The Magicians are giving me so many goddamn feelings I don't even know what to do with most of them. This is very much due to the fact that for the first time since I was in Queer As Folk (US) fandom, my pairing is going canon.



This show has a pattern: casually mention it-->allude to it-->(sometimes joke about it)=====>address it directly and seriously and deal with it.

Examples: drug use, alcohol abuse, freaking lycanthropy, the list is fairly long and got longer recently when I started rewatching earlier seasons and started noticing how often it happens. Not just that: they do it with everything, it's like an extended version of Chekov's Gun, but the initial introduction is so casual its nearly background. Also known as foreshadowing, but done so well we have no fucking clue we're being foreshadowed at all, which honestly, well played, writers.

Quentin's presumed straightness was only partially debunked in the Great Threesome Debacle of Hotness (GTDH); a lot of arguments can and should be made on how that went down, because banging Margo definitely didn't make Eliot straight, so fucking Eliot wouldn't make Quentin bi or gay (and do I love that the show didn't even bother to make a big deal out of this or try to clumsily define anyone by it?).

Flirting between Eliot and Quentin? Sure, and definitely welcome, playful, and mutual. Quentin was in love with Alice; other considerations simply weren't relevant. More importantly, however, Quentin and Eliot's friendship recovered from the GTDH entirely, deepened, and we see that through the end of season one, through season two, and well into season three when the world stopped for Life in a Day where like two thirds of tumblr became incoherent because we had not only canonical life partners Quentin/Eliot in a canonical AU but they remembered it.

Then of course the show backed off as everyone pretty much expected and continued and then season four and Escape from the Happy Place in which what the fuck did they just you're kidding me. I watched it Thursday night before Escapade in my hotel room trying to avoid screaming into a pillow or running out to teh atrium screaming for everyone to WAKE UP I WANT TO TALK ABOUT THIS. And so on.

It shocked me because I forgot the rule: casual mention is how it starts.

So I'm rewatching and while jumping around, I went to Be the Penny, Season Three Ep 4, where we got the iconic line: "I find a heterosexual white male hero very relatable", which...is just before Life in a Day. Mention/Joke-->Debunked As Fuck. Heh. Okay, then, what utterly hilarious foreshadowing. Then came 3.6, "Do You Like Teeth" aka Depression in a Boat.

You know, Quentin's depression, an ongoing thing that you don't get over, you deal with per the show, an actual goddamn plot point and theme. A depression monster. It mocks and annoys and gets on his nerves, but no that's not the interesting part.

The part before that:

Quentin to Benedict: "Being on a mission is a hell of an anti-depressant."

I missed that. It was right there. Just sitting there, a casual reference to Quentin in fact feeling depressed. I didn't think about it too hard and I don't know why I missed that, because actually, I know better. Quentin lives with depression as part of his baseline, so when he uses that word, it won't be layman usage* in referral to transient mood; specifically, mention of anti-depressants--which he has taken (and is still taking????? IDK)--means whatever he's feeling isn't in the baseline range. He wouldn't say that if he was feeling vaguely sad**; he would generally use it because he feels he may be cycling into depression, and while yes, it can happen randomly, depressive cycles generally have one or more triggers to help them out.

Feeling sad because Eliot wasn't on the boat? Well, maybe, I guess?

How about maybe feeling that Eliot doesn't want to be on a boat with him after, say rejecting his offer of a relationship (after a fifty fucking year marriage? YES THAT WOULD FUCKING DO IT.

This is one of the reasons when I watched this ep again I paid attention to what it was saying and more importantly, what Quentin said (bring it on) and how surprisingly well he dealt with that bullshit. This observation is informed specifically by my depression, though super simplified and kind of mathy. YMMV of course: everyone with depression experiences it differently and describes it differently. That's what makes it so much fun.

