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Quinton
Apr 25, 2004



I didn't hate it, but I definitely agree that it feels really rushed. Yeah, I expect things to be a bit compressed for TV, but I feel like they couldn't figure out how to convey most of the (interesting!) classroom stuff about learning magic so they just skipped over it, which unfortunately means the show spends no time at all giving you an idea of what the students are doing and what the nature of magic is, which feels like a mistake.

Running Julie's story in parallel rather than waiting until much later seems like a sound decision.

It reminds me a lot of the new Star Trek movies -- interesting casting, some cool sets and effects, but what in the world happened to coherent storytelling?

I now have this desire to re-read the books, but I'm in the middle of re-reading the Expanse books due to the other SyFy series I'm watching. Dammit.

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cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


I'm quite put off by the way they're treating Julia.

In the book, she finds the Safehouse through her own cleverness and determination (and some really lovely decisions but at least she got to make them.)

In the show, she gets shown the way by some guy who strips her and threatens to surprise sex her.

Rocksicles
Oct 19, 2012

DAAAAAMN!
Put your glasses back on.


Turned out better than with the last guy who gave her a lift...

Woden
May 6, 2006


I generally hate origins stories that have been done a billion times before so was happy they skipped wizard college poo poo and got to the meat of things. Still felt stunted though and they probably should have done a double episode opener instead of rushing so much.

Haven't read the books and so have no idea what it's about, while the pilot was weak I'll give it a few more episodes before pulling the pin.

Josh Lyman
May 24, 2009




The female half-Muggle reminds me too much of Laurel on Arrow whom I still absolutely hate.

Macdeo Lurjtux
Jul 5, 2011




icantfindaname posted:

Like what? I read the first book a long time ago but don't remember much other than that it was very very very nihilistic and angsty in tone. Also I think there was a furry sex scene where him and his girlfriend gently caress in fox form. Unfortunately both of those could make it into a network TV show just fine

I don't know about him but for me you can really tell that Grossman is a book critic from the way it's written. There are more than a few times it feels a scene exists because Grossman has a checklist of things he needed to include. The book is also over full with pop culture references, he actually handled it with a lot more talent that Ready Player One but it's still telling if you recognize it. After the book came out he made a three page blog post detailing every single reference he worked in.

Josh Lyman
May 24, 2009




Trying to listen to the audiobooks, I'm glad they aged up everyone to grad students.

I really hope the show doesn't suck because as a grad student named Q who takes antidepressants

Josh Lyman fucked around with this message at Dec 19, 2015 around 17:24

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007



Soiled Meat

cptn_dr posted:

I'm quite put off by the way they're treating Julia.

In the book, she finds the Safehouse through her own cleverness and determination (and some really lovely decisions but at least she got to make them.)

In the show, she gets shown the way by some guy who strips her and threatens to surprise sex her.

Yeah, it is sexist as gently caress

Na'at
May 5, 2003

You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star

Lipstick Apathy

Grimwall posted:

About casting, the standout was Elliot for me. When I saw him just lazily sunning himself on the brakebills entrance while waiting for Q, that sold the actor for me.

Yeah the way he said Quintin's name was just perfect. The thing that gets me is in the books a huge part of the magic is that most anyone can do magic it's just insanely hard. Which is why Quintin and everyone else at breakebills is a 4+ GPA having, grade skipping, over achiever. Hell Elliot even says "You'll be amongst your peers for the first time in your life." It also completely skipped some scenes like students getting insane amounts of homework or practicing hand positions until dark. I'm not asking for 9 hours of classroom scenes but just something other than kids liquid dancing sans glowsticks.

EmotionlessThug
Feb 14, 2012



That dude who wrote six paragraphs about it on the last page was right about everything but the thing that annoyed me the most was the sort of "quentin is the chosen one" thing they are going for. It's weird and it doesn't really fit. Also them putting basically all of Alice's backstory in the first episode is a bit much, I feel like it somehow made her less sympathetic as opposed to by far the most likable character in the book. I'll still watch it though because the beast was good and what the hell, I watched all of game of thrones so its not like i have standards.

