Taking place after the popular movie trilogy, The Librarians is a TV show spin-off which sees previous keeper Flynn Carsen (the movies’ main protagonist) passing on the mantle to a new group of Librarians, whose jobs are to protect the world from all forms of magical entities that have bled into their reality, including haunted houses, minotaurs, dragons, and their arch-enemy Dulaque. Even if you don’t know anything about the movie trilogy, then this series will quickly get you up to speed within the first 15 minutes, and from there on, the show becomes an exciting, albeit insane, fun ride.
It’s sufficed to say that this is much, much lighter fare than your usual fantasy/adventure TV show, and is insanely bonkers and goofy, which won’t be for everyone’s taste. If you’re the kind of person that wants everything to be incredibly dark and serious, then you’re better off somewhere else. Yet this is the kind of show that lets you embrace the craziness and just go along for the wild ride, and that proves why there is so much heart and soul to this show. This is the programme that would appeal all ages, from the colourful sets, playful music, kitschy props, light tone and atmosphere, creative fantasy ideas, and the occasional OTT acting.
The best aspect of the show though is the core cast and their interplay as each one of the Librarians has a distinct and unique voice and personality, which makes it all the more easier to connect with them on their own level. What’s also great is that in each episode where there’s a different mystery to be solved, each one of them contributes to the cases in their own unique ways: Eve being the leader of the group, Ezekiel pickpocketing and stealing whatever he gets his hands on, Cassie using her memory retrieval skills to calculate and navigate through missions, and Jake being both the brawler and the expert on art, archaeology and myth.
As far as the performances go, it’s clear that everyone involved is having a blast. Rebecca Romijn is incredibly solid as Eve, managing to balance both the drama and comedy efficiently well, and both Christian Kane and John Kim give great support to the ragtag team. However the two standouts of were John Larroquette and Lindy Booth, who both steal the entire show. Larroquette kills it as the Alfred-like Jenkins, perfectly balancing the right mixture of arrogant and pompous with wisdom and understanding, plus he gets a lot of the funniest moments. Lindy is sublime in her role as the vulnerable yet adorable Cassandra; whilst she too gets some of the show’s funniest moments ("Okay, new rule. How about we not refer to the tumour that will one day kill me as a 'brain-grape.'"), she superbly gives a nuanced performance that is full of innocence, yet full of pathos.
Silly and adventurous, The Librarians is Indiana Jones meets Doctor Who, being unapologetically zany and unashamed for being so. Even though its light and frothy tone won’t be to everyone’s tastes and certain episodes do suffer from some minor pacing and writing problems, this is a light-hearted show that has real, genuine heart and soul. Plus, as long as certain audiences leave their cynicism at the door, then this is a show that anyone can enjoy.
THE LIBRARIANS SEASON 1 / CERT: 15 / DIRECTORS: DEAN DEVLIN, MARC ROSKIN, JONATHAN FRAKES, JOHN HARRISON, TAWNIA MCKIERNAN / SCREENPLAY: JOHN RODGERS, JEREMY BERNSTEIN, PAUL GUYOT, GEOFFREY THORNE, KATE RORICK / STARRING: REBECCA ROMIJN, CHRISTIAN KANE, JOHN KIM, LINDY BOOTH, JOHN LARROQUETTE / RELEASE DATE: 8TH FEBRUARY