(Feature image still from The Magicians, “Unauthorized Magic”, Episode 1, Season 1, 2016
In a show where everything is out of this world, sometimes quite literally, “The Magicians”, a new Netflix original, adds a new element to media that I have not seen yet, and it could save lives. We all know that much of what we see on television today tends to lean towards the more negative aspects of life.
Whether it is drugs, sex, shootings, rapes, kidnappings, or the many other sad events that occur almost daily, our minds are constantly being filled with horrible images of our world, and then we are reminded of those facts of life in our fictional shows that we binge watch. “The Magicians” is no excuse. Many of the episodes are filled with drinking, drugs sex, and horrifying actions of one group to another; the difference is that this show is trying to help.
At the end of a few episodes during its first season, the show has been including hotlines that pertain to a major event in that particular episode. In the final episode of the first season there are allusions to a rape that occurred to one of the characters. This was extremely traumatic occurrence in the life of this particular character, as it is in real life as well. At the end, just before the credits, information for the “National Sexual Assault Hotline” pops up with an anonymous phone number and their website link.
(Still from The Magicians, “Have You Brought Me Little Cakes”, Episode 13, Season 1, 2016)
When one of these information pages popped up at the end of an episode, I remember thinking how amazing it is for a producer to add this in. Going back to the fact that most of what is on television, or in movies today contains a lot of horrible things, it is great to see that there are people who truly want to help. Unfortunately it has become so common in television to have such dark themes to create a more ‘entertaining’ story, what this show realized is that just because the show contains some disturbing parts within the story, doesn’t mean that they can’t try and bring awareness to the reality of these themes.
The following article highlights some of the sexual scenes, particular revolving assault, as being sometimes a little much, but still executed better than most shows would have shot them. Similar to their additions of help hotlines after difficult to watch scenes, The Magicians is certainly taking steps in the right direction towards a better type of television.
With the number of people on social media, and watching television today, many of those people may be able to relate to many of those themes, but not know what they can do about it. “The Magicians” knows that many of their viewers can probably relate to all of those themes, so they make sure their viewers know that they can get help. I think that this added feature is an amazing addition to the TV show, and made me like it much more. Not only is their the entertainment of a good TV show, but also respect for the fact that they are using their platform in attempt to help people, bringing meaning to their magic.
Michael Cyphers, Blog1.