Last night’s episode of SyFy’s “The Magicians” did a lot of things well. It’s a show that gets better each episode by weaving an increasingly enchanting story about magic users in a way Harry Potter started, but left off before puberty.
I could easily drone on about how “The Magicians” has enough sex, booze, and magical drugs to make any fan of adult-themed fantasy swoon, but I think the most interesting thing to happen on last night’s episode, entitled “The Mayakovsky Circumstance”, was when several characters blatantly, and audibly, said “fuck!”
The Magicians airs at 9 PM, the same time as another show you may have heard of… “The Walking Dead”!?
Why is this significant? Well there’s a very foul-mouthed character about to make his debut on “The Walking Dead” who goes by the name “Negan”. Negan has been an enigma to many fans of the show’s comic book source material, because he’s a character thought nearly impossible to bring to life on any screen due to his… let’s say “liberal use” of the infamous F-bomb.
Negan says “fuck” in ways that make little kids giggle, and adults blush. For lack of a better term, he’s a “fucksmith” of the highest order. Simply put, a lot of fans of Negan have been wondering how AMC is going to successfully bring this larger-than-the-sensors character to life.
On last night’s “The Magicians”, characters who spouted the expletive did so with a slight alteration to their pronunciation: a dropped syllable. Even with one character’s thick (charmingly fake) Russian accent, it was clearly a “fuck” when he said it. As did other characters, all totaling around three or four fucks in all.
I have no idea if this is some previously un-tapped loophole that, of all channels, SyFy figured out, but I don’t care. This might be how Negan is allowed to find his voice. The cutaway silence is a little jarring, however, making you feel like you’re watching a lazily edited R-rated movie from the 90s playing on a Sunday morning network movie-of-the-week feature. I’m not completely sold how something like that would hold up on “The Walking Dead” since there are, at times, literally dozens of “fucks” falling out of Negan’s mouth in a single sentence. But perhaps this is the ace AMC is holding up their sleeve, and somehow the SyFy channel let the fuck out of the bag before TWD’s big reveal.