Published on December 16th, 2015 | by Nancy Basile2
‘The Librarians’ is More Fun than You Think
I’ll allow it’s possible that there are people in this world who do not see a trip to the library as fun. I have trouble understanding that point of view, because to me, the library is a haven, a vacation spot, an escape. Regardless of your feelings about card catalogs (remember those?) and the Dewey Decimal System, The Librarians actually has little to do with the library, as you think of it.
The Librarians, which began as a TV movie and is now in its second season, is a series on TNT about a group of, yes, librarians, who are part of an ancient organization hidden beneath the Metropolitan Public Library, and dedicated to protecting an unknowing world from the secret, magical reality hidden all around. Their library is not so much a library as a magical museum full of books, artifacts, relics and documents, many of which are supernatural in some way.
John Larroquette (Night Court, Deception) plays the caretaker of the library and the librarians, staying put while they whiz in and out through a magical door, off to keep the world safe. The Librarians include Rebecca Romijn (X-Men), Christian Kane (TNT’s Leverage, Angel), Lindy Booth (Dawn of the Dead, The Philanthropist) and John Kim (Neighbors, The Pacific), who are the newest protectors of the world’s mystical treasures. Noah Wyle (Falling Skies, ER) as Flynn Carsen, shows up from time to time to flirt with Romijn and save the day. (He is also an exectuive producer.)
I watched the first episode of Season 2 without any prior knowledge of the show. Although I don’t know the specifics of the relationships or histories of the characters, The Librarians gave me enough exposition to get the idea: Eve and Flynn are flirting; something went down between Jake, Cassandra and Ezekial that seems romantically-related; villains are pulled from the writers’ imaginations, as well as from established works, like the Sherlock Holmes books; Jenkins is part caretaker, part guardian, part resident fuddy-duddy.
What I liked most about The Librarians was the pace. The dialogue flies fast and furious. The pacing is quick not only for the characters, who speak rapidly, but also for the action, which rarely takes a beat for explanation or reflection. It’s go go go go, with a lot of walking and talking scenes. The quick pace is fun, and doesn’t leave time for you to poke holes in either the plot or the characterizations.
Speaking of characters, these Librarians may not have the depth of a character on Game of Thrones, but their very shallowness is refreshing, like a palate cleanser. They are simple, with one or two outstanding traits that are easy to spot and grasp, without requiring too much empathy, which can sometimes be draining.
The stories are complicated enough to keep you guessing a little, but simple enough to jump into the series at any point. The paranormal and supernatural elements are based in history, so while there may be an inexplicable storm over New York City, the explanation is grounded enough to be believable.
The Librarians is a lot of fun, if you’re willing to suspend disbelief and enjoy the ride.