Parents' Guide to

The Magicians

By Edie Nugent, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Darker, more adult magical quest for the Harry Potter set.

TV Syfy Drama 2016
The Magicians Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 27 parent reviews

age 18+

Crud-loaded Content

This show is ridiculed with drug/alcohol use, sexuality, and foul language. I did not have television for 5 years and find it overwhelming what is now considered fine for a channel like sci-fi. I believe this show could have been gold without the above elements sniffling the talent and true storyline Punchlines based on foul sexualoty are not always as welcome as Hollywood would lead one to believe. What a pity...I constantly balk at the content, even though I try to enjoy the actual story...scifi's content is gag worthy. When will the world every be right again?!

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 14+

Not even worth the magic effects

I like most things fantasy, magical, sci-fi. This however is rubbish. There are no characters that are appealing. They are all sulky, self serving, self involved, imbeciles. None of the characters have any substance and seem to mainly be rude, nasty, or obnoxious. The actual adult characters are overly indulgent of immature behaviour displayed in the main characters so the show offers no real life lessons or messages. Each episode is a long drama of whining and over or under acting. I really couldn’t say which age group would actually appreciate it. There are random overt sexual moments thrown in for no apparent reason along with drug and alcohol use and gratuitous violence so it’s probably not suitable for younger teens although the story lines are simplistic, basic and predictable so may not appeal to an older age group, or anyone for that matter. Like a lot of shows in this genre it seems that the writers are aiming at a younger viewer with the story line but also want older viewers by including scenes that would be inappropriate for younger viewers. There seems to be no real direction for the show other than a ‘beast’ inhabiting some other alternate world that occasionally crops up in some of the episodes. There appears to be no real focus on any one character just random events and occasional relationship woes that happen to a handful of unappealing individuals. I haven’t read the books the show is based on and this show doesn’t make me want to. It is like a cross between Harry Potter and an old Porkies movie.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (27):
Kids say (25):

The misfits-turned-wizards premise is grounded in solid fantasy footing in this series; devotees of the genre will see much from Harry Potter and Narnia. The well-worn trope of young people finding themselves at the center of grand magical battles has a great amount of power in today's fantasy-favoring landscape. The quality of the show's source material lays a solid foundation for the series to contrast well-worn concepts with a more adult treatment of these themes.

Wisely, the show has aged its protagonists from undergrads to grad students. This frees its characters to engage in the experimentation that helps to set this young-adult identity-crisis story apart from its genre progenitors. If the time it's broadcast doesn't drive home that The Magicians is for older teenagers, it should be stated: Morally and ethically dubious decisions form the core of this show, and depression, self-harm, death, strong sexual innuendo, and murder are key elements of the story. As lead character Quentin states in the first episode, "Be warned: This adventure is no mere children's tale," and as a result, it's best left for older viewers.

TV Details

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