You will probably enjoy A Discovery of Witches if you enjoyed, for instance, Outlander. Or Fifty Shades of Grey. Or the Harry Potter franchise. Or Romeo and Juliet. Or old episodes of Inspector Morse on PBS. Or Underworld. Or that enchanting imported show on the network no one can ever find in which Matthew Goode and Matthew Rhys travel the world being handsome and drinking wine. There is, to say, a lot going on. Some of it is very diverting, given that the location budget seems to have been approximately $10 trillion and the series is about witches and vampires who are all rather—how to put this politely—horny. But in other moments, when a woman has her third recurring dream about spiders, or when someone says, without a tinge of self-awareness, “She’ll be sleeping in my tower,” you might have to decide how far your personal tolerance for irony-devoid supernatural travel porn extends.
It is surprising, in a good way, that A Discovery of Witches arrived on Sunday on BBC America and AMC, that purveyor of gruesome zombies, difficult men, and a scowling Pierce Brosnan in a nubby vest and a 10-gallon hat. The adaptation of Deborah Harkness’s All Souls fantasy series first aired in the U.K. on Sky One, before heading to the streaming services Sundance Now and Shudder, where it smashed Sundance Now’s previous viewing records. Following that success, as well as AMC’s decision to air Killing Eve’s second season simultaneously with BBC America, Kate Brooke’s supernatural drama has been drafted to join the lineup on both networks.