During a depressive cycle, in general, there's an individual component that for lack of anything better is the +/- scale. Baseline depression dealt with daily is 0. Better general mood is +x/lesser general mood is -x. When I cycle into depression, my -x days outnumber my 0 and +x days and and the -x days get into serious negative numbers, and petty shit--part of my baseline--stops bothering me too much, truthfully because all my inner attention is on some more fundamental problems. Hair, alzheimers, bad feedback? Petty, yes, and all can contribute to a depression cycle(a lot of pebbles or a boulder, they can weigh the same), but when you're already in one, that changes what can actually hurt you.
Don't get me wrong, they'll get to me, but pretty much at the level of a hangnail; most of my brainpower is obsessing over bigger shit and there just isn't room unless that petty shit is related closely to the bigger shit.

When one of my oldest and closest friends and I stopped talking--basically at this point it's a breakup--any petty shit that touched 'unable to have and keep friends because something is wrong with you' were like individual unhealed wounds, but everything else, while it might hurt (my adulting, my work life, my fic), simply didn't stick because that one had all my attention.

(Escapade: proved to myself I could make and keep friends! Also [personal profile] aerialiste because even my depression couldn't make up a good reason why she'd nominate me for the Escapade scholarship and want to spend six days in my company in a hotel room if it wasn't 'my company isn't bad and I'm likable dammit'.)

So returning to non-me subject: Quentin dealt with the petty because while it might hurt, sure, and enough of it can cycle you in, but he was already there. Why didn't the Depression Monster mention the Eliot thing? Easy: it didn't need to. That was what Quentin was already depressed about. Using Julia and Alice? Easy: the other two people he is/was in love with, two people he failed, and obviously proving the reason Eliot didn't want him; he wasn't good enough and only hurt people.

Casual mention (3.6)--->?????---->Address it (4.5)

Good God.

Aside: I want to say again how much I like how this show addresses mental illness by using a variation: the casual reference --> more references --> address issue --> keep addressing ongoing issue. Especially with 3.6, where Quentin tells Depression Monster he's been dealing with this shit all his life and bring it on.

This sounds incredibly dramatic and cliched, but I have to admit that watching a show that casually and not so casually addresses and deals with mental illness individually and people getting through it under unarguably worse circumstances than my own has done a lot to help me deal with my own depression, OCD, and ADHD. Not in a 'what do I have to complain about at least my ex wasn't a sociopathic niffin and my once and future husband is possessed by a baby god' way because that's bullshit. Fairytales tell us that dragons can be killed; The Magicians shows me that though my dragon won't die, no matter how many times it returns, I can fight it and defeat it, every goddamn time. Bring. It. On.

* usage of the word 'depression' is open to everyone, limited to no one. You can be a person who is depressed without having clinical depression. That word can be equally used as a formal mental health diagnosis and a reference to a transient mood or feeling. Anyone can use it.

** 'depression' can be used as a synonym of 'sad' and also can be used casually to refer to any transient negative mood. "I am depressed by the season finale of 'Spore People From Mars'."? Legit use.


This has been your rambling not-even-meta.
greywash: Brian versus the murder cream cone. (brian (the magicians))

From: [personal profile] greywash
Date: 2019-03-16 12:21 pm (UTC)
Yes, good, this.

I wrote this whole thing—God, was that Thursday? This week, man—about how they are/have been constructing the Quentin/Eliot plotline in conversation with the Quentin/Alice plotline and I feel like the logical add-on to that is this embryonic Whole Thing about what Quentin "was supposed to" learn/incidentally learnt from the Quest, which is another one of these things that I feel like they've gestured to but not fully developed and that I feel like—we're starting to see it bear fruit in S4, but not fully, not yet; and it follows this same pattern: something happens (quietly), is alluded to (lightly), and then it becomes more and more central to the show as we go. Like in that case the thing happens (S3), the lesson is referred to (4x4), and then—: I feel like part of what makes this development work so well is that even seeing them play with the construction, it's hard to know exactly how, like, Phase 3 is going to play.

