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Topic: Magick tv show
Message: Posted by: shrink (Oct 6, 2003 05:04PM)
Hi did anyone see the first in the new series Magick shown after Derren Brown on Sunday? It was the first Bizzarre TV show as far as I know?

I thought it was pretty good if not disturbing in some parts.
Message: Posted by: R i c h T (Oct 7, 2003 08:44AM)
I saw it, and I quite liked it.

I do think it was a bit of a mixed bag though.
Highlights for me were the 'adopt a starving child' bit at the start, and the routine with the pill bottle photograph.

However, the whole show seems to be getting some very negative comments, particularly [i]that[/i] prediction effect, and I think a lot of people will have written it off after only one episode, which is a shame.

Magik is arty, dark and different to almost every other show out there, I think it, and indeed Barry Jones and Stuart MacLeod themselves, deserve a chance.
After all, if Blaine can get all that attention just sitting in a big Tupperware box...
Message: Posted by: zenmistress (Oct 7, 2003 11:23AM)
A shallow response from a girly would be 'It was nice to see a couple of good-looking young magicians on British TV!!'

My serious opinion: I think it should be applauded. Barry and Stuart have gone out on a limb and done something different, and although some of it was darkness edging towards bad taste, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I think they could have done more with the 'homeless guy' but I'm sure he'll rematerialise in future shows. The African child was quite compelling, and the lapdancer with 'extras' was fun too.

Good luck to the both of them, say I.
Message: Posted by: Caleb Strange (Oct 7, 2003 01:34PM)
Mmm. Like Rich T I thought the show was a mixed bag. I'm not sure how much of the material I would have classed as Bizarre, either.

The (let us call it) 'Crying Game' prediction effect missed the point, as it were, I thought. We had a thread on this kind of approach a while back:


However, the guy they chose was not the most neanderthal and borish of young men, and I got the impression that he'd been egged on - it felt more like entrapment to me, than a chance for him to learn something about himself. And, if one were cynical, it could be seen as a tacky publicity/ratings ploy.

That said, there were a couple of things I thought were really good. I loved the 'Miser's Dream' effect. They used the character of a homeless person (played moderately well by one of the magicians) and he lurched towards passers by, as they resolutely and contemptuously ignored him. And as they hurried passed him, he reached towards them, and pulled silver coins from their silence and disgust, which he then dropped into a pint pot. It served beautifully to illustrate and challenge our heartless behaviour towards the homeless, and it was powerful stuff.

I also rather liked the backwards magic segments. These were tricks that worked in reverse (a vanish performed at the beginning would become an appearance at the end, when we saw the tape, with 'Twin Peaks' backwards talking). Interesting stuff.

Like a lot of new series, one suspects that, over six episodes, there'll just be enough material to make one really strong show. I hope that these promising young magicians haven't been spread too thin to fill a gap in the schedule.


Caleb Strange.
Message: Posted by: shrink (Oct 7, 2003 07:03PM)
It was a mixed bag but I think that's what made it refreshing. I could see traces of Monty Python and sketch type shows from the 70s early 80s combined with magic. I mean what is Bizzarre as a style? How do you define it?

I don't know what milage this new kind of TV show has. It also reminds me of some of the arty comic books I used to read in the 80s. Pehaps like those comics they will develop a small cult following.

Either way its nice to see someone have a go at producing something fresh. I think one of the reasons magicians don't like this show is that the magic isn't the main focus only part of the show. The much of the magic itself is pretty basic stuff.
Message: Posted by: undodog (Oct 8, 2003 11:32AM)
Even Monkey Magic was better than that tripe.

"It served beautifully to illustrate and challenge our heartless behaviour towards the homeless, and it was powerful stuff."?
I saw a lad in a false beard doing many really REALLY bad coin productions.

I wont repeat the whole post from the mentalism forum. just one word for Caleb.

Message: Posted by: Caleb Strange (Oct 8, 2003 12:35PM)
Undodog wrote:

'I saw a lad in a false beard doing many really REALLY bad coin productions.'

