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The Librarians: Liveblog and Review

December 7, 2014

When the trailers for The Librarians started making the rounds, approximately 15 different friends sent me links to the preview.

My friends know me well.

The trailer looks like it has a lot of characteristics of things I love

  • Science fiction adventure cheese that knows how to laugh at itself. (I’m fond of Eureka and Warehouse 13)
  • Adventures with lots of planning of capers and banter (Leverage)
  • History and artifacts (Warehouse 13 and Indiana Jones.)
  • Ladies who kick butt and save the world (Buffy)

And the best part: They’re librarians.

Hey, so am I. By the time the second episode airs, I’ll have handed in my cataloging homework (she said guiltily) and will be a fully fledged Master of Library Science.

I have a few hesitations….

image of Christian Kane

Christian Kane in The Librarians. With terrible hair.

image of Christian Kane, actor in Leverage

Christian Kane in Leverage. Good hair!

I recognize Christian Kane, who played Eliot on Leverage. I am exceedingly dubious of the hair they’ve given his character. Some kind of faux-hawk pompadour monstrosity.  I’m also hoping they give him some good fight scenes. He was great on Leverage. Did his own stunts.

 

Series premiere completely unseen, is it too early to hope for a guest appearance from Aldis Hodge? He’d make a terrific librarian! He could even play Hardison again! Yes. That should happen. But I digress.

The gender breakdown of this team looks entirely unlike most of my library science classes. The last class where I had three male classmates (I’m including Noah Wyle in the tally), there were at least 14 other women with us.

Most of all: I worry that this is going to collapse under the weight of its own cheese. I hope it strikes the right balance to be funny and adventurous and goofy (see also: earlier seasons of Warehouse 13) and doesn’t go too far off the mythology rails (see also: later seasons of Warehouse 13).

Time to cast aside these doubts, stretch out on the couch with a cozy cardigan (yes, I’m a stereotype, don’t make me shush you!), my remote and my laptop, and see what the next two hours hold.

While there are very few spoilers in the following, there’s definitely some blither. So I’ll be stashing this behind a cut tag.

OK it’s off to a promising start: The Librarian himself swarms onto the perilous scene with enough of Doctor Who to lure in the new and unsuspecting.

Wondering what data correlation between MLIS degrees of viewers and squeals/RTs at the line “How did you know all that?” “I’m the librarian.” is.

How do we know it’s a fantasy? A public library in New York is hiring.

How many people watching this think librarians are all  weird enough to swordfight with Excalibur? (This inquiry does not count the actual librarians among the viewership… who know we’re all that weird.)

Oooh that’s a lovely card catalog.

Hm, The Librarian rummaged through the stacks of books looking for The Ledger of Destiny almost like… there was no such thing as, oh I don’t know…. card catalogs? Shelving? Shelflisting? Just saying.

Less perturbed by the gender breakdown of the various characters since they’re not all librarians. But I’m feeling a little cheated that they weren’t all librarians when recruited.

The Librarian character certainly is a grumpy bastard. See, this is why we all do so many group projects in library science school. To prepare us to fight crime with a team of new recruits, track down artifacts and save the world from Serpent Brotherhoods.

Wait… Cassandra is the name of the one whose talent includes seeing visions? Someone wasn’t trying hard! Harumph.

Obscure language/poetry trivia is, in fact, the proper way to set a honeypot for a librarian.

At the half, I think I really like this. I like how the characters are mixing trope and quirk.

“Your brain is a weapon and a tool and a library all wrapped up in one.” I want that on a T-shirt

And at about 90 mins in I’ve stopped Tweeting because I’m too busy watching. I approve!

Wait… was that a blowtorch made out of prosciutto and a cucumber at a Druidic ring of standing stones? Why yes, yes it was. That wins for best use of knowledge. And it’s true!

Speaking of the Cincinnati Library: they WIN at Twitter for the night. Very, very smart and playful use of Twitter to showcase their own librarians and recommend timely books, as well as to have great fun with the show. I look forward to watching TV with them next week.

Twitter in general was quite good for the entire episode. There were several jokes about digitization and interlibrary loan on #TheLibrarians hashtag.

A few quotes towards the end of the episode that I wish I could have typed fast to get down in writing. Bear with possible misquotation of the following.

Handling “slightly less apocalyptic stuff” is what learning librarianship is all about. “Mystery misery, loneliness adventure, saving the world every week.” I feel that accurately describes both the premise for this show and library science school.

I laughed immoderately at: “Oh child of the annoying digital age”

And the final tally for the episode is:

  • Cardigans: 1
  • MLS degrees: 0? Librarian appears to be chosen by destiny rather than certification. (Grumble mutter grumble accreditation and professional standards dammit. No wonder he had to rummage around the shelves to find books he was looking for.)
  • Actual Library Setting: 1 ish? Give or take a dimension.
  • Card catalog: 1
  • Lit refs that made me feel very smart: 3. Will not divulge which because spoilers.
  • Moments I got a little sniffly. 2, but they were well-played rather than manipulative. Given certain plot devices, I predict more in this vein.
  • Librarian shushing: 2

Try not to die. I’ll be back next week.

 

 

 

 

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. poindextrix permalink
    December 7, 2014 7:04 pm

    I don’t have TNT at the moment, so I’m going to have to wait until it’s online. It’s possible that I will cave and upgrade my cable subscription in part just so I can watch it. I look forward to your insight.

  2. marcmagus permalink
    December 7, 2014 11:05 pm

    Librarian selection process involves tracking public records for markers of potential candidates. Academic credentials are explicitly stated to be one of those markers. This is followed by an in-person interview, to which an astonishing number of candidates are rather dramatically required to stand in line in the hall.

    IOW, I don’t think I agree about destiny, but certainly credentials, experience, or competence at actual librarianship are not required.

  3. December 8, 2014 7:26 am

    Sounds a bit like Agents of Shield, which is likable enough.

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