As someone who grew up watching, rewatching, and pretty much worshipping Indiana Jones and Back To The Future films, it’s no surprise I turned out being the biggest action-adventure fan. Naturally, when Pirate of the Caribbean and National Treasure came out, they were the end of me. If there’s anything resembling mystery and a rollercoaster of adventures – sign me up!
Needless to say that when The Librarian came out in 2004, I was all over it. Yes, it was cheesy. Yes, it was impossible to take it even remotely serious, but it had everything I liked about the genre, so why not?
To sum it up real quick, The Librarian is the film about the guy called Flynn Carsen (Noah Wyle) who is so scared of the real world that he chose to stay in school and get 1001 degrees (slightly exaggerated) instead. And who could blame him, honestly? Flynn’s professors and family did not agree with his choices, however, and he was kicked out of the program to get a taste of the real life. Cruel, if you ask me. But before he has time to really freak out, he gets an invitation for an interview at the library for the position of the Librarian. Intrigued, Flynn goes there and get hired on the spot.
Much to Flynn’s surprise, being the Librarian is not so much about shushing the giggling teens and stacking the books in alphabetical order as it is about protecting the world’s most precious artifacts, like the collection of the original Egyptian scrolls, the Holy Grail, the Pandora’s Box –you get the idea. Everything that was supposed to be just a myth is actually real and it’s up to the Librarian to make sure they remain safe.
Now, what kind of action film would it be if we spent the entire time buried in dusty manuscripts? This is where the bad guys come out and decide they need to get the Spear of Destiny, parts of which are scattered all over the world. Flynn, who has barely ever left the university campus in the past 15 or so years of his life, is thrown into action, accompanied by Nicole – combat trained guardian whose job is to make sure he stays alive.
Needless to say, they manage to defeat the bad guys, keep the Spear from falling into the wrong hands, save the world, and so on, and so forth. Plausible? Not likely. Fun? Hell, yeah!
The Librarian: Quest for the Spear was later followed by two sequels – The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines and The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice – released in 2006 and 2008, respectively. Both were less than impressive and hardly worth mentioning. We all know how the sequels go sometimes.
That said, I couldn’t not be excited about the spin-off TV show The Librarians coming on. Guilty!
It premiered on December 7, 2014, on TNT as a 2-hour pilot that felt more like yet another movie – the one of a much better quality than the unmentionable sequels – and starred Noah Wyle as Flynn Carsen, Bob Newhart as the ghost of Judson, and Jane Curtin as Flynn’s direct boss Charlene who we’ve already met. Additionally, The Librarians’ team includes Rebecca Romijn as Flynn’s new guardian, Eve Baird, and Christian Kane, Lindy Booth, and John Kim as the newbie Librarians.
See, the show took the same concept earlier adopted by Buffy The Vampire Slayer – there can only be one true Librarian, but it doesn’t mean he (or she) has to be the only person qualified for the job. In fact, if Flynn dies, there’ll be no shortage of candidates for the prestigious (and highly dangerous) position. Now that’s a depressing though, isn’t it? Well, not if you think of it as a means of building a team of crazy smart people that can fight the bad guys and solve mysteries, and be adorably awkward, all at the same time.
I’d go so far as to admit that The Librarians had a solid start. Granted, it’s not like anything else you’d seen on TV before, and it is very important not to even try to take it seriously because your brain might explode. This show is your warm cup of tea and a cozy blanket on a cold night when you choose to stay in instead of venturing outside. It’s funny and action-packed, and it’s got a fine group of characters you can’t quite help but root for. The dialogue is humorous and the neat combat scenes are peppered with facepalm clumsy moments that make you wonder how the hell did these people survive until now.
Enjoyable as it was, however, I cannot quite see how The Librarians can possibly get past the first 10-episode season, but I would absolutely love to be proven wrong. For one thing, there’s no shortage of myths and magic that they can explore and weave into the plot. Also – it’s pretty, especially for the show about bad guys trying to take over the world.
Being the star of the original film, Noah Wyle is going to step down and stay a recurring character, allowing the new generation of the potential Librarians figure out this whole new world on their own. Wise move, if you ask me. I love, love, love Flynn Carsen to death, but he is too much. When he is on screen, you cannot see or hear anything or anyone else, and if the show decided to keep him as the main hero, it would definitely be the equivalent of saying goodbye to the rest of the cast. Wyle, however, is credited as a producer, so it’s not like we’ll lose him for good. Yay!
I probably wouldn’t recommend dropping everything and rushing to check The Librarians out right this very moment, but I do suggest you give it a try. Now that the cold is creeping in and the long days are near, it may very well be that very show that’ll keep you warm, comfy, and entertained. And – in case it matters – it fits into the TNT’s family friendly approach, so it’s a definite win-win.
Oh, and – should you decide to give it a try, treat yourself to the first movie of The Librarian trilogy first. It is not a must, but the story would definitely make more sense if you do.
So far, the show looks like a decent addition to the film franchise and I hope it’ll hold its ground and evolve into something utterly awesome.