Pwnstar
Dec 9, 2007

Who wants some waffles?



When the girl tore her arm up I was expecting her to wake up with her memory erased but see the wound and do some sleuthing to figure out what happened to her but she seemed to have just not forgotten at all and I guess that was her casting a spell?

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007



Soiled Meat

Pwnstar posted:

When the girl tore her arm up I was expecting her to wake up with her memory erased but see the wound and do some sleuthing to figure out what happened to her but she seemed to have just not forgotten at all and I guess that was her casting a spell?

Yeah that was weird and lazy writing

Spatula City
Oct 21, 2010

LET ME EXPLAIN TO YOU WHY YOU ARE WRONG ABOUT EVERYTHING

hmmmm

hmmmmmmmm

There were some interesting adaptation choices made.

Good:
skipping most of the school stuff, because it's boring and probably wouldn't come through well on TV
Quentin, Elliott, Julia, and "Margo" (Janet) are well cast. Quentin for better or worse is really, really similar to his character in the book
Elliott is fabulous
good special effects - when I heard it was on Syfy I got worried but so far the seams haven't really been showing on the VFX
the Beast is as terrifying in the show as he was in the book, and overall that's the most effective scene in the pilot


Bad:
lots of obvious plot contrivances to hurry things up
Julia should have detectived her way into the underground magic world, not meet a skeevy guy at her birthday party - it kinda reduces her agency, especially the unsettling scene where he undresses her. It's obvious afterwards that he was just doing it to provoke her into magic, but that doesn't help. I guess it's heavyhanded foreshadowing for later on, though. I hope that character was just there to get her into the world. also wondering how long it's going to take to get to FTB.
killing the dean this early seems like a mistake. It should have been one of the students! Maybe you give a random kid lines earlier, and then when the Beast shows up they try something, rather than the dean stepping in. I think that would've worked better. In the short term the immediate escalation to the dean's death is an effective moment, but I don't know that they fully thought it through.
Penny is not enough of an unlikable humorless smuggo. I expect that will ramp up in later episodes, I mean that's his whole loving character!
the heavy mytharc foreshadowing with Jane Chatwin


I'm reserving judgment until at least a few more episodes have aired.

Emerson Cod
Apr 14, 2004
Here I was just about to tell you all to shut the hell up, and then you stopped talking so I didn't have to.

The arc kind of makes me wonder if this is (book spoiler) one of Jane's earlier failed attempts at killing Martin that we hear about in the book.

I feel like they did a good job aging Quentin up from the books. It's the same character but instead of learning that magic was real straight out of high school, he had a few years to become so disillusioned that he was planning to sell his Fillory books.

etalian
Mar 20, 2006


The show is just Sy Fy trying to corner the market for floating sex scenes.

Forgall
Oct 16, 2012

What're you lookin' at?


Woden posted:

I generally hate origins stories that have been done a billion times before so was happy they skipped wizard college poo poo and got to the meat of things. Still felt stunted though and they probably should have done a double episode opener instead of rushing so much.
Well, that's the problem with this adaptation. They are trying to force it into "boy with magical destiny goes on fantasy adventure" template, when the books weren't that.

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007



Soiled Meat

The books are more the opposite, really

etalian
Mar 20, 2006


blue squares posted:

The books are more the opposite, really

Yeah if anything the books are fun due to how the tone pokes fun at YA type fiction.

Pompous Rhombus
Mar 11, 2007


Didn't realise this had (sorta) premiered already!

Opening scene with Fogarty and the paramedic almost made me turn it off. Heavy-handed foreshadowing, Harry Potter-esque prophecy about a Chosen One, etc, ugh. Ditto with the Jane Chatwin stuff, not sure if she's supposed to be so wooden so it's more creepy or something, but that + more unnecessary foreshadowing really rubs me the wrong way. In the hands of a better network I might think they were setting up for some awesome expectation-shattering twists in the future, but my hopes are not high here.

