PSA: Please Watch ‘Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell’


In case you were waiting for a series that’s beautifully riddled with historical fantasy, Dickens-esque uncertainties of English power, and a plot so riveting that you’ll want to binge watch it twice in a row (thrice I’ve watched it!), then by all means please, please get some popcorn prepared and your Netflix account at the ready.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is yet another example of the BBC’s unsurpassable ability to produce phenom after phenom in television. The 7-part miniseries is so magnificently engrossing that I found myself putting off watching the last half of Stranger Things. Yes, it’s that good. The show, which is adapted from Susanna Clarke’s 2004 novel of the same name, tells the story of a revival of magic in 19th-century England after its several hundred-year dormancy is awakened by two magicians, Strange and Norrell, appropriately. While Strange embodies the very life and action of magic, Norrell, with his vast library of magical literature, represents its intellectual and slightly idle spectrum. Both end up in a prophesied alliance after bargains with a lurid spirit cause a rift between England and a world known as Faerie. A kidnapping and self-inflicted madness also ensue, plus endless references to a shadowy entity known as The Raven King.

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