Hmm. I saw dozens of people in the street hurrying past someone whom they clearly perceived to be in a wretched condition. I saw contempt and disgust, and, on a couple of occasions, violence, towards this man. And I saw a beautiful, surreal and undermining response to that uncaring (and sadly typical) behaviour. I guess it all depends how and where you're looking.

As for that word 'pretentious', (and I wasn't sure whether it was hurled in 'Magick's' direction, or mine
:)), but I would have described the programme as ambitious.

shrink wrote:

'I think one of the reasons magicians don't like this show is that the magic isn't the main focus only part of the show. That much of the magic itself is pretty basic stuff. '

I couldn't agree more. J.G. Thompson, in his book 'The Living End' is quoted as saying, 'If the magician knows one way of finding a card and a hundred ways of revealing it, the effect is that he knows a hundred tricks.' That is tattooed to the inside of my eyelids. Who are we performing for anyway? The sometimes stifling cognoscenti, or the person in the street who wants to be entertained?


Caleb Strange.
Message: Posted by: placebo (Oct 12, 2003 07:32PM)
Anyone see the 2nd episode? The part where they took the mobile phone out of the man's stomach was fantastic!
Message: Posted by: Caleb Strange (Oct 13, 2003 12:50PM)
Yeah. I thought the second show wasn't quite as good as the first (in the first half of this episode I got a bit irritated by all the graphic elements - I thought that there were too many).

However, like placebo, I really liked the psychic surgery routine. I especially liked the East End location, and the underworld/kidnap element (tape on mouth etc.).

I also thought that the presentation of the razor-blade trick was very strong - powerful and disturbing. The Martinez character is growing on me, too.

I think these guys should be given credit for their innovative approach. We've had character-based comedy shows for years, but I can't remember any magicians adopting this approach as extensively the Magick team. I applaud them, also, for investing their material with a bit of content - even if I think that they did chicken out, politically, with the flag trick.

Finally, kudos to Channel 4 for commissioning new work, instead of the cheapo compilation approach taken by some other broadcasters.


Caleb Strange.
Message: Posted by: Markymark (Oct 13, 2003 01:56PM)
These guys are definitely not demonstating tricks from
a magic catalogue!.As some magic can be on television.
I loved the idea of a tramp performing the misers dream.It had a point to it!.I think the American flag
effect.[Bullets and a Gun were produced from as empty
flag was powerful enough without being preachy.
Message: Posted by: undodog (Oct 14, 2003 06:00AM)
The reason they don't buy thier tricks from a shop is that they rely on camera cuts so you couldn't actually do thier routines infront of anyone. Not without without talent, a reasonable amount of skill which these two are very much lacking. I'd like to see them try a live show!
The razor blade effect is more 'powerful' when The Amazing Jonathan does it.
And what was so great about the flag bit? Please enlighten us, Im sure the Americans in the Café would love to know what was 'powerful' about producing bullets and a gun from the American Flag.
Oh and try to do it without using cliches or being pretentious.
Message: Posted by: Markymark (Oct 14, 2003 09:56AM)
I'll try....What is a cliche is the patter 90% of magicians use for a flag effect,be it a Union Jack or
a Stars and Stripes.Some Americans would be offended by Bullets and a gun being produced from their flag but
some would'nt.It was an American comedian I heard say
"We know Saddam has weapons of mass destuction-We sold
them to him"!
Message: Posted by: Caleb Strange (Oct 14, 2003 02:32PM)

What's your problem? I see from your posts (17) that you're new here, and so you might not know that people at the Café (and especially in this forum) express their opinions positively, without denigrating the views, or the posts, of others.

I'll try to answer your points one by one, but I'm not sure that you're really interested in my opinion. That's sad, because we might have things to learn from each other. Ah well:

1) This is a TV show, and, frankly, if they'd simply recorded a theatre piece, I'd be disappointed. I agree there's a tad too much editing for a magician's taste, but rather that than some tired table-hopping routines not written specifically for the medium.

2) I haven't seen The Amazing Jonathan do the razor-blade trick, so I can't comment. Not that I'm into comparisons. All this inter-magician fighting, with the magician(s) with the TV series being the target of peer group bile, it's deperately tedious, and not the best advert for our art. However, I stand by my assertion - the trick was powerfully presented. And, although it, again, relied on editing, I believe that there are more important questions that we should be encouraging our audiences to ask than 'I wonder how he/she did that?'

