I know we’re mostly sitting at home with a lot of time to stream shows, so rather than scroll indecisively, let’s find both new and old shows to indulge in. Leave a comment or send me a tweet with your suggestions on what we should include in future posts. I’ll try, if possible, to keep this to movies and series available to stream on subscription services without additional money, but I’ll leave a note if there’s a premium charge.
This week’s theme: Witches and Wizards. I’ll look at several series both recent and older around the theme. Unless stated otherwise, assume these are shows for adults. Please leave a comment if you have a favorite I’ve missed. One note: Sabrina would be an obvious recommendation, but I already recommended it last time around.
First up, The Magicians. The Magicians is a series that originally aired on SyFy. It’s based on a book series by Lev Grossman and centers on the adventures of a group of graduate students in a school for magicians. Although the TV series differs slightly from the book series, both are extremely well done. The themes are adult, and this is a show that treats you, the viewer as an adult. There are aspects of both humor and horror, and the show has characters who are very aware of how absurd it is to be real-life magicians who occasionally get sent on magic quests by talking animals. And the soundtrack is consistently amazing. You can tell that they spent some money on music rights.
Available on: Netflix
Bonus material: The book series by Lev Grossman
The Good Witch
The Good Witch is very much a Hallmark Channel show. It is fluffy and sweet, and everyone is almost always happy ever after. Feel free to watch with the whole family. The show is a good background watch or de-stressor for those times when *gestures vaguely at everything* is just too much, and you find that you can’t handle watching any intense shows. Sit back. Relax. Pull a warm blanket and cup of hot cocoa in streaming form.
Available on: Hallmark, Netflix
Bonus material: none, but I do have some trivia. If the city mayor looks familiar, it’s because she also played Dr. Natalie Lambert on Forever Knight.
Charmed is a twofer. There are the original series and the reboot. Both series feature a group of three sisters, “the charmed ones,” who are shocked to discover that they are actually powerful witches who are strongest together with “the power of three.” The trio engages in demon and warlock slaying to save innocent lives and the occasional romantic relationship with demons and angels. While more intense than The Good Witch, this show (at least the original series) is still fluffy enough to not be an emotional drain, but it is not always child appropriate.
Available on: Netfix (original and some of reboot) CW Seed (reboot)
Bonus material: none
Lastly, we have The Witcher, based on a bestselling novel series by Andrzej Sapkowski, which also inspired a video game series. This show was released late last year, and it seemed to be about the right time for people who were quarantined but didn’t want to watch The Tiger King. However, I keep running into people who have not yet watched it. It is intense. It is for adults. There are scenes that include graphic violence and nudity. I realize not everybody may be comfortable with intensity right now, but I find that the fantasy setting helped this show stay a pleasant diversion instead of an additional stressor.
If you are unfamiliar with the series, I think it’s best to approach it fresh and let it unfold before you. It’s also great to rewatch and catch the details you missed the first time around.
Available on: Netflix