It quickly started to get better though, I thought it was really well-cast (a little weird having Rick Worthy in there among a bunch of other unknowns because of watching Man in the High Castle so recently, but he's fine). Soundtrack was a little eyerolly at times and overall it felt much more "SyFy" than "HBO" in terms of script and polish, although I did get a laugh at Penny's line about mentally putting dubstep over Quentin's thoughts because they're so boring. I also liked Quentin's line about not dying in the first 10 minutes of the movie when he was thinking about not coming to Alice's seance, fits in well with the often self-aware, almost fourth-wall-breaking dialog of the books. I wouldn't say Penny's a badass but he's definitely less goony, too early to tell whether that will be a good or bad thing, ditto with Quentin being more likeable. I'm not mad at the college -> grad school thing (yet) either, it makes sense and probably works better for TV audiences. I will say that the scenes around the Brakebills grounds seemed more like undergrads than grad students so it may be more of an "in name only" thing, but whatever. I am not particularly fussed about the Julia/toilet wizard thing (yet, we'll see).

I can't really say anything about the pacing that hasn't been said in the last two pages, it seems like they were trying to cram way too much in to get viewers hooked. They definitely could have let the material breathe a little more (especially with Quentin's practical magic exam, that was just a flat 0 to 60 and there was no tension or build-up at all), but I have a feeling the network suits had a hand in that.

Beast was well done but WTF Fogarty?! Noooo

My expectations were really low because SyFy (apparently they are also going ahead with that Hyperion miniseries too, which I would have *really* rather seen an HBO version of), but while I wouldn't say I think The Magicians has been "great" so far, it's been pretty good and I'm interested in watching more.

WarLocke
Jun 6, 2004

You are being watched.


Emerson Cod posted:

The arc kind of makes me wonder if this is (book spoiler) one of Jane's earlier failed attempts at killing Martin that we hear about in the book.

I read the books after seeing the pilot and came into this thread feeling that a bunch of the changes made in the adaptation just don't make sense, but if they were to go with this it would do a lot to redeem everything IMO.

Honestly, some of the book stuff would never fly on TV anyway (first thing that comes to mind is Brakesbill South and Quentin and Alice loving as foxes) , and the TV version of Alice won't get the same effect in the big fight with Martin where she turns into a niffin, and pretty much everything involving her afterwards. Not to mention how Julia's story basically got cut off at the knees (although showing the Reynard stuff is probably too far for TV as well, anyway).

Mouse Dresser
Sep 3, 2002

This isn't Middle Earth, Quentin. There aren't enough noble quests to go around.

The actress that plays Julia has said that they aren't going to shy away from the Reynard stuff. Although I couldn't find a link regarding it, I think she mentions it (in a roundabout way) in the SyFy channel talking head videos promoting the series/introducing the actors.

I'm cautiously optimistic regarding the series. The things that are pissing me off are the young Jane Chatwin stuff. The actress is horrible, her accent is somehow even more horrible, and I dislike the idea of Jane collaborating with the Dean regarding Quentin. We also really needed to see The Beast smashing the clocks in the classroom.

Rhyno
Mar 22, 2003

Coach Bloodbutt
Default Status: POOPING



Well this was garbage.

And you don't hire Olivia Tayloy Dudley and not show off her goodies.

muscles like this!
Jan 17, 2005



Tonight is the actual start of the show, with the first episode airing at 9/8 and the second episode right after.

muscles like this!
Jan 17, 2005



Well, so far it definitely feels like they've slowed things down. Seems like the breakneck speed was just for the pilot so they could get to the whole Beast part.

geeves
Sep 16, 2004



Overall, I enjoyed the first two episodes. I liked The Beast's appearance. It caught the surrealness of his appearance in the book. That shuffle step was a great little quirk.

muscles like this? posted:

Well, so far it definitely feels like they've slowed things down. Seems like the breakneck speed was just for the pilot so they could get to the whole Beast part.

Yeah it's like they needed that to sell the series.

