?)

• I’m a little confused about how the school actually functions. There’s a Dean, and the blond woman, and some other adults…..

• Alice needs to get some perspective and a little humility. She’s almost killed several people now.

I feel like I’m forgetting quite a few things that resonated and made me laugh and smile. Generally, I enjoyed all three episodes enough to commit for the season.
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blosslover
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Joined: March 16th, 2008, 9:31 pm

February 3rd, 2016, 4:23 am #6

I like it as well. :) Glad not the only one watching it.
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bilki
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Joined: March 19th, 2008, 3:46 pm

February 3rd, 2016, 5:04 pm #7

It amuses me that I've seen a number of people (on AV Club and Goodreads) talk about how annoying Quentin is, because he's the one character I empathized with most. His incessant desire to escape to some other world.
wrote:The moth monster was creepy. Very scary scene.
The Beast. Great scene when he entered the classroom. That was what hooked me.
wrote:Very intrigued with Fillory, the alt worlds possibilities. Love that the books are a central focus.
Narnia!
wrote:Instead, we have the Dean claiming Brakebills is there to unlock your potential, and not so worried if you then use it to take over the world. Yet, somehow, the Mothman is a bad guy. That’s disingenuous.
From the dean's perspective, I can see why he thinks the Beast is a bad guy. He ripped his eyes out, lol! It sounds like there's some bad blood between them.
wrote:The badly handled conflicts with Quentin and Penny
I agree. The conflict between them feels forced.
wrote:Alice needs to get some perspective and a little humility. She’s almost killed several people now.
Good point. She's experienced no emotional consequences from the damage caused by her tunnel-vision focus on finding her brother. Hopefully, the show will be smart enough to deal with that in some way.


I've read someone explaining that Books 1 and 2 run concurrently. Book 1 is Quentin and Book 2 is Julia. The show is trying to weave them together, which may explain why it feels like they're rushing through some of it.

Last edited by bilki on February 3rd, 2016, 7:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Dax
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Joined: March 16th, 2008, 3:48 pm

February 8th, 2016, 8:14 pm #8

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bilki
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Joined: March 19th, 2008, 3:46 pm

February 11th, 2016, 6:00 am #9

That was fun. Crazy Alice made me laugh out loud. I even enjoyed music therapy, and those kinds of scenes usually get on my nerves.

I liked Marina's motivation, and that Quentin had to, ultimately, figure his own way out.

What will Julia do now???
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KMInfinity
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Joined: March 17th, 2008, 1:09 am

April 12th, 2016, 11:40 pm #10

Did anyone stick with this?

Boy it got dark. I have some minor quibbles (easily resolved by repeating firmly, "Fillory is NOT Narnia.") but overall, another excellent SyFy offering. This is almost Game-of-Thrones level dark. Yet, the mix of whimsy and weird is different, and the homage to tropes is balanced well with the creative originality. Some uneven tone and plotting, but thast';s more than made up by the characters and the story arc.

I really care about these characters, even whiny Quentin and selfish and annoying Julia. And I <3 Penny and Elliot a whole bunch.

Book One ready to read.

Gate you should watch this.
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