Top 12 Magical Shows Like 'The Magicians' Everyone Should Watch
What Shows Are Like The Magicians?
Who doesn’t love magic? Better yet, who doesn’t love the wonderful world of fantasy and make-believe?
From innocuous “pull-my-finger” gags to tricks more elaborate like making famous national monuments disappear, audiences young and old are enthralled by magic. It is no wonder that over the course of human history, the number of books written on fiction far outweighs those of fact.
We love to disappear into the magical worlds of Narnia, Hyboria, and Westeros because in those worlds we are greeted with fantastic creatures and the laws of nature seem not to apply. The palpable mystery of seemingly impossible objects and things manifesting in the strangest of ways is something people cannot get enough of. From the world of Harry Potter to the monsters of Lord of the Rings, audiences young and old have been fascinated by the world of fantasy and magic, and this has led to Hollywood creating more shows in the genre to feed this demand.
One show that does this perfectly is The Magicians. Based on a series of novels written by Lev Grossman, The Magicians tells the tale of a secret magical school in a world of danger. Following Quentin Coldwater, the series documents the struggles and adventures of the school’s students as they try to save not only the school, but themselves.
You might be tempted to think of the plot as a rip-off of the now iconic Hogwarts school from Happy Potter, but that is far from the truth. The show, airing first in 2015, has gone on to become a breakout success, not only because of the fascinating storyline but the individual character arcs and subplots it provides.
With a Rotten Tomatoes score of 91%, and four seasons already accounted for, its no wonder that the introduction of The Magicians to the public has somewhat increased the demand for more of the supernatural and otherworldly. Granted, The Magicians is still running, but for those unwilling to wait on the edge of their seats, here’s a list of twelve mesmerizing TV shows like The Magicians that'll hook you right away.
Series Similar to The Magicians
- Bitten (2014 - 2016)
- Dominion (2014 - 2015)
- The Vampire Diaries (2009 - 2017)
- Resurrection (2014 - 2015)
- Haven (2010 - 2015)
- The Originals (2013 - 2018)
- Charmed (1998 - 2006)
- Supernatural (2005 - )
- True Blood (2008 - 2014)
- Penny Dreadful (2014-2019)
- South of Hell (2015)
- Grimm (2011-2017)
1. Bitten (2014 – 2016)
Bitten is a Canadian show based on the New York Times best-selling fantasy book series called Women of the Otherworld that follows the story of rogue werewolves and pack werewolves who don't like each other. Pack werewolves are known to kill rogue werewolves who break the rules - something they do often. Not the nicest environment to grow up in.
In the pack, however, there is a female werewolf called Elena, which is a very big deal because apparently, female werewolves just do not exist, making Elena the first and a rarity. The pack wants to protect her, the rogue wolves want her, but Elena has her own ideas, wanting to live her life without interference from any of the werewolves.
She decides to leave, which goes against the rules of the pack, but they allow her to leave as being the only female, she is something of a special case. The show which at some point was the highest rated show ever for Space, ran for three seasons before wrapping up the series in 2016. Season two teases the introduction of witches, so you’re definitely going to be treated to more spell casting action in Bitten just as in The Magicians. Watch Bitten on Netflix.
2. Dominion (2014 - 2015)
Dominion is a show set in a post-apocalyptic world where God is gone and humans are at war with angels. An ancient prophecy chronicling the appearance of a Messiah is kept alive by an archangel named Michael, the only angel to stand with the humans against the fallen angels.
When it is discovered that Alex, a low-ranking soldier is the Messiah, things start to take a convoluted turn as both humans and the marauding angels look to gain control over each other, with more sinister forces looking to control both groups for their nefarious ends.
Dominion has two seasons under its belt and if it’s a more spiritual kind of “magic” you’re looking for, Dominion should sate your thirst. Watch Dominion on iTunes and the Google Play Store.
3. The Vampire Diaries (2009 – 2017)
Based on a novel by the same name, the story follows two brothers, Damon and Stefan Salvatore, who are vampires, and their complicated love triangle with a girl called Elena. The show has been widely successful, spawning an also very successful spin-off in the form of The Originals.
With eight seasons under its belt with the final season wrapping up in 2017, anyone that hasn’t had a chance to enjoy this now cult-classic, has the pleasure of a long cinematic journey ahead of them. Binge watch all eight seasons of The Vampire Diaries on Netflix.
If you're looking for a show like The Magicians but with a tinge of darkness, The Vampire Diaries should fit your bill.
4. Resurrection (2014 – 2015)
An argument could be made that miracles fall under the category of magic as they bring something totally unfeasible to life, and that is why this next show makes this list.
Resurrection is a show about just that, resurrection. Set in a sleepy small town of Arcadia, Missouri, inhabitants are at a loss to explain how (or why) their long-dead loved ones seem to be springing back to life.
As you can imagine, people when they do not understand something, tend to live in fear of it, with that fear ultimately turning them into the worst versions of themselves. This show is packed with lots of suspense and high drama spread over its two seasons.
Resurrection is available for purchase on iTunes and the Google Play Store.
5. Haven (2010 – 2015)
Haven is named after a fictional town called Haven where a lot of very weird things happen. Knowingly or not, some people have acquired abilities, which the town calls “Troubles”, manifesting in a number of ways from weather control to fire-bending.
Every week seems to bring its own “Trouble." Based on the book by Stephen King called "The Colorado Kid," the series follows the story an FBI Agent who arrives in the town on what she believes is a routine assignment, only to discover that there’s more than meets the eye about the town and learns of her own shocking ties to this strange place.