Emerson Cod posted:

The arc kind of makes me wonder if this is (book spoiler) one of Jane's earlier failed attempts at killing Martin that we hear about in the book.

More spoilers: if they did that in the show and could pull if off, it would be amazing, basically making it a Run, Lola, Run! type show.

Mouse Dresser posted:

The actress that plays Julia has said that they aren't going to shy away from the Reynard stuff. Although I couldn't find a link regarding it, I think she mentions it (in a roundabout way) in the SyFy channel talking head videos promoting the series/introducing the actors.

I'm cautiously optimistic regarding the series. The things that are pissing me off are the young Jane Chatwin stuff. The actress is horrible, her accent is somehow even more horrible, and I dislike the idea of Jane collaborating with the Dean regarding Quentin. We also really needed to see The Beast smashing the clocks in the classroom.

I really liked Julia's story in The Magician King. The ending of it was so heart breaking and tragic. More book I, too, would have liked more sleuthing by Julia to find that guy - not the other way around.

Yeah the Jane Chatwin dreams kinda are out of place; and I'm not a fan of the whole "Dean and Chatwin Conspiracy" at the moment.

muscles like this!
Jan 17, 2005



I'm hoping that they start to give Elliot more stuff to do going forward because he's been pretty fun.

Cast Iron Brick
Apr 24, 2008


So episode two makes The Beast scene bad retroactively. The kids team up and push the beast out with the power of friendship.

Man, this show is making me sad.

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007



Soiled Meat

Cast Iron Brick posted:

So episode two makes The Beast scene bad retroactively. The kids team up and push the beast out with the power of friendship.

Man, this show is making me sad.

what the gently caress

The Beast scene in the books is genuinely the scariest scene I have read in YEARS. And this loving poo poo show hosed it up. They also turned Elliot into yet another TV gay nancy boy stereotype

geeves
Sep 16, 2004



blue squares posted:

what the gently caress

The Beast scene in the books is genuinely the scariest scene I have read in YEARS. And this loving poo poo show hosed it up. They also turned Elliot into yet another TV gay nancy boy stereotype

Because they fought him off? Yeah, that was a bit of a copout instead of Martin leaving of his on volition after eating a student alive? Which is more terifying because it was so nonchalant.

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007



Soiled Meat

geeves posted:

Because they fought him off? Yeah, that was a bit of a copout instead of Martin leaving of his on volition after eating a student alive? Which is more terifying because it was so nonchalant.

Yeah that was insane. Just being frozen in place and randomly devouring a student and we had no idea who or what did it? I got chills reading that and it has stuck with me ever sense. Such a good scene.

geeves
Sep 16, 2004



blue squares posted:

Yeah that was insane. Just being frozen in place and randomly devouring a student and we had no idea who or what did it? I got chills reading that and it has stuck with me ever sense. Such a good scene.

I like it more in the books that it was Quentin loving around than it was a "seance" that made things happen. It showed that magic had consequences especially loving it up while you're dicking around.

Edit: it also would be cool to see The Beast with 7+ fingers

geeves fucked around with this message at Jan 26, 2016 around 06:19

Oasx
Oct 11, 2006

Greetings from Asbury Park

I really hated the first episode because of pacing issues and stupid story changes, this one was a little better but i think it is pretty clear that The Magicians is never going to be a good show.

The book is often described as the anti-Harry Potter story, in the book we are shown that only the best of the best even have a chance to go Breakbills, and when they are there learning magic is super difficult. The show has done nothing to tell us this, in fact it makes Harry Potter with its wands and magic words seem complicated. All that is interesting and unique has been sucked dry and what we are seeing on screen is a dull lifeless version made for the average viewer with little attention span.

The only thing i did like about the first episode was the Beast, but it has already been neutered now. Good job show!

CainsDescendant
Dec 6, 2007

Human nature

I really really like this show

I've never gotten around to reading the books, though.

etalian
Mar 20, 2006


Esmé Bianco is so fine

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.


I had no idea there were any books until I opened this thread so I'm seemingly coming at this from the completely different direct from most of you. I don't care about the books, I have no expectations or pre-existing idea of what "should" happen. I'm just watching the show.

