The Magicians: Season 1 (2016)



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


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Air date: Dec 16, 2015
Air date: Jan 25, 2016
Air date: Feb 1, 2016
Air date: Feb 8, 2016
Air date: Feb 15, 2016
Air date: Feb 22, 2016
Air date: Feb 29, 2016
Air date: Mar 7, 2016
Air date: Mar 14, 2016
Air date: Mar 21, 2016
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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.

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Critic Reviews for The Magicians Season 1

All Critics (46) | Top Critics (17)

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…
Top Critic

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…
Top Critic

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…
Top Critic

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…
Top Critic

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…

Audience Reviews for The Magicians: Season 1

Confusing. The deviation from the source and the changes to the characters made this adaptation almost laughable.


Super Reviewer

The first season of The Magicians is a little unbalance, but it's also quite daring and has an inventive concept with a lot of potential. The show follows a group of students who are recruited to join a special academy to study magic, but the school is soon attacked by a supernatural creature bend on destruction; meanwhile, a rejected student looks into secret societies and the magical black market to learn spells. The season begins fairly strong and is full of intrigue; however, before long the school fades into the background and the show become more about the character's relationships and sex lives. Still, the mythology is quite compelling, with magical worlds, demigods, and supernatural powers. Also, the cast is rather impressive and has good chemistry together. And the show’s not afraid to go dark, and can be surprisingly graphic and violent. Yet Season 1 of The Magicians isn't quite sure of what type of show it wants to be, and comes off as unfocused.


Super Reviewer

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