The Magicians: Season 1 (2016)


Season 1
The Magicians

Critics Consensus

The Magicians' impressive special effects and creative storytelling help compensate for a derivative premise and occasionally sluggish pace.



Critic Ratings: 46


Audience Score

User Ratings: 842

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Air date: Dec 16, 2015

In the premiere of this drama adapted from Lev Grossman's book series, best friends Quentin and Julia are mysteriously recruited to take an entrance exam to Brakebills University, a secret institution for magical pedagogy.

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Air date: Jan 25, 2016

The Brakebills students struggle to deal with the aftermath of a catastrophe that befalls the university. Back in Brooklyn, Julia makes her first foray into the mysterious world of Hedge Witches.

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Air date: Feb 1, 2016

Quentin and Julia have an unexpected, and somewhat volatile, reunion; Penny is overwhelmed by the power of his own psychic abilities; and Alice is willing to do anything to find out what happened to her missing brother.

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Air date: Feb 8, 2016

Quentin wakes up in a mental hospital and must set his panic aside to seek the help of the one person he least trusts. Meanwhile, Julia is hurt after her fallout with Quentin and commits to learning more powerful spells with the Hedge Witches.

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Air date: Feb 15, 2016

The students are distracted by personal issues when their focus should be on training for the upcoming Welter's Tournament.

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Air date: Feb 22, 2016

The first-year students face something called "The Trials," a series of unconventional and emotional tests, which result in expulsion from Brakebills for those who fail.

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Air date: Feb 29, 2016

An uncompromising professor pushes boundaries both in magic and in the personal lives of his first-year students. Meanwhile, Julia must decide whether she's ready to accept help and what that means for her future as a Magician.

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Air date: Mar 7, 2016

Brakebills is thrown into chaos when Penny is violently attacked by someone who was considered a friend; at the same time, Quentin tries to find a connection to the Beast; and Julia considers giving up magic for good after entering a rehab facility.

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Air date: Mar 14, 2016

Quentin, Alice, Eliot and Penny travel to England to Plover's estate in search of a missing magic button. Once there, they discover a haunting vision of the author's true self. In other events, Julia, fresh off her rehab stint, looks for real meaning in her magic, but at a very high cost.

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Air date: Mar 21, 2016

Penny learns for himself that the world of the Neitherlands is not as friendly as he had assumed. As Quentin and Alice work to save their friend, Julia faces opposition as she tries to join an eclectic group of magicians knowns as the Free Traders.

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The Magicians: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

Quentin Coldwater (Jason Ralph), a graduate student who's a big fan of fantasy books, discovers that magic is real when he's accepted into Brakebills University for Magical Pedagogy to be trained as a magician. At the same time, Julia Wicker (Stella Maeve), Quentin's childhood friend, is recruited by a secret society that promises to teach her magic even if she failed the admission test at Brakebills. The two friends' foray into the world of magic is very different, with Julia following a darker and harsher path and Quentin relying on the support of his new friends to get through his new life. Season 1 of the fantasy series, based on the book by the same name written by Lev Grossman, follows Quentin and Julia as they learn to become true magicians: They both have to be prepared for when the dark powers threatening the world make their move.

Cast & Crew

Summer Bishil
Margo Hanson
Arjun Gupta
William "Penny" Adiyodi
Stella Maeve
Julia Wicker
Hale Appleman
Eliot Waugh
Jason Ralph
Quentin Coldwater
Jade Tailor
Kady Orloff-Diaz
Kacey Rohl
Marina Andrieski
John McNamara
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News & Interviews for The Magicians: Season 1

Critic Reviews for The Magicians Season 1

All Critics (46) | Top Critics (19)

The result ends up feeling like a knock-off of the genre works that inspired Grossman, lacking in the wry commentary that made the original books feel so fresh.

Jan 25, 2016 | Full Review…

In terms of establishing a world and getting the plot going, the show's first episodes are actually pretty promising.

Jan 25, 2016 | Full Review…

Even as a genre fan, The Magicians compels me less for its supernatural side than its feel for the social alienation that makes fantasy so appealing in the first place.

