The Magicians series didn’t suck after all…

…but the TV adaptation is getting on my nerves now. More on that in a sec.

After hating The Magicians when I read it five years ago, I started watching the TV adaptation and decided to give the series another chance.

And I didn’t hate it.

In fact, I ended up enjoying it quite a bit.

The series gets progressively better after the first book, so much so that by the end of the series, I was sad that it was ending.

The characters finally grow up and toss off their “Oh woe is me, everything sucks, so I’m going to be a selfish asshole. Fuck your feelings. Did I mention that everything sucks and I hate my life?” attitudes. Thank the gods.

The story gets more interesting, too.

The TV series, though…

This is me while watching The Magicians lately…
I mean, it’s not that I’m not liking it anymore, but I’m getting really annoyed with how far the storyline is straying from the books. Normally I’m a purist–if an adaptation doesn’t follow the books damned near religiously, I’m annoyed. Because I’m not super in love with this book series, though, I was able to let the changes slide at first. But now it’s getting ridiculous.

I get it. It’s a TV series. The writers are going to have to add/change things here and there to keep the show going where the books have a finite ending. But come on. Some of the changes have been huge and completely unnecessary. It’s not nearly as bad as the Under the Dome adaptation was (that was some horrible shit), but I’m finding myself sideye-ing the TV and muttering, “What the hell? THIS DOESN’T HAPPEN.” more and more lately. I’m surprised my husband hasn’t gotten annoyed with my frequent interjections. I’ll keep watching, though, and trying to separate the show from the books in my mind. If I hadn’t read the books, I’m sure I would be in love with the show at this point. I’d definitely recommend it to people who haven’t read the books.

And I’d recommend the books, too. If, like me, you read the first one and you’re not impressed, keep reading (assuming that you’re into this type of fantasy story). Give the second one a try and see what happens. The series gets much better as it goes on.

Does The Magicians deserve another chance?

I read The Magicians (Lev Grossman) in 2012 with a bunch of other people on Twitter for an event called #1book140, and I really didn’t like it. In fact, this is what I said in my review of the book:

I read this book for #1book140, and at the beginning of our foray into The Magicians the author stated that he wrote this book because he loves young-adult fantasy and wanted to write a young-adult fantasy novel for adults, “with all the sex and drinking and other complicated adult realities that young adult authors have to leave out.” Now, I’m no judgmental prude; I’m not anti-booze, or anti-sex, and I’m definitely not anti-cussing. Have at it. However, if the only thing that separates YA novels from adult novels are booze, meaningless sex, and cussing, then we have a serious problem.

(Not to mention that many YA authors don’t shy away from those things anyway.)

And I stand by that for now. I also thought that Fillory was a lame version of Narnia, and that Brakebills was a lame version of Hogwarts. I stand by those feelings, too.

img_4814
HOWEVER…

Eric and I started watching the television adaptation of The Magicians a couple days ago…

…and I like it.

While the show reminds me of the reasons I didn’t like the book (whiny, entitled characters, anyone?), I’m starting to think I need to revisit the series. I think I want to reread The Magicians and then actually read the other two books in the trilogy.

Maybe I read The Magicians at the wrong time (that has happened with other books I didn’t like the first time around)? Maybe the rest of the series will be better and I’ll end up liking it? My reading buddy tells me that lots of people didn’t like the first book. To me that implies that they did like the other two…or at least liked them more than they liked The Magicians.

THE MAGICIANS S1
All I know for sure is that the TV series is making me want to read the whole trilogy. I can’t remember enough of the details in the first book to know if they’ve changed much in the show, but I’m pretty into it. Alice is still a gem (she was basically the only character in the book I liked), and I’m interested in Julia’s storyline. She’s being super selfish right now, but I kind of get it.

TL;DR: I’m thinking about digging back into the books. We’ll see.