The writers definitely make mistakes, but they're typically at the detail level, not the arc level (which—doesn't every writer make mistakes at the detail level? if I were 3+ seasons deep in a show, I'd have trouble keeping track of what I'd established about How To Magic, too). So I'm willing to trust them on arc development in a way I wouldn't, necessarily, with the writers of most TV shows.
edited at: Date: 2019-03-16 12:23 pm (UTC)
greywash: Eliot smokes; drinks; has a lot of feelings. (the magicians)

From: [personal profile] greywash
Date: 2019-03-16 05:13 pm (UTC)
FWIW, I referenced your post when writing up the aforementioned Whole Thing about what Quentin "was supposed to" learn/incidentally learnt from the Quest, which Tumblr would tell you when I @-ed you, but I felt I should manually mention because Dreamwidth. *g*
cesperanza: (Default)

From: [personal profile] cesperanza
Date: 2019-03-16 03:13 pm (UTC)
First of all, drive by randomly, your company is awesome. I say this as a damn-near-professional evaluator of company. :D You're Alice Roosevelt/Dorothy Parker level good company and I wish I saw more of you!

But also--I have to say, last Fan Thursday here in NYC the Magicians was totes the topic du jour. I admit I haven't watched - I really liked the first 2/3 of the first novel and then didn't like the last 3rd, and then some stuff was said about how the show was going that made me not watch it, but I have gotten myself spoiled about some of the, er, latest developments and wow, I'm interested! I was like, okay, where's my crack van pimping post? ie the five must-see eps and the fic recs and go? :P (I miss crack van, sigh.) Anyway it does sound wildly exciting over there! *peers through window at Magicians fandom*
aerialiste: love isn't the answer, it's the problem (Default)

From: [personal profile] aerialiste
Date: 2019-03-16 06:10 pm (UTC)
thank you for the pimping, beautiful, because I had the same question (though I have also been told you can't skip s1-2, but I'm in mid-semester and yet want to get caught up NOW) (and yes Speranza I can corroborate this as her Escapade roomie and fellow Texan, Sep is FABULOUS COMPANY, Algonquin Round Table levels of same)
killabeez: (Penny Magicians)

From: [personal profile] killabeez
Date: 2019-03-16 04:11 pm (UTC)
First, SO MUCH THIS, about Quentin and his mental health. The casting of Jason Ralph was brilliant, too.

Second, I'm really sad that I didn't make it to Escapade, and was even sorrier when I heard you'd be there. :) I know we haven't talked much in person, but I remember your company at VividCon being fascinating and energizing.

Third—it's funny, I feel like I was such an early adopter on this show, and when I tried to tell people about it, the resounding response was exactly Ces's, below—"I tried to read that book and I hated it, next?" It was so universal a response that I stopped trying to talk to anyone (except exsequar and kerithwyn) about it. And now, all of a sudden, it's a thing! It's been so long since I was into a show that had an actual, going fandom that I don't even know what to do with myself.

I really do need to find some decent fic to read, though. I haven't had much luck. (hint hint)
dar_vidder: (Default)

From: [personal profile] dar_vidder
Date: 2019-03-17 02:55 am (UTC)
The Magicians are giving me so many goddamn feelings I don't even know what to do with most of them. This is very much due to the fact that for the first time since I was in Queer As Folk (US) fandom, my pairing is going canon.

Right there with you!

I watched 313 again the other day and...Quentin's plan to sacrifice himself for the "greater good" and Eliot overriding his decision in the end plays very differently in light of what we learned in 405.
sprocket: Red and yellow leaf image (Default)

From: [personal profile] sprocket
Date: 2019-03-17 07:41 pm (UTC)
The Magicians has been a gift this season.

And after Fen finding out her destiny, I am burning to know what happens next.
cathyw: Gromit pouring tea (Default)

From: [personal profile] cathyw
Date: 2019-03-18 04:21 pm (UTC)
I'm almost caught up and trying to get caught up even faster because I'm getting spoiled on things I would rather have not been spoiled about... finished 4.3 over the weekend.

also whoever writes their episode descriptions is a master level troll, but I think I like it better than SPN's "Sam and Dean do something that will change not just their lives but the fate of the universe!!!!!" ...like no shit? that's what the show is about?

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