The Magicians on Syfy
If you grew up with Harry Potter, or The Golden Compass, or The Chronicles of Narnia, or even if you’re just a fan of a well-told tale, you have to read Lev Grossman’s Magicians trilogy.
Syfy’s website says it’s not due ’till 2016, but there’s a “First Look” Trailer.
It actually looks super cheesy and over-the-top–It looks like a dressed-up version of a supernatural teen show on the CW, really. The cinematography looks fairly beautiful, though, so maybe that will be worthwhile? The main character looks a bit affected, but that’s the way that the character is written, so maybe it’ll turn out alright. If not, I’ll always have the books, and I can just hope for a remake in 20 years.
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell on BBC
Somehow this has already been airing and I hadn’t noticed. Maybe it’s the ocean. Sometimes I feel like there’s still a delay in getting British Imports.
Susanna Clarke’s book of the same name is about an alternate-universe England, one in which magic is real and was once abundant. Years after the Golden Age of Magic, the eponymous Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell are the only practical magicians in an era when all other magicians are theoretical. Before Mr. Strange arrived on the scene, Mr. Norrell
One of the best aspects of the book is that its villain, a fairy king who is powerful, capricious, but ultimately not malicious–which doesn’t mean that he’s ultimately good. Rather, he’s not evil. I’m very interested to see how the show works with this dynamic. More than anything, though, I hope it’s as funny as its source material–sometimes the inherent wit of a series gets lost in translation from page to screen. It was somewhat true of Harry Potter, but I really hope that this series stays true to that.
Area X/ The Southern Reach Trilogy
This is probably a lot further away, but there are whispers that Area X will be getting its own film adaptation (likely a trilogy, like the books). I’m especially excited for this because I was intrigued and excited by the world that Jeff Vandermeer created in his Southern Reach Trilogy, but very disappointed with how the narrative eventually turned out. It was more glimpses, less development. I’m especially excited because it seems like Alex Garland, fresh off of success from Ex Machina, is writing the script.
True Detective on HBO
Even if I hadn’t seen the trailers that preceded episodes of Game of Thrones, or been intrigued by seeing Colin Firth, Rachel McAdams, and that other intense-looking hot guy (I’d look him up, but what if IMDB gives me casting spoilers?) looking intense together, I’d be psyched for True Detective based on the previous season.
I loved the first season of True Detective. It was moody, lush, and dour–but also allowed itself to be funny, satirical, and interesting. Plus, I love so-called “off-type” casting–it’s usually not just a case of a character being “off-type” for an actor, but probably also a sign that the new material is new.
Allow me here a small ode to the stars of the first season: What took popular critic-dom (not to mention casting agents) so long to realize the greatness of McConaughey & Harrelson? Did they never see McConaughey in any movie opposite Kate Hudson? Did they never root for Harrelson’s character in Will & Grace to marry Grace? And Reign of Fire was pretty good, right?
Anyway, to my delight, the new season seems to have the same interesting casting; post-Mean Girls, Rachel McAdams has been kicking around in rom coms for far too long (although The Wedding Crashers is pretty great).
I still wish this was happening, though:
Amy Schumer and Bill Heder in a script written by Schumer herself! ‘Nuff said.
Here’s hoping that this stuff will be as delightful as it promises. What are you looking forward to, semi-imaginary readers?