The first season of Syfy’s The Magicians was recently released on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. In the series, we meet Quentin Coldwater (Jason Ralph, “Aquarius”), a brilliant grad student chosen to attend Brakebills University for Magical Pedagogy, a secret upstate New York university specializing in magic. Based on Lev Grossman’s New York Times best-selling fantasy trilogy and produced by Universal Cable Productions, the series follows Quentin and his fellow grad student friends who soon discover that the magical fantasy world they read about as children is all too real – and poses grave danger to humanity. Many have described the series as a bit of a “Harry Potter for adults.”
The Episodes: I may immediately disqualify myself from being taken seriously with this review by saying it was hard for me to get into the series. I like the cast, the writing has some interesting twists, and the show looks beautiful, but something wasn’t clicking with me. To be fair, I haven’t watched the entire 13-episode season yet. But, I’d imagine those who are reading this loved the show already anyway so my opinion is invalid.
The Magicians is a show with beautiful visual effects and some very cool choices. In one of the extra features on the Blu-ray, they discuss how a lot of the effects are practical, and I think that makes it a unique experience.
I also have to say that the set design for this show is also superb. That’s also commented on in the extras and it’s so true; a lot of time and effort was made to make this look feature quality.
The picture on the set, being Blu-ray, is top-notch; however, I almost think the sound is TOO crisp. That might be a setting on my end that needs fixing.
If there was anything at all that did stand out to me as a negative, it would be the amount of bad [and in my feeling, unnecessary] language in the show. I get wanting to be “adult” but it seemed it was trying too hard, even if the books that inspired the series use the same profanity. Apparently when these episodes aired the curse words were silenced or muted; especially considering there is no parental warning on the set whatsoever, it just seemed really inappropriate. Also, I do not have children but I would like to think if I did have some they’d be “safe” watching a show called The Magicians. Your mileage may vary.
The Extras: There are deleted scenes and a gag reel, because who doesn’t like a gag reel? The highlight extra is, of course, “The World Of The Magicians” featurette which features interviews with the cast and producer Sera Gamble. A lot of care is put into the show, and a lot of care was put into creating the set.
The Packaging/Graphics: Very well designed. Again, a lot of time and effort has been made.
Is It Worth It? If you love the show, of course. I still need to give the show more time to hook me, it seems.