Just Add Magic
Just Add Magic is an American live-action family television series, loosely based on the book of the same name by Cindy Callaghan. It was produced by Amazon Studios. A pilot was produced in 2015 and the series commissioned for a full season the following year. Amazon renewed the series for a second season in June 2016 after it "set a record as the most successful Amazon Original Kids premiere weekend in terms of U.S. Prime Video streams and hours."
Why It Rocks
- It's one of Amazon Prime's most well-known and best-written family programs on the streaming service.
- Even though the show's primarily targeted towards kids, the humor and stakes manage to be very serious and grounded in a way older audiences can enjoy as well. It's like a live-action Gravity Falls: Saccharine on the outside, but groundbreaking and incredibly gripping in reality with the leads solving supernatural mysteries around town.
- Incredible acting from all of the major lead characters, not just from the adults, but from the child actors as well.
- All the major characters --especially the three protector girls-- are incredibly well-written, complex, relatable, and great role models for the viewers. Plus the leads are super intelligent and not just dumbed down for the younger viewers.
- Kelly is the leader of the trio who most commonly uses the magic cookbook, and would often get addicted to its power. She also gets involved with her family a lot and would have to look after her younger brother Buddy.
- Hannah is the smart, organization driven member of trio who constantly has school drama and is obsessed with keeping her grades up. But she would still gladly make time to for recreation and goofing off with her friends.
- Darbie is the fun-loving comic relief who does what she can to participate in the group and surprisingly has quite a bit of hidden depths and clever logical thoughts. She also has her fair share of family drama with her parents involving her father past divorce and how his relationships would work out.
- As the second season kicks in, the adults and elder adults (especially Becky Quinn, Ida Perez, and Gina Silvers) get much more time to shine now that their mysteries had been solved and as result we get to dive into their backstories and personalities much more than in the previous season, which makes the show a fan favorite for adults as well sense they also have characters to relate to
- Even some of the non-protector characters are interesting and compelling.
- Jake -- the girls' closest friend -- is more than just "the black best friend"; he's got his own set of problems and issues, including him constantly being involved in the magic and his relationship with his boss Mama P. He's also a great companion to the protectors.
- Kelly's parents Scott and Terri Quinn are more than just "the lead character's parents" that most kids shows have. Aside from being very loving and wanting to make sure their kids are safe, they have their own fun quirks and character traits. Scott's very proactive towards his mother (Becky) and has a love of old vinyl music and Terri's a hard-working, determined business woman, who even gets a mayor subplot in one season.
- The antagonists are well-intentioned and/or entertaining. Notable examples being Mama P, Chuck Hankins and Jill.
- While the show manages to take its main concept pretty seriously with the mysteries in the seasons, the show also knows when to breathe and give the characters minor side-plots, and lots of heartfelt emotional moments to balance it out. Having the three leads be childhood friends definitely helps.
- The major twists and surprises through the show are all well-thought out and planned well with very little clichés. It's enough to keep even a hardened viewer hooked.
The Only Bad Quality
- A lot of fans will agree that the pilot episode --although decent on its own--doesn't exactly flow with the serious tone of the rest of the series, and isn't the best way to establish the show's nature.
Retro Review TV's reviews of the series