Monday, June 16, 2008

Absolute Magic or Pure Psychology?

Over the past few years, Derren Brown's television shows have become slightly preachy.

In the beginning, his act was non-stop illusion (i.e., mind-reading and magic tricks). Since then, he has increasingly used his public platform as an opportunity to lecture about how easily people are deceived by faulty reasoning.

After the System aired early this year, many complained that the main trick was not a magic trick at all. Instead, it was a predictable con that anyone could have pulled off.

Similarly, the finale of Trick or Treat 2 was a psychological experiment that required no sleight-of-hand and no mind-reading. Sure, there were magic tricks mixed in, but the main attraction was not an illusion.

Personally, I enjoy all of Derren's shows, but I have heard a lot of complaining about his move away from pure illusion. What do you think?

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