Did you cry when the "Harry Potter" film franchise ended? A lot of us grew up with The Boy Who Lived, and for those of us who weren’t lucky enough to get a letter to Hogwarts, J.K. Rowling’s "Harry Potter" series became our home away from home. But if you’re waiting around for Rowling’s "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" to premiere to get your magical fix, wait no longer! Syfy’s premiere season of their show "The Magicians," based off Lev Grossman’s bestselling trilogy, wraps up on April 11th, and if you’re a "Harry Potter" fan, here are a few reasons you just HAVE to get in on the action!
1. Hogwarts for Americans
If you were one of the 450 million fans to get your hands on a "Harry Potter" book in the United States, you might have spent a decent chunk of your childhood worrying whether or not your Hogwarts letter would come at all because, unlike Harry, you didn’t live in the U.K. Good news for Americans! Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy is located in Upstate New York, and you don’t have run through a train barrier to catch the last express; when you’re ready, the entrance comes to you!
2. Get ready for your quarter-life crisis
That’s right, you heard me. Brakebills College. If you thought you got over the initial disappointment of not receiving an owl from Hogwarts on your eleventh birthday, get ready to go through a whole new quarter-life crisis, because Brakebills accepts students from the age of 17 and up.
3. A whole new funny
The series brings a sense of humor to Grossman’s material that is unique and charming, and largely stems from its main character, Quentin Coldwater, being so clumsy, naive and gloriously socially inept. The writers bring an edge of comedy that can only be described as "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" meets "Doctor Who." The perfect combination of awkward and clever!
4. An edgier Harry Potter
"The Magicians" can be very dark when it wants to be. Like, really dark. Featuring a terrifying, faceless villain known only as The Beast, the show delves into deeper and darker themes than Rowling’s beloved children’s series ever could. Quentin’s love for magic is balanced precariously with the stark reality that a world with magic in it is just as dark and twisted as our mundane world.
5. Smart magic
In this grown-up world of witchcraft and wizardry, learning magic is hard and arduous and a magician’s source of power often comes from pain. The magic featured in the show is sleek and cinematic, and rather than toting around wands, Quentin and the other Brakebills magicians cast magic using spells and intricate finger movements, a style which the show creators derived from a form of dance called “tutting”, originated from 70s funk dancing, which uses the fingers and hands.
6. Strong female characters
Although Quentin plays the leading roles in the series, just as he did in the book, the show brings new life to "The Magicians" female characters, rounding out a cast that is smart, fleshed-out and interesting. Julia Wicker, Quentin’s childhood friend and long-time crush, winds up fulfilling the role of Quentin’s darker opposite, rejected from Brakebills and cast out onto the streets of New York, where she determines to learn magic anyway that she can.
7. A show that cares about mental health
Before coming to Brakebills, Quentin admits himself briefly to a mental hospital for his depression, which he struggles with for the entire season. Besides touching on how, even for a magician, depression and mental illness are very real and present conditions, the show also deals with the theme of mental health in a very genuine and earnest way.
8. All the ships!
Romance and sex abounds in the first season of "The Magicians," without all the cheesy love triangles. Featuring a cast of characters with diverse and often fluid sexualities, you’re bound to find your new OTP a few episodes into this show.
9. Great actors
The actors cast for these characters breathe new life into "The Magicians" and most of them are probably just as much of a fan of the series as the show’s viewers.
10. You can binge it
Behind on episodes? This is the perfect show to binge-watch. You can stream the first four episodes here, or simply log onto Syfy with your cable or TV provider information to binge the entire first season! Grab a bag of popcorn and clear your calendar, you’re not going to want to leave your house for a while.
11. Out of content? Try the books!
If you’re not already a fan of the books, I highly recommend picking them up before or after watching the first season! The show is distinct enough from the books, while still maintaining the trilogy’s essence, that you’ll enjoy an unique and pleasurable experience from both.
Whether you’re a fan of the books, are just looking for the next big thing, you’ll find that "The Magicians" is not only a fantastic TV adaptation, but the funniest, most thrilling and uplifting series to grace television in the past year.