Jan 25, 2016 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Magicians is just the latest attempt to conjure up something special. The new series is about a magical school for wizards, but it's not Harry Potter's Hogwarts. Not even close.

Dec 21, 2015 | Full Review…

The television show, anxious and impatient, rushes through the bullet points of the book's plot and forgoes the emotional complexity that made the books more unique than just the Potter imitation they seem at first blush.

Dec 21, 2015 | Full Review…

It would take a clairvoyant to know whether The Magicians will eventually develop into an agreeably dark and twisty piece of juicy genre fare, but at this early stage its future looks murky.

Dec 17, 2015 | Full Review…

Despite its uneven writing and poor treatment of some of its female characters, The Magicians still succeeds in one of its central aims: dismantling the tropes of the fantasy genre and reconfiguring them in ways that are innovative and contemporary.

Jan 24, 2019 | Full Review…

The Magicians excels at pairing the absurd with an earnest sincerity in a way no other series does. Don't sleep on it.

Jan 23, 2019 | Full Review…

This season has made a quiet but interesting argument for Julia as the true central character, which delighted those of us who read the books and came to the same conclusion.

Aug 24, 2018 | Full Review…

The Magicians simply isn't bringing us anything new.

Jul 31, 2018 | Full Review…

Indeed, it's when the television The Magicians goes off the rails and becomes experimental that we see the potential it has.

Jun 25, 2018 | Full Review…

The Magicians ends up being quite entertaining... [Full review in Spanish]

May 2, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Magicians: Season 1

  • Dec 09, 2020
    I recognize that all of the female character's have all the power will the reset of the male character's don't have much of the power they do
  • Nov 17, 2020
    This series is... low budget. The dialogues are stupid, unnecessary and a little bit cringe. The plot is built episode for episode, and this is not good. It's so badly constructed that it's funny.
  • May 09, 2020
    I watched the first two eps of Terra Nova and was so bored I didn't finish the second. I watch the Magicians and felt the same. I watched the first half of ep 01 of Eureka and was seriously entertained. Great writing. great acting. great actors. Humour. I will give all three shows a fair try, however - Maybe they'll improve.
  • Apr 09, 2020
    The best way this show could have started off. It does an amazing job of introducing you to characters and having you change your view of them quickly. It is also the best and probably only way magic could have been introduced in a show so well, it's relatable in a great way. One of the main characters, Quinten Coldwater, discovers that magic and many of his childhood fantasies are real, but it's all thrown on to him so quickly, and he's unprepared. Him not being prepared for this make him feel like a normal person, someone who has defects. Quinten struggles with depression and other stuff claiming that sometimes his brain breaks and he has to be hospitalized. All in all, it's a definite must-see, with great characters, an intriguing plot, and moments that will bring back some childhood memories.
  • Mar 02, 2020
    It's so good that I can't describe it in words.
  • Feb 26, 2020
    A new take on the fantasy genre, which has it's better and worse sides. Making the characters so old is a huge miss. The whole plot is about student life, but the actors are in their late 20's, early 30's, if someone told me the main protagonist age was 40 I wouldn't blink an eye. It's just weird, especially in scenes where the main character is acting childish even for a student in it's early 20's. The positives of the plot is the mature and scary stories and monsters, as well as a darker view on magic and fantasy. The negatives of the plot is the lack of good humour and bright points where the protagonist can sit back and enjoy life. Even the relationships and romance is gloomy and depressing most of the time.
  • Feb 08, 2020
    Absolutely FANTASTIC ! Not even a fan of fantasy but this series caught me off guard , it was love at first sight , all the mistery just get you even more excited .
  • Feb 02, 2020
    Amazing first season!
  • Jan 31, 2020
    Loved it, I binged watched all 4 season, cant wait to see season 5. I love all the characters.
  • Jan 17, 2020
    Сериал показал действительно, что-то новое в своем жанре. Думал, что будет хуже, но меня сильно впечатлило и затянуло на долго♥️

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