The best literary TV adaptation you aren’t watching is coming to an end.
Yes, I’m talking about The Magicians.
Today, Syfy announced that the current season, the fifth for the adaptation of Lev Grossman’s trilogy, would be the show’s last. You may have noticed, if you’re a frequent reader of this site, that I love The Magicians. Though it takes a little while to get going, once it does, it is absolute catnip for those of us who grew up reading fantasy and science fiction novels, and whose ears are perked for every reference to Tolkien and Buffy. (Obviously, Grossman is a fan too.) The writing is also quietly phenomenal, which I don’t say lightly.
Of the show’s ending, executive producer Sera Gamble said:
I feel it really says what we wanted to say about their journey into adulthood. Was there more gas in the tank? I mean, I think the show itself sort of speaks to the endless capacity to create with all our partners. The world that Lev Grossman created in his books is so rich, I think there’s like a thousand shows inside of those books. And I only became more convinced when we kind of ran out of plot [from the novels], we have done most of the stories of those three books.
But the world is so real that I’m not going to lie, we could go off and tell lots of stories about these characters. But to put some kind of punctuation at the end of the sentence of this particular show and the journey we’ve been going on with our audience for the last five seasons, we feel pretty good about the season finale. I feel like it is very much in keeping with the spirit of the show.
The series finale will air April 1. The cancellation probably has something to do with the fan response to the way the fourth season ended; it also feels like the right time to me. What doesn’t feel right? The fact that despite the show’s popularity, very few people I know actually watch it. On the plus side, this means that starting next month, any holdouts in my life will be able to binge the whole series at once. Something to do when we’re all quarantined!