The TV show The Magicians has some respect for books; the showrunners even brought Lev Grossman to check it out. After the end of the show, many fans of the show alone have considered reading the book series to facilitate their retirement from Brakebills. But that tedium of the mid-20s, as endless as it may seem while you're drowning in it, doesn't last forever. Near the end of The Magicians, Quentin discovers that Fillory, the fantasy land that appears in the supposedly fictitious books he became obsessed with as a child, is real.
The rest of the series follows Quentin and his friends as they fight to protect Fillory and Earth from mundane and magical challenges. The magicians enter Fillory and search for a mission, finding it more dangerous and divided than the books indicate. This young Freeform procedural drama has a fantastic twist that fans of The Magicians will appreciate. Based on Lev Grossman's best-selling books, The Magicians focuses on Brakebills University, a secret institution specializing in magic.
But although a serious part of The Magicians follows Quentin and his classmates (the studious love of his life Alice, the exalted Penny, the imperious Eliot, the mercurial Janet and the chubby — he doesn't have many other descriptors here — Josh) through his five years on Brakebills, it doesn't take long for the series to become much more than a magic school. Along with Plum, a brilliant young magician with a dark secret of her own, Quentin embarks on a twisted path through a magical demon of gray magic and desperate characters. In the books, Julia's journey was told (through several flashback chapters) in the second book, The Magician King, while the Syfy series had its machinations at the same time as the other characters. The author of the novels that inspired Syfy's 'The Magicians' is sometimes surprised by the series.
There's a reason fans have been tuning into this CW series for over a decade, and the title alone is proof of its thematic connection to The Magicians. Under the direction of show creators John McNamara and Sera Gamble, The Magicians is a true ensemble, populated by complex and fascinating characters who carry as much weight as Quentin, if not more. And when the SyFy network first announced that they would be adapting Lev Grossman's The Magicians trilogy, the series felt destined to become one more example of this truism. When you're not re-reading The Magicians books between episodes, get your supernatural and fantastic dose by escaping to the worlds of these series.
Like Game of Thrones before, The Magicians became more interesting when it got out of the way that created it.