Review: TZGZ’s ‘Magical Girl Friendship Squad’ on SYFY

TZGZ -- "Magical Girl Friendship Squad" -- Pictured in this screen grab: (l-r) Daisy, Nut, Alex -- (Photo by: SYFY)

TZGZ is bulking up their animated lineup with a new original series titled Magical Girl Friendship Squad. TZGZ is SYFY’s late night animated block which features more grown up animated series (TZGZ: “It Comes After Syfy!” Get it?!), The series is an expansion of the original Magical Girl Friendship Squad shorts titled Magical Girl Friendship Squad: Origins. The new series, which premieres September 26 at midnight-ish, expands upon some of the original plot points in the shorts but brings the series to a fuller, more complete story.

Created by Kelsey Stephanides, the series follows two roommates Alex (Quinta Brunson) and Daisy (Anna Akana) who are granted magical powers to help protect the creator of the universe, Nut (Ana Gasteyer), who takes the form of a red panda. Alex and Daisy must face all different kinds of threats on their world from other dimensions. To tap into their powers, they use magical objects which grant them enhanced abilities, utilizing a beautifully animated transformation sequence that would rival any Adora turning into She-Ra transformation.

Over the course of the season’s six episodes, Alex and Daisy learn how to harness their powers, utilizing lots of weed and birth control related puns, and use their friendship to strengthen their powers. The series uses their 11-minute episodes run time as quick jumps into the world which are easy to digest and binge in one sitting but create a full picture of storytelling.

The series is full of many pop culture references which seamlessly give the series a unique voice. It’s a millennial series which pokes fun at millennials and their views on the world. It touches on many relevant real-world topics that will probably turn off some more “conservative” thinkers and makes sure to not apologize for it.

TZGZ — “Magical Girl Friendship Squad” — Pictured in this screen grab: (l-r) Alex, Nut, Daisy, CBD Monster — (Photo by: SYFY)

The voice cast was a huge standout. Each character sounded and felt like fully realized characters. Anna Akana returned from the original shorts and gave an even stronger performance. Quinta Brunson helped to give Alex a richer take. I loved having Estelle voice Verus in the shorts, but Christine Baranski as Verus helped give the character an even more maniacal take. The other voice changes from the shorts and new characters were a welcomed addition.

The fuller animation style from the original shorts make the series come alive in vivid fashion. The style taps heavily into anime inspiration, especially in the fight scenes. The animation particularly in the final act of the sixth episode, along with the music choice was a perfect culmination of story, art and style. I had to Shazam the song in the final act because it was the perfect song for the moment and really catchy.

The series ultimately shines when Alex and Daisy are together maneuvering through their lives as millennials and clueless when it comes to growing into their new roles as protectors. All six episodes are a great taste of what the series wants to be and what future seasons can bring. Viewers will be left wanting more of these fun characters.

Magical Girl Friendship Squad airs on Saturdays, Midnight-ish on SYFY during their TZGZ block. Episodes of Magical Girl Friendship Squad: Origins can be streamed on Syfy.

Lee Arvoy
Lee Arvoy joined the TV Source team in the summer of 2020 as a TV Writer.

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