There really should be more to a fantasy premise than just "what if magic school was magic suburbia?"
Stilted and awkward from the beginning, the first two episodes of Sanctuary: A Witch's Tale that were watched for this review promise a rough start for a series that just doesn't have enough of its own personality. Characters and conflict are introduced in ham-fisted fashion, with this fantasy world never given enough shape to make the magic elements feel significant to the story. It's not necessarily a problem that the show functions more as a small-town crime drama—it can be interesting to have magic be so normalized in this setting—but even these hints of mystery feel obligatory, rather than motivated to explore more of its story.
The little bits of magic that we actually get to see in the first two episodes are over far too quickly, but they should remind TV junkies of a once superior fantasy show called The Magicians. Still, it's probably not a good sign if the series you're watching just ends up looking like various other things mashed together, especially things that aren't particularly known as prestige TV.