Fairy and elf TV shows are relatively new. They consist of fantasy features like magical lands, castles, brave princes, witches, elves, and hallucinations. The fairies in those shows have an important role throughout the story.
Fairies have a mythical magical presence. They are small, non-human, and usually invisible spirits. Fairies are is often seen in the form of beautiful, airy, and ageless beings. In television shows, the fairy is commonly portrayed as a being with magical powers that can appear benevolent or evil.
Here is a list of 22 tv shows with fairies so magical you’ll be swept into a supernatural binge world.
1. Cursed, Netflix (2020)
Nimue the heroine of the tv show and daughter of the fairies, receives a mission from her dying mother, to return the “Devil’s Tooth”, the powerful sword that wields it to be the king and ruler, to Merlin.
She struggles with obstacles along the way: enemies who want to snatch the sword from their hands, soldiers called Red Paladins who “purify” the land and murder everyone who comes near, and a handsome guy who steals the sword from her and disappears.
Take a heroine who tries to save the situation and prevent the continuation of the war, mix it with rulers who fight for the monarchy, then add a young and lost king and walking corpses, spend with brutal violence and severed heads, and even surprising enemies dressed in black and furry hoods. Does this recipe sound familiar to you?
The show, which has 8 episodes, is based on a novel series written by Frank Miller and Tim Wheeler. I want to believe that the many similarities did not escape the eyes of the two, but apparently, the big warning light did not turn on – of course, there is already a very successful series with, how to say identical characteristics. Against such a competitor the road to disappointment is almost guaranteed.
2. Zapped, BBC (2016-2018)
The British show follows the story of Paul, a hapless office worker who is transported to a parallel world featuring “psychopathic Fairies, Shell Men, seductive Demi-Fins and vicious Throcks”. In this world, he must help the rebel forces overthrow the evil Queen Zara, and her son Prince Tyrone.
Zapped has a fairly odd sense of humor, so it tickled my funny bone. I didn’t think it was possible for me to watch a comedy without there being at least one really over-the-top person.
This is a relatively short series (probably too short) with spontaneous acting and off-beat humor that should satisfy most viewers with an active imagination. If you are an observant intelligent viewer Zapped has clever subtextual humor you should appreciate.
3. Carnival Row, Prime Video (2019 – present)
The show is set in a Victorian city where mythical creatures like faeries, sprites, and mermaids live alongside humans, but are treated as second-class citizens.
The series follows the story of Rycroft Philostrate (played by Orlando Bloom), a human detective who is investigating a string of murders targeting the fae community. He teams up with Vignette Stonemoss (played by Cara Delevingne), a fae refugee who is struggling to find her place in the world.
The two unlikely partners must work together to solve the murders, while also dealing with their own personal demons.
So far, the reviews for Carnival Row have been mixed. Some people are praising the show for its originality and lush visuals, while others are criticizing it for its slow pacing and lack of action.
Personally, I found the first few episodes to be quite slow-moving, but things started to pick up in the fourth episode. I’m also enjoying the world-building and the complex relationships between the different characters.
Watch: Amazon Prime
4. Shadowhunters, Freeform (2016 – 2019)
Clary Frey is a girl who thinks she’s completely normal but doesn’t know that her mother has a very big past with the shadow hunters – special, invisible hunters with the blood of angels. They hunt and kill demons who come to harm people, shadow hunters, and people of the underworld – which is anyone who has demon blood (such as fairies, Seelies, werewolves, and sorcerers).
After an incident that leaves her shocked, Clary very quickly gets used to the world of magic, and together with her good friends presents us here a heartbreaking, exciting, and magical story about a world that we only wish could exist in reality.
Not every origin series based on a novel series is successful, and most of the time readers are disappointed. But this is absolutely not the case with Shadowhunter. If you are interested in entering a world full of magic and fairies – this is exactly the show for you!
5. Love and Destiny, Rakuten Viki (2019)
A love story between the God of War and a young fairy maiden who accidentally awakens him.
