The Magicians: Six Short Stories About Magic

The Magicians: Six Short Stories About Magic | Season 3, Episode 8 | Rating: 9.9/11 |

We are supposed to be on a two week hiatus from our coverage of The Magicians, but Six Short Stories About Magic is so powerful I had to take a break from my Walt Disney World vacation to write something. This isn’t a full-fledged review and there will be more to say about this episode (and last week’s episode Poached Eggs) when we return next week to talk about All About Josh the musical episode.

Every now and then one TV show changes the formula and rewrites the rules of what’s acceptable on TV. That show is The Magicians. Season three kicked off by announcing SYFY would no longer be censoring the word “fuck” in the show. We’ve already seen The Magicians cover subjects such as rape, addiction and mental health with such refreshingly honest clarity and emotion handling not just the before, but also covering the during and after effects of these subjects in an ongoing fashion. Now The Magicians are changing the audio rules…

Most TV shows bridge silences with music and sound effects not allowing for there to be a drop in volume on your screen but rather a constant noise factor. Why does this happen? Because most people would grab their remote control and start playing with the volume if the sound suddenly cut out wondering “What’s wrong with my TV?”

Enter Six Short Stories About Magic which features nearly 10 minutes of dead silence as the story of Harriet is told. Harriet, played by Marlee Matlin, is the show’s deaf character, and thus Harriet’s story is being told from her character’s inability to hear. There’s no audible dialogue, no music, no footsteps or running or skipping or storming off, no sounds of books closing, no hand claps, not even any electrical hums. I have to admit even I wondered what happened to my sound for the first 30 seconds, and then was just floored by what the creative team pulled off in this episode. We’ve recently seen TV shows such as Game of Thrones end a dramatic episode in silence as the credits roll usually taking a moment of silence to mourn the loss of a beloved character. But to pull off nearly 25% of an entire episode in pure silence — bravo!

It’s is a bold statement of change and the shift in humanity. It’s a symbolic gesture of unity as the world experiences how the deaf community truly observes the world. It’s a declaration that nothing is off the table in this series. It’s art at its finest. And it was an extremely risky move. Not to mention, nearly 10 minutes of silence makes you appreciate how much work the audio & music departments of every film and TV show do.

To the creative team, executives and producers behind The Magicians: Keep it up. We see what you’re doing and we like it.

Episode 9, the season three musical episode, airs Wednesday, March 7th at 9/8c.