3) Markymark has answered your request for enlightenment re the flag-trick. Personally, although I applauded the attempt to put some new political content into a routine, I thought that the routine itself was ambiguous in its message. (It could just as easily have been understood as a comment on American gun laws.) And, in so far as it was ambiguous, I thought that the routine chickened-out. Oh, I beg your pardon. I'm not allowed to use cliches. Let me rephrase that. 'I thought that the routine fell from its purpose like a grouse blasted from the sky on the glorious twelth.' Mmm. Now that's not as clear as 'chickened-out'. But that's the thing about cliches; they're useful short-hand for the things that we're trying to say - rather like your spelling and grammar :).


Caleb Strange.
Message: Posted by: Quentin (Oct 15, 2003 04:46AM)
I've only seen the first episode and found it to be the most refreshing and original programme I've seen in years. Monthy Python meets Hammer Horror meets Salvador Dali.
Message: Posted by: bevbevvybev (Oct 15, 2003 04:50AM)
Scott - Re: The show (first one haven't seen others).

Well, I couldn't stand it. But anyone who can get anything put on telly deserves a standing ovation. Personally, I found it labored and I think there should have been more ideas per show.

When you are trying things out that are generally hit or miss (a good thing, because that means you're taking risks) I think you should have more of them, especially on a first run.

I would have had twice as many segments per show. I found myself 'getting' an idea and then getting bored with it. And that's not 'cos I know about magic, it's 'cos I want to watch good telly.

Another thing wrong with it - FAR too many bumpers (i.e. 3-5 second breaks between bits with custom graphics) I know you forked out for them and wanted to use them but less is more with that stuff - it felt like you were trying to fill the show up with them a bit too much

With the Don Jolly-esque stuff I think you are onto something ie The little boy appearing, and the beggar had his moments, although for too long again imho.

The worst part for me was the guy in the hospital bed which I thought was awful. I also think the guys should work on their characterizations, even if someone plays a dreadful or hideous character they should still be endearing (think of Cartman in South Park).

So, I didn't really enjoy it and got bored, but I appreciate what you're trying to do.
Message: Posted by: undodog (Oct 15, 2003 08:57AM)
I don’t have a problem Caleb, I’m voicing an opinion. Is this not a forum to discuss magic? Oh sorry, apparently it’s a forum to pat everyone on the back and tell them how great they are.
Magic wont get better unless you point out when it’s bad.
How is arguing on a magic forum a bad advert for our art? Only people who already enjoy magic would read it.

This programme doesn’t belong on a CH4 Magic Night. It belongs on Mtv, where it might actually reach its target audience of teenage simpletons. It doesn’t raise questions and there’s nothing arty or highbrow about it, no matter what you may read into these ‘powerful and disturbing’ little comedy sketches.
The fact that they were pretending to make some kind of political statement and then basically said “America=Guns” was sickeningly childish and pathetic. What’s next week’s controversial political statement, producing potatoes from Ireland’s flag?

Whether I have posted 17 or 17000 posts is irrelevant and why is it that whenever someone loses an argument on a forum their last resort is to remark on whether a word is spelled correctly or if a comma is out of place as though that makes the opinion less important?
Message: Posted by: Markymark (Oct 15, 2003 10:04AM)
Producing potatoes from my flag[the Irish one] would
at least be different from the cute Patriotic patter I
have seen so much of with flag tricks!
Anyway Undodog,you will be watching all the rest of these programmes even if you won't admit it!
Message: Posted by: undodog (Oct 15, 2003 11:53AM)
Heh! :blush: Maybe, Markymark. If it gets better I'll watch them all.
It does have it’s moments but it could have been so brilliant if the effects weren’t so appalling. Its like watching someone mess up your favourite trick, revealing to everyone how it is done. I can’t watch it without cringing.
Apologies to Scott Penrose for my views, I appreciate what the programme tries to do and agree that we do need more of this kind of thing but it HAS to be done properly.