Okay. A Syfy Channel show. I know. I get it. But read through this – you might be surprised! I wasn’t honestly expecting much from this show except bad CGI, bad acting, and a terrible story line touching on that of the books occasionally. But I went ahead and watched it because, well, apparently I had nothing better to do that night.
Over the course of the first season we’re introduced to a litany of characters who attend a magic school. The main character is a young man named Quinton. Quinton is an odd boy who we find out has spent a good deal of time dealing with mental illness of some sort and is obsessed with a series of books about a place called Fillory(think Narnia). And like any young college student who is truly obsessed with a fantasy book series and has mental illness Quinton lacks a certain social grace.
I’m not going to spoil the show for you, but long story short Quinton is whisked away to a school for magic users a’ la Harry Potter. But this school isn’t exactly Hogwarts. This is more like Harry Potter’s twin brother that lived in a basement and survived off fish heads and never got his acceptance letter to the school. This show has some seriously dark moments in it and doesn’t shy away from a touch of violence.
The story line, while straying from the books quite often, is excellent so far. It actually does pull you in and leave you hanging – something that many Syfy shows severely lack. The acting is decent. I won’t say the actors and actresses are over the top amazing and should be featured in the next Hollywood super hit, but they pull off the characters well. The CGI is also impressive. Syfy doesn’t seem to have cut corners on this show.
While this show’s cast is decent and the scenery and the cgi are great it’s the story that will pull you in. There’s a little more romance than what might be desired or realistic, but most of the time I feel like it adds to the depth of the characters. There’s fighting, and magic and jealousy. There’s danger and fantasy, and a sinister evil that NOT JUST EVIL FOR THE SAKE OF BEING EVIL(crazy right?).
I mentioned books earlier, and yes, this series is based on a series of books by Lev Grossman. The basic premise of the show is anyway. I’ve not finished the first book yet, and hadn’t even heard of it when the show started, but from what I can tell they’ve strayed a considerable amount from what the book offers. That may all change once I get into the future books in the series and have more information though. It seems like there might be quite a bit that has not been revealed yet in the book.
All that being said – and I’ve NEVER said this about a book/show/movie before – I prefer the show to the book right now. Again that may all change as I progress through the series. The books are somewhat slow compared to the show, which I understand, TV is immediate gratification 99.9% of the time, but the book is really slow so far. But the TV series has me interested and I will read the books because of it.
All in all this is a really decent show. It’s smart and entertaining with a twinge of violence and a penchant for the dark. The imagery and scenery are fantastic and the story line is enthralling. I definitely recommend it and will be firmly planted in front of my idiot box to watch it. As for children: mine will be leaving the room. There’s not a lot of sex and what there is is not gratuitous, but there is violence, there are drugs, and it is dark enough to possibly keep a young child up at night. Use your discretion here, but I would say you should put eyes on show before your children do.
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