There was definitely a time compression issue early on that even I noticed. I understand why they did it. I'm actually really glad they skipped all the Harry Potter "magic school" orientation (especially since I happened to recently watch a marathon of the HP movies and got sick of that stuff quick). But it definitely played awkward going "Here's Quentin and Julia -> Q&J are now fighting about kid's magic -> Q&J are now taking a magic school entrance exam without any explanation or question -> J is now depressed she didn't get in and Q is indoctrinated" so quickly and awkwardly. I like the basic idea, I'm glad they glossed past "orientation" and right into the stories for both characters, it just could have been handled better.

Otherwise I have no real complaints. The characters aren't all fleshed out but its two episodes in and there's no character that seems doomed. I like the idea that the school isn't really the point of the show since that doesn't sound too interesting to me. I'm not sitting her wishing for my study or class scenes. I got the idea that magic came down to hard work, acumen, and practice rather than just being some natural skill. I don't think any more focus on that is terrible necessary although you folks seem to suggest that its a much bigger part of the books.

I don't see Quentin as a "chosen one". I mean, obviously him and Penny are some kind of important somehow but I think between Penny being a naturally more skilled/more advanced magician and it being establish Q isn't exactly taking to this keeps it from being some overt savior story. Right now Quentin's more Ron than Harry. And Alice didn't remotely say "Hermione" to me despite her being a studious over achiever. Her main character to me was that she seemed deeply damaged and is hiding things.

I don't know, I'm intrigued. There are worse ways to kill 40 minutes a week.

Mouse Dresser
Sep 3, 2002

This isn't Middle Earth, Quentin. There aren't enough noble quests to go around.

muscles like this? posted:

I'm hoping that they start to give Elliot more stuff to do going forward because he's been pretty fun.

Elliot is the best part of this series, it's really perfect casting.

I was unsure on Quentin and Julia, but I am warming up to them. The actress who plays Alice is good, but I don't think she's right. Was Alice blonde in the books? Also, you can't have Margo/Janet criticize Alice's clothes when she is basically a loving hipster model. I pictured someone who dresses frumpier, or at least doesn't give enough of a poo poo to wear cool accessories and high heels.

Hedrigall
Mar 27, 2008

Furgiven, but not furgotten


Ahaha Lev Grossman's cameo in the 2nd episode.

Cast Iron Brick
Apr 24, 2008


Mouse Dresser posted:

Elliot is the best part of this series, it's really perfect casting.

I was unsure on Quentin and Julia, but I am warming up to them. The actress who plays Alice is good, but I don't think she's right. Was Alice blonde in the books? Also, you can't have Margo/Janet criticize Alice's clothes when she is basically a loving hipster model. I pictured someone who dresses frumpier, or at least doesn't give enough of a poo poo to wear cool accessories and high heels.

Looking forward to the scene where Alice pulls down her ponytail and puts on contacts to become THE PRETTIEST GIRL IN SCHOOL

Chomposaur
Feb 28, 2010


Man that opening scene. There is no greater buzzkill than a vague pronoun conversation.

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Shooting Blanks
Jun 6, 2007

Real bullets mess up how cool this thing looks.

-Blade


blue squares posted:

what the gently caress

The Beast scene in the books is genuinely the scariest scene I have read in YEARS. And this loving poo poo show hosed it up. They also turned Elliot into yet another TV gay nancy boy stereotype

Eh, I think they kind of nailed Eliot's character - his mannerisms weren't what I expected, but they got the aloofness down pat. Penny I think they also generally got right. Everyone else - bleh.

Hopefully this show turns around because I did enjoy the books, but so far I'm disappointed. It tends to veer towards being extremely dark, in the vein of the books (ripping out the dean's eyeballs! fat from a corpse!) to the utterly mundain. Pacing is off, tone is inconsistent...it's far from irretrievable, but I've got a few more episodes in me before I throw the towel in. SyFy-itis is real, y'all.

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