The story takes place in the divine land of Shenzhou, where the God of War and a young fairy maiden who accidentally awakens him fall in love.
Lu Dongbin, one of the Eight Immortals, disguises himself as a human man named Zhang Xiaoqian and falls in love with a woman named Jiang Zhiyu. However, due to a misunderstanding, Jiang Zhiyu believes that Zhang Xiaoqian is her enemy and she sets out to kill him. But as they get to know each other better, they realize that they are destined to be together.
Love and Destiny is a c-drama that shows how immortals live life almost like humans but with longevity and special magical power. And how these beings to are subject to Karma.
6. Fate: The Winx Saga, Netflix (2021 – 2022)
The Winx Saga is a live-action retelling of the popular animated show Winx Club.
The show follows the adventures of Bloom, a young fairy who discovers she has magic powers, and her friends Stella, Terra, Musa, and Aisha as they attend Alfea College for Fairies.
The first half of the first season was promising, with fun episodes featuring the girls learning to use their magic and discovering new things about themselves. However, the second half of the season took a dark turn, with Bloom’s long-lost sister appearing and revealing that the fairies are not the only magical creatures in the world. The final few episodes were action-packed and exciting but ultimately left many questions unanswered.
Overall, Fate: The Winx Saga is an enjoyable series with strong fairy characters. However, it lacks the lightheartedness of the original cartoon and is not suitable for younger viewers.
Watch: NetflixSee also: Top 40 Best Magical Girl Shows Ever!
7. The Bureau of Magical Things, Eleven/10 Shake (2018 – present)
Humans and magic have always co-existed harmoniously, but now technology is advancing and pushing back magic. The fairies and other magical creatures are endangered species and a young girl named Kyra wants to change that.
Kyra manifests magical powers and as a threat looms above their heads – both human and magic worlds – Kyra has to seek to unite elves, fairies, and humans. She is joined by her friend Peter uncovers secrets that no one could have possibly imagine
The acting was stellar, all the characters were interesting and I think it was cool to see different cultural backgrounds and perspectives.
I love how they show that everyone, even someone as powerful as Kyra, has weaknesses and mistakes. She doesn’t get everything right, but it shows us how important it is not to give up when we make mistakes because we can learn from them.
8. The Fox Fairy, Amazon Prime (2017-2021)
The fairy show follows the adventures of a fox spirit who is accidentally sealed in a human body by a Taoist priest. The fox spirit, who is named Xiao Longnu, must find a way to break the seal and return to her own body. Along the way, she meets a young man named Yang Guo and falls in love with him. The two of them must work together to overcome the many obstacles that stand in their way.
The Fox Fairy was originally intended to be a children’s show, but it quickly gained popularity among adults as well. The show’s a mix of fantasy, adventure, romance, and comedy. It has a strong female lead character and a positive portrayal of interracial relationships.
9. Jordskott, SVT (2015)
Jordskott is a dark and atmospheric Swedish show that follows police detective Eva Thornblad as she investigates the disappearance of a young boy in the remote and mysterious Silver Forest in a small town in Sweden called Silverhöjd.
The forest is a place full of secrets and dangers, and Eva soon discovers that there may be more to the case than meets the eye. That feeling is only confirmed when the detectives uncover an issue that has been troubling the locals and preternatural human-like (but not alive) forest creatures from Nordic folklore. These magical creatures are both responsible for caring for nature and punishing those who harm it.
Jordskott is a compelling show with lots of suspense, fantasy, and intrigue. Jordskott season 2, on the other hand, is a poorly executed mess. Although some aspects are still intriguing and exciting, the central characters are given monumental tasks to do, most of which they fail at.
Watch: Amazon Prime
10. Grimm, Amazon Prime (2011 – 2017)
Grimm follows Portland homicide detective Nick Burkhardt, who discovers he is descended from a line of Grimms, individuals who are tasked with keeping the balance between humanity elves, fairies, and other fantasy creatures.
As Burkhardt investigates crimes with his partner Hank Griffin, he must also deal with the growing number of supernatural creatures that are appearing in Portland.
