A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Librarians follows a magical group of librarians entrusted with the world's magical objects. Action-y violence: fistfights, elaborate bombs, and guns all get airtime. Characters are shot and stabbed on-screen and may die, though without visible blood. Battles are choreographed and may be playful but generally are not scary. Scholarship and knowledge are praised; plot points are fantastical and often involve special effects. Main characters include women in strong roles and people of color. Menace is frequent but downplayed by joking quips and miraculous escapes.
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What's the story?
In the fantasy series THE LIBRARIANS, Eve Baird (Rebecca Romijn) was on an ordinary counterterrorism mission when she ran across Flynn Carsen (Noah Wyle), insouciant guardian of our world's magical treasures. Since ancient times, Librarians have worked to make sure magic doesn't fall into the wrong hands. Deep in his lair underneath the New York Metropolitan Public Library, current Librarian Carsen manages a collection that includes Pandora's box, the Ark of the Covenant, Excalibur, and other objects. But now, the Library and the special few who have the potential to be Librarians themselves both are under attack from the evil Serpent Brotherhood. Can Baird protect Carsen and the band of geniuses who have come together to protect the library's treasures?
Is it any good?
Cast in the mold of other lighthearted fantasy-adventure series such as Xena: Warrior Princess and Sleepy Hollow, this series is a whole lot of fun. Wyle, of course, has always had enough Indiana Jones-ish charm to carry off small-screen capers; he proved that with the string of Librarian TV movies that preceded this series. And the decision to hang on to comedy vets Jane Curtin and Bob Newhart as Carsen's advisors Charlene and Judson was a sound one, as was the choice to round out the cast with characters who add quirks. Romijn is a hoot as a square-jawed bodyguard, and Carsen's new fledgling Librarians are a fun bunch: sensitive synesthete Cassandra (Lindy Booth), master thief and international man of mystery Ezekiel Jones (John Kim), and hunky Midwesterner Jake Stone (Christian Kane), a genius in the fields of history, art, and languages.
It's all pretty silly, and it's meant to be. At one point a group of black-clad henchmen rush a bar, hoping to assassinate Stone before he's able to assume his Librarian duties. Baird storms in, karate-chops them to the ground, and then sidles to the bar for a one-on-one with Stone. "Who are these guys, ninjas?" Stone asks. "Maybe," says the taciturn Baird. "In Oklahoma?" Stone asks incredulously. "That's what I said!" returns Baird. Making fun of the meta-silliness makes it all easier to swallow. The cast clearly knows it's in a silly fantasy romp, and they're having a great time. Watch The Librarians, with or without the kids, and you will, too.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the legends on which episodes of The Librarians are based: dragons, labyrinths, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Are any of these people or things real? Does the focus on fantasies and legends make this show more or less interesting to you?
Can you follow all the librarians' clues and deductions? Do you think you're supposed to? What about if you watch an episode repeatedly? Does not being able to follow the plot twists detract from your enjoyment of the show?
Themes & Topics
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