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: 758
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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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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.

News & Interviews for The Magicians: Season 1

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…

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

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

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

May 2, 2018 | 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…

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…

Audience Reviews for The Magicians: Season 1

  • Sep 29, 2019
    The core believes and message of the books are completely lost and misinterpreted in this TV series.
  • Sep 15, 2019
    I'm not the first to say it, so I'll be quick about it; TRASH An unflattering amalgam of Harry Porter and The Chronicles of Narnia which undercuts it's only salient point that there are "no destinies" or "choose heroes" by dragging out from underneath the carpets the stereotypical socially-defunct-white-boy with a heroic destiny.
  • Apr 21, 2019
    You know the beginning of the story starts of really slow. Once everything starts to fill itself in about the story line it gets really really good! I love this show better than harry potter series.
  • Apr 15, 2019
    Good, not great, but it gets much better in the following seasons.
  • Apr 10, 2019
    Amazing show with a great plot! A grown up, English version of Harry Potter with hints of comedy and lots of drama. You grow close and attached to the cast, who do a wonderful job. Great plot twist.
  • Mar 14, 2019
    This is a great series. I empathize a lot with the characters in particular the lead actor and like the turns of plot.
  • Mar 13, 2019
    Great show I just wish they would kill Katie off she is so annoying and her character adds nothing of worth
  • Mar 04, 2019
    Dang, loved the books but watching the show was unbearable. The acting is junk. So unfortunate.
  • Mar 02, 2019
    Takes a bit to get into it. At first I hated it, thought it was a Harry Potter rip-off. Then I came to love it. Give it time and you will too.
  • Feb 21, 2019
    Overall, an better than average series. I think is steals a bit from Narnia books, but i suppose. overall story is good, plots are ok, script is written well. production value is good. Acting is ok.

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