Notes While Watching: The Magicians Episode 1

On Notes:  These are notes I jot while I watch the episode/movie.  There are spoilers and the commentary is not cohesive, but reactionary.  


Episode 1 Summary:  Quentin Coldwater – a brilliant, but depressed college student from Brooklyn, NY – learns that magic is real when he is offered admission at Brakebills University, an exclusive graduate school for magicians. Once ensconced in school, he quickly discovers, firsthand, the darker and terrifying side of magic.

Why are these guys friends with newboy?
How are some of these guys so good
That’s the dream every kid has, especially those who have depression. That they aren’t alone. That there are others, an easy way to fit it. Its an illusion. I wonder if this show will break the illusion for him? If right now at school is the illusion and the real world with Jules is the reality that he will begin to see beneath the surface.
Oh, I like Alice’s default response to Quinten.
OMG THIS DUDE IS SUCH AN ASSHOLE TO HIS FRIEND. Like, this is his friend who has stood by him all this time and the first time she’s not okay, where she’s got a reasonable reason for being upset (memory wipe, one test to supposedly determine her abilties) and he’s like, “yeah, you just aren’t that good”.
And seriously, his rejection and their refusal to train her or teach her is why she goes to illicit elements.
Oh, my god, if she gets magic raped, I am going to be so fucking pissed. She’s already being magic sexually assualted. What the everliving fuck? Why do we use sexual assault as an easy way to establish bad guys and to establish someone’s powerlessness? AND of course he’s with their bad guy reject school group.
This summoning scene between Alice and Quinten is RIGHT FROM BUFFY. Like, the setup is directly Willow and Tara.
They really have managed to make everyone a stereotype. Its really obnoxiously unnecessary, but I guess its an easy way to establish your character.
Pacey – cool guy who is destined to be one of the psychic goths.  Oh no, his cool guy status will be lost.  Poor boy.
Oh, look, we have boiling chocolate in the middle of oyr mystic shit. And creepy troll smiley face.

Look, everybody, its the mothman, who is apparently a smiley, dancing troll. And like all good trolls, that’s where we end. Huzzah.

Overall:  I think this show has a lot of potential.  Its relying very strongly on stereotypes in order to establish itself and its characters.  There are some good cliff hangers and plot points, but at this point those points are really overshadowed by the weak characterization.  I mean, this is unsurprising because it is the first episode and they  have a limited amount of time to catch you so they want to superspeed through and establish the cast so they can draw you into the interpersonal drama.  I just don’t think they do a great job.  BUT, there’s potential there.

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