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After being recruited to a secretive academy, a group of students discover that the magic they read about as children is very real-and more dangerous than they ever imagined.
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Quentin Coldwater / ... (27 episodes, 2015-2018)
...
 Julia Wicker (26 episodes, 2015-2017)
...
 William 'Penny' Adiyodi (26 episodes, 2015-2017)
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 Eliot Waugh (26 episodes, 2015-2017)
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 Margo Hanson (26 episodes, 2015-2017)
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 Alice Quinn (25 episodes, 2015-2017)
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 Kady Orloff-Diaz (21 episodes, 2015-2017)
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 Dean Fogg (14 episodes, 2015-2017)
...
 Richard (12 episodes, 2016-2017)
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 Fen (12 episodes, 2017)
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Storyline

After being recruited to a secretive academy, a group of students discover that the magic they read about as children is very real and more dangerous than they ever imagined. But will getting hooked on the thrill of magic distract them from honing their powers when they need them most?

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Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

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TV-14 | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

16 December 2015 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A varázslók  »

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16:9 HD
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The same set is used for the Brakebills library, the lab classroom in S1E1, other various classrooms, and Brakebills South See more »

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User Reviews

 
Much-welcomed Harry Potter upgrade :-)
25 December 2015 | by (Croatia) – See all my reviews

Clever and innovative approach to a not-so-innovative premise of a hidden magical reality, parallel to the world we live in - told from the perspective of a graduating high school student, struggling to decide what to do with his life. The narrative is well set, placed in the modern world with (young) adult protagonists; which immediately gives it somehow more real-feel, and makes it more relatable and interesting. And the idea it proposes - that the cause behind being an awkward teenager with identity crisis is actually sensitivity to magic

  • is a brilliant touch, with timeless quality and something that should
resonate well with the audience.

It's based on a book I haven't read - so I can't really tell you how much it's faithful to the original or not. However, the storytelling in this TV adaptation so far has no flaws, it's just perfect.

It's contemporary, it's realistic, it creates credible logic in its own universe, it's presented by quality actors and it builds gradually into what I would expect to become a much more interesting and powerful version of HP-fantasy.

And if you might think we don't need a modernized, 'American' version of Potter-world - well, I believe you're wrong. J.K. Rowling may have started it all, but now we want somebody to try and make it into something more. For me, Harry Potter was always just a cute story of an slightly-upgraded-but-still-out-of-date world of magic for children aged 4- 14.

And because I will at this point most likely have antagonized all hard core HP fans - I want you to know I have nothing against Harry Potter. I think it's crafted skilfully, it's cute and I like it quite a bit, but at the time it was made I've simply felt I was too old (24) to get fully immersed into that world. Well, THIS story makes me feel quite differently about it from the start. It sits quite well with my expectations and requirements.

I'll say this adventure has started down the right path. We can only hope it stays or better yet, evolves that way. Judging by what I've seen in the manner of directing it so far, my hopes are high. And I don't really care if it doesn't follow the original, I've given up on that a while ago, while following the series such as The Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead. All I care about now is quality storytelling and and quality delivery.

Whoever claims it's boring - either is not really a fantasy fan, or doesn't really understand how quality and convincing dramatic build- up works: you really DO need a proper character-build in order to achieve it. And if the pilot is not to do that, what is?

This has all been confirmed times and again, and just recently strong case has been made by the success and critical acclaim of series such as Breaking Bad and its spin-off, Better Call Saul. We all know Breaking Bad has reached its peak interest, wide critical acclaim and cult status with its audience - only in its last, 5th season. Talking about build- up...

And BB was never really about thrilling action - the external development of narrative only served the purpose of creating dramatic tension that led to the inner change and (morally downward) development of the character (ergo, breaking bad)... But that hasn't stopped it from being greatest show ever, au contraire. That being said, I found the first episode of Breaking Bad quite slow and boring - but by the end of it I was curious. After 2 or 3 episodes - I couldn't stop.

I felt a similar pull while watching the pilot of this show, and since I wasn't totally happy with the only review at the time and also believed it deserves better rating, I wanted to contribute a bit if I can.

Since I'm already comparing it, can this be AS great? Well, surely not.

Firstly, it's just too far away from day-to-day reality everyone's experiencing, to be AS relatable. You're immersed into a surreal world where rules and contents are made-up and you have no vote over that: you are merely an observer, who can only accept what happens and maybe, track how much it makes sense. You and your life experience is - for the most part - excluded. What's more important, you can't really expect such ingenious character development when issues and inner conflicts of the main character are nowhere near as deep and socially and existentially relevant to be able to engage you on such a fundamentally deep level.

However, we are all nowadays more and more inclined to explore the true potential of life, so the topic of magic is indeed asking for far more (quality) exploration of it in the modern TV and film medium, then it's being done at the moment. So, this show is doing it justice, at the least.

And finally, when I look at it again - the pace of this show is actually amazing. There are sudden twists in the plot that make it quite unpredictable, there's been already a powerful appearance of a villain who promises to be an imminent and overpowering threat to our unlikely hero; while interesting inversions of the common motives and good-vs-bad principles of fantasy worlds (such as walking/not walking the 'garden path') and introduction of spiritual 'cross-over' ideas (as 'not having any molecule of control over what happens') make it cast undoubtedly a new, fresh and exciting light to the genre...

I've had a lot of fun watching it and can't wait to see more! 25th of January just seems so far, far away...

And if you still don't like it, I can conclude only one thing - you probably have no 'magical aptitude' AT ALL :-)


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