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BethR

The Magicians

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Lev Grossman's novel The Magicians is being developed for Syfy.

http://m.deadline.com/2014/07/magicians-pilot-syfy-drama-series-lev-grossman-books/

I hope the TV version will tone down the mopey-ness. Otherwise, I'm intrigued.

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And if anyone cares--I may be the last person on the board who still has cable (satellite) TV--the first episode is on tonight, commercial free. Official 2-part premier in January. The trailer looks fantastic. More clips, etc., here.

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1 hour ago, BethR said:

And if anyone cares--I may be the last person on the board who still has cable (satellite) TV--the first episode is on tonight, commercial free. Official 2-part premier in January. The trailer looks fantastic. More clips, etc., here.

I certainly care. Thank you for the reminder. I've been anxiously awaiting this. Pity it's being paired with the mediocre Childhood's End adaptation…

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Grossman on the series, with some notes on changes in the adaptation. No serious spoilers:

http://levgrossman.com/2015/12/a-magicians-fans-guide-to-watching-the-magicians/

Episode 1 was pretty impressive and, yes, less mopey than book 1. Actor who plays Quentin is convincingly hangdog. The book goes into more detail about Fillory and its significance. It's hard for me to gauge how a nonreader would perceive it, though. 

A comment on Grossman's post asks if it's appropriate for a 12 year old. I wouldn't recommend the books for pre-teens, and certainly not this series.

Edited by BethR

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The thirteen episodes worked pretty well, I thought. I recorded & saved them to rewatch, which I'm doing now, and knowing how it all turns out, it's interesting to see foreshadowing planted in the first and early episodes. The show makes the students college graduates rather than college freshmen, probably because of all the sex, drugs, and so-forth they get up to, but emotionally, they are more like college freshpeeps than first year grad students. And the emotional atmosphere is pretty well captured here. However the plot doesn't start really thickening until about episode 8 or 9. Ultimately, these characters remain sad and desperate for love and hope.

Season 2 in January 2017.

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A slightly revised assessment after completing my re-watch. Yes, the characters remain sad and desperate.

Spoiler

I'm more unhappy this time about a plotpoint that involves the suicide/requested euthanasia of a quadriplegic character, and the "search for god/gods results in disappointment/disaster/devastation" tropes. These are elements that I found sad in the novels, and there was no reason to think they'd be different in this dramatization.

Actually, given the way things go in Fillory (as Quentin describes the plots), it's kind of hard to understand just what Quentin and Julia found so enchanting about the books.

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Season 2 premieres tonight (also available online, various formats). Alan Sepinwall compares it with Buffy as a show that deals metaphorically with dealing with young adulthood.

Quote

But the writer to whom the series owes its biggest spiritual debt isn’t J.K. Rowling or C.S. Lewis, or even Grossman, but Joss Whedon. Just as Buffy the Vampire Slayer used its monsters as metaphors for teen rites of passage, The Magicians uses its spells and demons as commentary on the difficult transition from the carefree days of your late teens and early 20s into full-fledged adulthood, with all the responsibilities that come with.

 

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