Mutants or magicians? Science or spiritual? Find out on Haven by binge-watching all five seasons on Netflix. Those looking for a gritty series like The Magicians will not be disappointed.
6. The Originals (2013 – 2018)
Trying to keep The Originals off this list because it is a spin-off is like refusing to acknowledge how much better your twelve room, swimming pool attached new house is because you liked your old two-bedroom apartment better.
Yes, The Vampire Diaries provided the foundation for this supernatural fantasy series to exist, but The Originals has taken its not-so-modest beginnings and turned it into its very own. Set in the town of New Orleans, the series follows a vampire-werewolf hybrid named Klaus Mikaelson as he and his family become embroiled in the supernatural politics of the town.
As nice as it is to see that even supernatural forces have problems with politics just as much as we “normals” do, the thought of the repercussions these otherworldly conflicts could bring is extremely terrifying, and that is exactly what plays out in this series.
Over five epic seasons, you will find that The Originals has all the witches, werewolves and vampires you will need to keep you entertained for a long while. Stream The Originals on Netflix.
7. Charmed (1998 – 2006)
Now, the words “magician” and “witch” may conjure up two very different images in your mind, but it must be said: before there were The Magicians, there were the witches of Charmed.
Produced by Aaron Spelling, this fantasy drama series tells the story of three sisters known as “The Charmed Ones," the most powerful witches of all time. Prue, the oldest, can move things with her mind, Piper can stop time and Phoebe, the youngest, can see into the future or the past. The series follows the adventures of the sisters as they seek to learn how to use their powers while protecting humankind from malevolent supernatural entities.
Charmed has gained cult-like status since it premiered in 1998, and over the span of eight seasons, kept its magical grip on all of television, becoming at some point the second longest running drama broadcast by The Warner Brothers network. A reboot of the show premiered in 2018 under the same name to somewhat mixed receptions.
If you haven’t seen the original, now’s your chance. Charmed is available for purchase on the Google Play Store.
8. Supernatural (2005 – )
If you know anything about television, you may have come across the name Supernatural. This series probably more than most on this list is the most iconic and popular of the fantasy genre.
Supernatural is a story of two brothers who after losing their mother to a demon are raised by their father to track and hunt down otherworldly forces and creatures. As the series follows their battles against the forces of evil, the brothers begin to uncover other secrets that threaten to be their undoing.
Imagine having to deal with the pressures of life and relationships while fighting demons. The series deals with themes of loyalty, mistrust, and family, all the while keeping viewers waiting with bated breath for what happens next. The show was a runaway hit with audiences and fans, gathering a cult following in addition to gathering various awards and nominations, most notably three Emmy and eight Saturn award nominations.
Supernatural has been slated for a fifteenth season release, so before that happens, stream all fourteen seasons of Supernatural on Netflix.
9. True Blood (2008 – 2014)
Picture for a second, a world where your favorite mythical creature exists. True Blood sets the premise for a world where vampires are known to exist. After the introduction of new synthetic blood, which means vampires no longer need to feed on humans. Vampires are out in the open and interacting with humans.
The show explores the dynamic between vampires and humans, and as always with things not fully understood, things start to go wrong. The show holds an IMDB rating of 8/10 and became something of a fan favorite in the seven seasons that it aired. True Blood is available on iTunes and the Google Play Store.
10. Penny Dreadful (2014 – 2019)
Penny Dreadful is a beautifully dark show that pays homage to the old wives’ tales of the past. Starring the poster girl for femme fatales in Eva Green, this British-American fantasy series takes all the popular ghosts and ghouls from beloved fantastical tales and turns up the tension a thousand-fold.
It has witches, vampires, werewolves, immortals, gunslingers, explorers, and all manner of supernatural beings that roam the streets of old Victorian London, which an unlikely band of heroes in their quest to find answers to their own personal issues, must come together to face.
The plots and stories are beautifully constructed, and for people who grew up listening to the old tales, this adult retelling of those stories will definitely grab their attention and interest. A spin-off of the show is slated to appear sometime in 2019. Till then, stream all three seasons of Penny Dreadful on Netflix.
11. South of Hell (2015)
This supernatural offering tells the story of Maria Abascal, who hunts demons along with her brother. However, Maria is no ordinary demon hunter. Inside Maria lives a demon named Abigail, who when not feeding off demons, helps Maria hunt those scornful creatures.
Without Abigail, Maria cannot fight demons and without Maria, Abigail cannot survive. Talk about an unlikely and begrudging alliance. What makes South of Hell so compelling is the onscreen portrayal of this conflicted demon hunter who must find peace within herself or be consumed by the very thing she seeks to destroy.
Mena Suvari does an excellent job bringing the character to life. South of Hell has one season out with a very intense season finale. You might be in for a treat if you haven’t seen it already. It's available for purchase on iTunes and the Google Play Store.
12. Grimm (2011 – 2017)
Grimm is a strange show that attempts to blur the lines between fantasy and fact. Described as a fantasy police procedural drama, the premise of the show is based on a detective who discovers he is a Grimm, a special group of guardians who are sworn to keep the balance between humanity and creatures of myth known as the Wesen.
The series then follows him on his quest to fight crime, now made greater with the forces of evil. Reception for the show was lukewarm at first but then greatly increased as the show went on with its sixth and final season premiering in 2017.
If you’re looking for a touch of realism to go with your fantasy, this is a series you might want to look into. Grimm is available for purchase on iTunes and the Google Play Store.
Did I miss out on any other shows like The Magicians? Let me know in the comments section.