Grimm has a dark tone but also features moments of humor and levity. The cases Nick and Hank investigate are always intriguing, and the addition of the fantasy elements makes them even more fascinating.
Watch: Amazon Prime
11. The 10th Kingdom, NBC (2000)
The series follows the journey of a young woman named Virginia who gets transported to a magical world called the Ninth Kingdom.
Along the way she meets up with a prince who has been turned into a dog, and together they travel to the 10th Kingdom, where they hope to find a way to break the curse.
The 10th Kingdom was groundbreaking for its time because it was one of the first live-action shows to feature computer-generated imagery (CGI) extensively. This allowed for some very creative and visually stunning scenes with magical fairy characters, particularly in the episode where Snow White and her prince visit the land of giants.
The show combines my love of fairy with mystery. It has trolls, talking animals, fairies, dwarves, elves, and every crazy creature you could dream of!
I love the corny, cheesy, hammy acting and the adventure of the whole thing.
12. Jim Henson’s The Storyteller, NBC, Channel 4 (1989)
Few tv shows are as timeless and beloved as Jim Henson’s The Storyteller. First airing in the late 80s, the show told a series of stories inspired by folklore from around the world.
The stories were told by an anonymous storyteller (played by John Hurt) to his fateful dog around a campfire.
The beauty of The Storyteller lies in its simplicity. The stories are all fairly short, but they’re packed with emotion and meaning. Each one is also beautifully shot, with stunning scenery and costumes.
Hurt deserves special mention for his portrayal of the storyteller. He brings such warmth and humanity to the character that it’s impossible not to be charmed by him.
Watch: Amazon Prime
13. The Dragon Prince, Netflix (2018 – Present)
Four full moons have passed since humans entered the magical kingdom of Zadia and committed an unspeakable crime: they killed the dragon king and destroyed his only egg. Now an elfin assassin named Raila has been sent on her first mission – to take revenge on the king of humans for the terrible deed.
Someone once said that God is in the small details. The world of Dragon Prince feels so alive, starting with attention to the different species of human beings (elves and fairies), plus a dash of wonder from the magical creatures and little tweaks that characterize each character in its own right.
But the attention does not end there, the king’s dealing with the political difficulties facing the other human kingdoms (yes there is more than one… did anyone say Game of Thrones?) with the meanings of the use of dark magic, what it means for the kingdom, and for him personally only contributes to living the world and feeling All this happened somewhere in the past.
14. Disenchantment, Netflix (2018 – present)
The plot takes place in a magical medieval city called Dreamland, part of a location that includes elves, knights, monsters, demons, fairies, and priestesses.
There is not much point in describing the seasonal story of “Disenchantment”. The fun in it is like in any great episode released by creator Matt Groening (The Simpsons) – the little background jokes, and the cutting lines of dialogue.
What’s fun about it is Groening’s dedication to the way they used to do comedy, not too long ago: without an iota of self-importance and social responsibility, only with jokes. Throughout its length and almost non-stop, Disenchantment is fun and funny (except for some dead areas in the first episode), and it is completely free of pretensions.
15. Once Upon a Time, ABC (2011 – 2018)
Emma Swan, 28 years old, discovers on her doorstep her son, whom she gave up for adoption ten years ago. He drags her to his town of ‘Storybrook’, and on the way tells her that the townspeople are the heroes of a fairy story who were cursed by an evil witch, his adoptive mother, who erased their memory. Only Emma can break the curse, and she moves to the town to be close to her son and tries to piece together the puzzle of the fantastic story, with her realistic present life.
Something went wrong with Once Upon a Time. The attempt to continue adding “modern” fairy characters. and the excessive use of successful characters and good actors (Oz Lee Gotz Lee and Regina) created bizarre plots, inconsistencies, and ridiculous family relationships.
16. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, BBC (2015)
The story follows two magicians in 19th-century England, Jonathan Strange, and Gilbert Norrell. Strange is a talented but undisciplined magician who is taken under Norrell’s wing, while Norrell is a meticulous and detail-oriented magician who doesn’t believe in the fairies that Strange is so fascinated by.
