The Librarians Season 1 (TNT)

I review the first season of TNT’s The Librarians, developed by John Rogers, which is a spin-off of The Librarian film series, sharing continuity yet remaining accessible for newcomers. The Librarians stars Rebecca Romijn, Christian Kane, Lindy Booth, John Kim, Noah Wyle and more.

I’m going to start this review off by saying that I have never actually seen The Librarian films that The Librarians is based on, featuring Noah Wyle, but The LibrariansTV sounded like it could be great fun particularly as it turned out to be fairly accessible to new audiences, especially when it featured familiar actors like Rebecca Romijn (who played Mystique in the original X-Men Trilogy) and Christian Kane (who was in Leverage),
Noah Wyle reprised his role from the films as the Librarian, Flynn Carsen, who quickly turned out to be a Doctor-esque character and a eccentric mentor to the new Librarians, which are quickly brought into the fold in the two-part premiere, And The Crown of King Arthur & The Sword of the Stone, in different ways. The first character, and our main entry point into the series, is Eve Baird (Rebecca Romijn), a counter-terrorism agent who is quickly introduced to the supernatural world by Carsen. They then recruit three more characters in quick succession, Jacob Stone (Christian Kane) an labourer with a genius IQ, Cassandra Cillian (Lindy Booth) a mathematician with Sherlock-Holmes esque powers of memory retrieval,  and Ezekiel Jones (John Kim), a thief and technology master, who serve the basis of the main recurring cast for the show, with Jenkins (John Laroquette) also playing a mentor-esque role. The main goal in Season 1 for these characters is to gain access to the mysterious Library, which has gone missing, as well as save the world from the mysterious Dulaque.
The Librarians is a fun series that will probably appeal most to fans of Doctor Who, Fringe and Warehouse 13. It blends humour with some interesting plots and supernatural creatures, for example – the Arthurian mythology is pretty heavily tied to the series, but there’s also several different elements addressed from a wide range of source material, such as Father Christmas himself in a particularly Christmassy themed episode, And Santa’s Midnight Run, a book that can make stories come to life (And The Fables of Doom), and various other mystical things that one might expect from a fairly light-hearted series that mostly adopts a monster-of-the-week structure over the course of ten episodes.
For the most part, the cast is pretty good even if there is pretty much zero romantic chemistry between Noah Wyle and Rebecca Romijn. Everybody involved puts in a solid performance and there are no unlikable actors or characters on the show, with some development being given over the course of the series to certain characters. The show itself is family friendly, and if you enjoy series like this then you’ll probably enjoy this show as well. It’s not great television and doesn’t match the likes of Battlestar Galactica, Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones in terms of quality but still remains consistently good fun, and if you go in with expectations that aren’t particularly high then you should enjoy this a lot.
I didn’t have any major issues with The Librarians, with it coming across as a welcome surprise and a great way to end 2014 (and start 2015) on. The characters are fun and the stories are over the top but enjoyable, and doesn’t fall into the trap of being too dark or too edgy. Depending on your tolerance for cheese, then you will probably enjoy this series, but even if not, I’m going to suggest checking it out anyway because it may win you over. If you want some fun, light-hearted escapism fantasy, this should be right up your street.  

VERDICT: 7/10
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2 comments

  1. As a fan of the original movies, I would definitely like to see more of Noah Wyle in season 2 (I hear it's been picked up for 10 more episodes), but John Laroquette was a fantastic addition. Like you say, it does require a tolerance for cheese, but it's imaginative, fun, and fast-paced.

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