Three girls find an ancient magical cookbook and through the recipes inside they learn about the power of love, the value of friendship, and the importance of being yourself.
And you know what? It is!
Just Add Magic is the perfect blend of thrilling and charming -- something quite rare these days when shows are either gritty and realistic or saccharine sweet. It doesn't resort to cringe-worthy sitcom set-ups or jokes you can see coming a mile away. It's actually quite enchanting while also being quirky and fun.
But nothing is easy when it comes to magic. These recipes bring a new sense of power, but at a price.
These girls are smart, brave, and kind. They recognize that they work best as a team, supporting each other and relying on their different talents to get through each challenge they face. Each episode has its own mystery or puzzle the girls are trying to solve, and the series has an important overarching mystery that they work on through each episode. And, of course, each mystery involves a recipe from the magical cookbook.
And these girls are ... well... girls. They're not young adults. They're tweens. And they're allowed to be their age. There's no talk about make up or boyfriends or shopping. The show obviously centers around the girls spending a lot of time in the kitchen cooking, but it is never shown as being a gendered activity. Jake, their slightly older male friend, runs his own bicycle food cart selling his own culinary creations.
I'm almost done with season 1. And in what seems like perfect timing, there is a very special Halloween episode for this week.
The series is based on the book Just Add Magic, by Cindy Callaghan. I haven't read it yet, but I have ordered a copy from my library.
My only real criticism about this show is that it is very, very white. The three main characters, Kelly, Darbie and Hannah, are white, as are their families. With the exception of Mama P, who is Latina, and Jake, who is African American, most of the other people we see are white. The good news is that neither of these characters are stereotypes or there solely as support characters. They are fully-fledged characters, each with their own, albeit limited, character arcs.
This show is geared for tweens, but I would recommend it for anyone looking for something uplifting and entertaining.
[Note: I have included Amazon Affiliate links in this post. I am exploring options for increasing my income from this blog to help me to continue to bring you the important stories of kickass women and girls. While I will always work to tell these stories, I have bills to pay. By all means feel free to look for these books elsewhere if you prefer. If you want to help support the work I do here, please consider using these links to shop.]
If you like the work I do here on SRPS, please support me!