The two men couldn’t be more different, but they eventually come to rely on each other as they try to save England from a magical threat.
Watch: Amazon Prime
18. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, Netflix (2019)
The plot takes place in a world called Thera, whose power derives from a powerful crystal. Following a chain of events, responsibility for the crystal is given to a cruel species called Skeksis that rules Terra. The subjects of the Sakxis are benevolent elf-like creatures called Galflings, who are divided into seven tribes scattered throughout the world.
After they discover the true use their rulers make of the powerful crystal, three young Galflings embark on a perilous journey to save Thera from the darkness that threatens to overwhelm her.
The Netflix epic, based on the dark work of Jim Henson, is built from a combination of puppets, effects, and mythology. At first glance, all of these look like a salad that there is no way to put in order, but as it progresses, an extraordinary television experience is revealed.
19. The Shannara Chronicles, Netflix (2016-2017)
The tree known as the Ellcrys is dying. The bad news is that the tree is the only one with the magic that kept the four lands from the demon world. Amberle Elessedil is the only one who can save the tree, but she must unlock magic that the Elves haven’t used for thousands of years. With the help of Will Ohmsford, she travels to find the lost magic. But this is not an easy task.
I’m a huge fan of The Sword of Shannara book series, and I had VERY low expectations for this show. But taking a breath and separating what I know should be happening from what is happening makes it much easier to appreciate what is going into this show. Instead of considering it a bad adaptation of my favorite series, I can appreciate it as a fun fantasy series with pretty fairies and elves.
20. The Magicians, Syfy (2015-2020)
A group of young adults studies magic at the Brakebills University for Magical Pedagogy, a secret institution hidden from the non-magical world. The students must deal with the everyday struggles of being young adults, as well as the added challenges that come with their magical abilities.
The plot feels rushed, but that’s only because there’s more content than you can see between the lines. Things take a turn for the better when the main antagonist appears and from there, things start to look a lot better. The thing that kept me interested in this show were the characters (despite the acting) because there are no black-and-white good/bad guys.
21. Lost Girl, Showcase (2010-2015)
Bo learns through a killing kiss that she is not human but something called a fae (meaning a female demon whose power lies in her waist). With the help of a new friend named Kenzi and a police detective named Dyson, who also has superhuman abilities, she discovers more about her heritage, and along the way fights the bad guys and helps the good guys.
Among all the vampires, zombies, fairies, and werewolves, and sometimes all of these plus a ghost, who has returned from the dead to the small screen, there has never been such a field.
True, the female character who draws sexual energy from people she approaches sounds like something that belongs to the misogynist side of fantasy and mythology, but here she gets a relatively empowering interpretation.
22. The Witcher, Netflix (2019 – present)
Geralt of Rivia, is a humanoid mutant who makes living hunting monsters on the continent, a bit like an exterminator, only instead of rats and cockroaches, he kills monsters.
Geralt sometimes balks at killing and tries to explore more humane and “professional” options to differentiate himself from the monsters he eliminates. Often Geralt is hired to specifically kill humans, but he states time and time again that he has no interest in interfering in mankind’s quarrels and refuses offers of this kind.
Ironically, this is what gets Geralt into trouble and battles where he kills, well, humans.
The Witcher is a strange series. It looks and acts like an epic and ambitious fantasy series, with big battles, court intrigues, kingdoms with indecipherable names, and dramatic whispers about important things like destiny and fate. All of these are its weaker side, which feels like paying lip service to the mandatory clauses of “big, quality television”. But as soon as you peel away this pseudo-HBO layer, a completely different and much more fun series is revealed.
23. Elves, Netflix (2021)
The Svanes is a dysfunctional family of four, the main character is teenager “Jose” Josephine, her father Mads, the neurotic mother Charlotte, and her older brother, Kasper is looking to reconnect on a secret island inhabited by real, deadly elves.
The family accidentally disrupts an ancient truce, when they hit a young elf with their car, and Jose brings it home to save it.