Saturday, 13 January 2018

TV review: The Librarians, season 1

Flynn Carsen [Noah Wylie] is The Librarian, charged with care of The Library and all its magical artefacts – sort of a more book-oriented Warehouse 13. (Apparently this follows on from where the Librarian films leave off, but I haven’t seen them.) While tracking down a magical artefact, Flynn runs across Colonel Eve Baird [Rebecca Romijn] on a counter-terrorism operation. She later receives a mysterious invitation to become The Guardian. They discover previous Librarian candidates are being killed off, so go to rescue the last remaining three: Jacob Stone (an Art History geek pretending to be a redneck), Cassandra Cillian (a maths genius with a brain tumour), and Ezekiel Jones (a thief). The villain Dulaque [Matt Frewer, channelling Christopher Lloyd as Judge Doom] is behind the deaths, and at the end of the pilot, the Library is lost, Flynn goes off the find it, and Eve and the three Librarians-now-in-Training are left holding the fort (or rather, the Annex) with grumpy factotum Jenkins [John Larroquette], pursuing the Artefact-of-the-Week.

This is mild fun, and definitely improves after Flynn goes off on his own quest: Wylie galumphingly overacts, and the way he frantically pulls books off shelves … shudder.

The episodes strengthen as the various characters bed in, and stop being simply stereotypes. There is actually a season arc, and some of the seemingly-disparate episodic adventures come together in the season finale. But it doesn’t quite gel: it can’t make up its mind if it is slapstick humour or mystical thriller, and falls rather uncomfortably between the two. So I’m not sure if I’ll be venturing into season 2.

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