THE LIBRARIANS is not an unpopular show. In fact, according to TNT, it ranked as basic cable’s #2 new series of 2014, second only to TNT’s own THE LAST SHIP. Each week 11.4 million viewers watch the series via telecast, DVRs and other viewing methods. So surely they’re doing something right…right? Absolutely. In fact, THE LIBRARIANS is doing a lot right.
Based on the trilogy of TV films THE LIBRARIAN, starring Noah Wylie, the new series has kept Wylie’s Flynn Carsen for guest appearances and expanded the world via the addition of three new Librarians (played by Christian Kane, Lindy Booth and John Kim) and a Guardian (played by Rebecca Romijn). John Larroquette appears as the group’s cantankerous caretaker who also happens to stand guard over the mysterious Library and its magical and historical treasures.
So now that you have the backstory, here’s five reasons why I love THE LIBRARIANS and why you should be tuning in this show if you’re not already.
It Embraces the Cheese. Here’s the biggest thing you need to know about THE LIBRARIANS: it’s cheesy. And you know what? No one really cares. Not me and not the writers. In fact, the show embraces its own cheesiness with gusto. And it is undoubtedly cheesy. There’s ridiculous magical villains and the inclusion of some fantastical objects in silly ways. That was the spirit of the TV films and it’s the spirit of the TV show. But here’s the thing: none of that matters. Do you know why? Because of reason #2.
It’s Plain Old Fun. THE LIBRARIANS is uplifting. Always. And it’s silly, cheesy, funny and fun. It’s escapism television at its very best. It doesn’t pretend to be a serious show, although it does touch on emotional topics quite well every once in a while (such as Cassandra’s brain tumor), and that’s fine. Because this is a case of “you get what it says on the box”. If you’re looking for a serious show about serious topics on TNT, go check out THE LAST SHIP (which is also quite good). But if you’re looking for a show with a sense of wonder and a sense of humor, then THE LIBRARIANS is the one for you. Besides, where else are you going to get a show where a “Sun Room” means a room that houses an actual SUN?
It’s an Adventure. If you’re a fan of movies such as NATIONAL TREASURE or INDIANA JONES then you should be watching THE LIBRARIANS. There’s mystical objects that are generally recognizable to every day fans. Instead of the Declaration of Independence, there’s the first editions of priceless books. Instead of the Holy Grail or the Ark of the Covenant, there’s Excalibur and Zeus’ lightening bolt. This season, the characters are being pitted against famous characters in literature — such as Moriarty, Frankenstein’s monster and Prospero — who have come to life. In fact, the show has been dropping historical tidbits about these characters that viewers may not have actually known, so you’re actually learning in addition to having fun (and isn’t that what was missing from school?!). Between the knock-out brawls, the fantastical characters, the dimension-hopping and the “saving the world” type missions, this show maintains its adventurous spirit each week.
Nothing Is Out of Reach. THE LIBRARIANS isn’t afraid to adopt the phrase “go big or go home”. The show is constantly trying to become something more: more fun, more fantastical, more amusing. It will put its characters in ridiculous costumes one week and have them time traveling in the next. And the quirks of Wylie’s Carsen have become even more exaggerated since the films he was introduced in, but that’s all part of the charm. His character is hilarious. You get the sense that nothing is out of the realm of possibility with this show and you appreciate it for its ability to always go a step further.
The Characters Feel Real. Despite the fantasy nature of the show — and everything I’ve told you above — the characters feel real. Cassandra’s brain tumor brings a touch of emotional reality to her quirky and perky character, Jake’s intelligence is a terrific addition to his brawn and Ezekiel always brings unexpected depth and smarts to the trio. Likewise, Jenkins’ mysterious past is an interesting background for his character and Eve is a straight-up kick-ass woman with a caring side. There’s always a danger in a show like this that the characters can be one-dimensional without the ability to grow, but the development of these characters has been both fun and touching to watch.
If you like your shows with a sense of adventure, humor and amusement, then tune in to THE LIBRARIANS on Sundays at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on TNT.