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TV Series Review

At first blush (or is it hush?), TNT's The Librarians sounds just about as exciting as a show called The Accountants or The Telemarketers would. I mean, what would they be doing during an average episode? Shushing people? Dusting bookcases? Maybe collecting overdue fines on a particularly exciting episode? You'd expect that the only place a program titled The Librarians might have a shot is Norway, where millions have taken to watching knitting competitions.

But, of course, this is America, and these are not your ordinary librarians. These guys specialize in the Danger Decimal System.

The Librarians is the progeny of the TNT television film series The Librarian, wherein one Flynn Carsen (Noah Wyle) protects and retrieves spectacularly magical artifacts. Three movies have been made so far, but TNT's viewers apparently wanted to (ahem) check out more.

Enter The Librarians, about the folks who staff a magical library branch in Portland, Ore. Cassandra is a giddily optimistic mathematician who also (conveniently enough) has a photographic memory. Christian Kane is a rough-hewn genius—an art expert who (also conveniently enough) is fluent in pert near every language known to man. Ezekiel's a mostly unapologetic thief who knows his way around a computer far better than you do. A mysterious dude named Jenkins serves as the annex's caretaker, serving as regular scene-setter and explainer.

Their jobs are a bit more dangerous than that of the standard librarian, we quickly learn. Which is why they need their no-nonsense Guardian, Col. Eve Baird, to protect them from a primo-evil group known as the Serpent Brotherhood.

Sound silly? It is! And, thankfully, it's meant to be. This is Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. doused in whimsy, a blend of The A-Team and The Odyssey. Forget those prestige dramas on AMC—this TNT show is all about having a little escapist fun. And it even offers a moral or two along the way.

Alas, like Pandora's Box (which resides in the original library, incidentally), this program contains a few nasty surprises. While foul language is sporadic, it can sometimes be harsh. (An s-word showed up in one episode downloaded from iTunes.) Violence can be a bit bloody, too.

But the biggest issue may be the show's premise, which encompasses a warehouse full of magical flotsam. Some of the items have pagan origins, straight from myths involving powerful and petty gods. Others have biblical roots, the meaning of which can be twisted or demeaned in the show's lighthearted framework. Modern examples of "dark" magic (of, say, the Ghostbusters variety) are an inescapable part of every episode.

Also inescapable, though, is the fact that The Librarians is, even with its card catalogue full of issues, much quieter when it comes to content than most of its disruptive classmates on cable.


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Episode Reviews

Librarians: 12-21-2014



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Rebecca Romijn as Eve Baird; Christian Kane as Jake Stone; Lindy Booth as Cassandra Cillian; John Kim as Ezekiel Jones; John Larroquette as Jenkins; Lesley-Ann Brandt as Lamia; Noah Wyle as Flynn Carsen; Matt Frewer as Dulaque






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Paul Asay

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