Syfy’s series The Magicians not only explores the majestic and clandestine world of wizardry but also tackles such real-world themes as sexual violence and politics. “A fantasy [genre] offers unique tools to talk about this stuff,” said show creator Sera Gamble, speaking with TVLine’s Michael Ausiello during Deadline’s annual The Contenders Emmys event. “We’re keeping a conversation alive that we’re having in our lives.”

Gamble was joined onstage in the DGA theater for last month’s panel discussion with fellow creator John McNamara and cast members Jason Ralph and Stella Maeve.

The show, which recently wrapped its second season and will return for a third, is based on Lev Grossman’s bestselling books. It centers on Quentin Coldwater (Ralph) and his friends as they discover their magical abilities at Brakebills University and come to the realization that the fantasies they read about as children are real. Season 2 found the group thrust into more dangerous and unfamiliar territory, leading them to draw upon their novice skills to defeat a threat that could destroy the magical world.

Season 2 also incorporated a Les Mis musical number, which, Gamble admitted,  “I’m not fond of musicals as a genre,” contrary to McNamara. “John doesn’t even warn us when he puts them in the script.. he just goes off to write the episode and comes in a couple days late with a giant freakin’ musical,” she said.

She added: “It was really fun to produce, though — it was really one of the high points of the season for all of us.”

Check out the conversation above.