Pay those overdue fines and dust those shelves, because The Librarians have returned with their second season! And in the words of RuPaul, reading is fundamental.
The Librarians began as a TV-movie series starring Noah Wyle solving mysteries of time in 2004 with Quest for the Spear in 2004 for TNT. Created by Dean Devlin of Leverage and Independence Day, Wyle plays Flynn Carsen, a 30-something career scholar who gets a cryptic invitation to join The Metropolitan Library. What he quickly learns, however, is there is more than the Dewey decimal system at play here. Carsen must fight for life and existence itself as he is sent on epic adventures which hold the fate of mankind. It was followed up by the even more popular Return to King Solomon’s Mines, and The Curse of the Judas Chalice. With each following movie generating more and more ratings, it was only a matter of time before TNT would consider a more permanent address for the Metropolitan Library’s most important department.
The TV series brings along Wyle reprising his role of Carsen, who has clearly suffered socially the past 10 years of world-saving activities. He’s lost his first Guardian, a Librarian’s guide, which has left him alone for far too long and makes him none too keen about getting close to anyone. He’s grown a few extra bats for his belfry, making him a manic anti-hero who needs some help in spite of himself. The Metropolitan Library knows he needs a support system whether he wants it or not, and so they send out a fresh batch of letters to prospective Librarians and Co. Rebecca Romijn is Flynn’s latest Guardian Eve Baird, a military Colonel needing a fresh perspective on life. And now, there is not only one Librarian, there are now four. The Librarians-In-Training include thief and tech genius Ezekial Jones (John Harlan Kim,) underground genius Jacob Stone (Christian Kane, Angel, Leverage,) and mathematical dynamo Cassandra Cillian (Lindy Booth, Kick Ass 2.) Aided by the Annex of the Library and its caretaker Jenkins (John Larroquette, The Brink, The 10th Kingdom,) they group transport themselves across the globe protecting the world from the raw magic unleashed on it by the dastardly Serpent Brotherhood.
Each episode has its own grand name, just like the movies. The season two opener goes down by “The Librarians and the Drowned Book,” where we come to find that the team has chosen to go their own separate ways. When the Annex has just about had it, the clippings book all lead them to the same location to get their act together. The location is a museum gala which is beleaguered by an inexplicable storm forces guests to stay inside. What we discover is that with magic returning, so do wizards, and warlocks. Even if they initially didn’t exist, the power to appear in our world is bringing classic literary giants to life, and what does that have to do with the team splitting ways?
Here’s the thing: I love The Librarians. I recommend it to every single soul I come across with even a whiff of nerd in them, and so far even the most snooty of friends have fallen into its rich and madcap spell. Besides the typical fantasy, monster-of-the-week format, what I truly love about it is the fact that like it or not, the audience is going to learn. Math, language, literary classics, all spring to life in bright technicolor, becoming palatable for nearly every type of viewer young and old. Action, comedy, history and simple unfiltered fun nab you instantly. This isn’t Breaking Bad. You don’t have to rev yourself up for it, or scratch your arms for your next fix in your binging schedule. Even though I stand by the fact that this show is Pringles and you can’t have just one, an episode is swift and satisfying, like a frozen Snickers bar. And without even knowing it, you just took a miniature class in something, whether it be Camelot or ancient Asian mythology.
Now I know that whoever watches this will go one of two ways with how they feel regarding its inspirations. With clear references to Doctor Who, Buffy, Harry Potter, Sherlock, National Treasure, The DaVinci Code, you have to take things with a grain of salt, or be tickled at a silly little show who loves its nerd base. I had to brush up on the show a little since its finale ran last year, and to also prove a point to myself. For all its fun, Wyle’s Carsen has seemed to grow even more eccentric and caffeinated, which is a definite feat from season one. Out of all the Librarians, it is ironic that the original one is the most unsteady in terms of audience favor. Sometimes he is simply too much. There is eccentric, and then there is the babbling acquaintance who you scramble to get away from. Wyle definitely treads this line very closely. All the characters seem to be slightly heightened from last year, though, so one could posit that its not out of form for the show. The problem becomes that the characters become less and endearing, and more slapstick comedy show. That being said, I do hold out hope that it was just a very hyper-charged sprint out of the gate and it should return to its pace once the season unfolds.
This is a show that is made to be what could possibly be the best family show in a very long time. Watching with children or elders is simple, and a great way to have a little bonding go around from grandchildren to grandparents alike. In a culture of reality television and truncated tweets, people need to make it a point to reach out and spend time with those they love, and grow their brain a little beyond TMZ. What better way to do that is with a little trip to the library?
The Librarians premiered Sunday, November 1st on TNT. Be sure to follow them for the latest news and updates on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. For a taste of what you have in store, check out the Season 2 trailer below!