In many television shows, it’s all about the suspension of disbelief.
House will always stumble onto the miracle medical cure with just 7 minutes to go. Jack Bauer can stay alert for 24 hours without any need for a toilet break, coffee or a nanna nap. Sally Field can cry on cue. Lary Emdur loves a Snuggie. Andrew O’Keefe can’t wait to open another brief case. Bert loves doing clip shows over variety. Tracy Grimshaw reckons real current affairs are about parking inspectors and where to buy a plasma TV on the cheap. And a MasterChef dish is never re-plated after the clock stops.
Yes it’s all about suspension of disbelief.
So a special that debunks the magic should be genuinely entertaining, shouldn’t it?
….maybe you should keep yourself in suspense a little bit longer.
This special Breaking the Magician’s Code: Magic Secrets Revealed (what a mouthful) is the first in a revived 2008 series by Nash Entertainment. Produced for the MyNetworkTV group, it originally began life as four shows in 1997.
It features a masked magician demonstrating magic tricks which are in turn explained without the sleight of hand. Presumably he is masked so he doesn’t get beat up by the rest of the magic fraternity. As a result he does his best pantomime performing while a cheesy US narrator colours the stunts with smarmy descriptions and awkward humour.
Decorating the scenes are busty girls, clad in erotic outfits that look like they have stepped out of a late night sex-line advertisement. The narrator keeps dropping in asides on their appearance. Who wrote this stuff?
Visually, there’s a lot of theatrical lighting in what appears to be a movie studio setting. There’s no audience, which might have added a little ‘wow factor.’
In the first episode you’ll see magician assistants disappearing, bodies chopped in half, passing through a steel wall and a Bentley turned into a Lamborghini.
There are false bottoms everywhere, and not just on the ladies…
The show works best as post-David Copperfield television. His grand TV stunts in the 1980s were genuinely entertaining because they were grand-scale and he was such a showman. In perhaps a more cynical age, we’ve probably lost our sense of fun. But I reckon we’ve lost some patience too. This masked magician needs to cut to the chase a lot quicker. The direction is sluggish and you could probably just trawl YouTube if you really want these kind of answers.
The special may need its own magic next Monday when it competes against MasterChef Australia.
The timing is also a little curious. Not only do we have John Edward currently touring the nation, and being challenged in interviews, but one of the finalists on Australia’s Got Talent is a young magician, doing exactly this style of trickery. Should the same network now be calling in the fraud squad?
Coincidentally, AGT host Grant Denyer will even re-voice this special for Australian audiences, (it wasn’t on the preview) a trick the network deployed last year for the factual import Destroyed in Seconds.
Yep, in television there’s a lot of suspension of disbelief goin’ on…
Breaking the Magician’s Code: Magic Secrets Revealed airs 7:30pm Monday on Seven.