Fans want to know how real is Netflix’s Magic For Humans is in terms of how the tricks are performed and how legitimate people’s reactions are.
People are asking how real is Netflix’s Magic For Humans in terms of how the tricks are performed and legitimate reactions from ordinary people on the show. The show has faced accusations of using a green screen and paid actors to create a convincing performance for viewers on the other side of the screen. They have maintained that great timing, rehearsals for the illusions, and a dedication to studying the human brain have been all the smoke and mirrors that the show needs. Psychology, not magic, is the show’s real intention.
Magic for Humans is a Netflix show about how one stage magician goes to the street to get genuine reactions from a passerby about his tricks. He may sometimes play these for laughs — say with kids about psychological studies with marshmallows or when discussing the phantom limb trick. Netflix has released season three for 2020, with more illusions and stunts. Some go beyond the marshmallow trial, which is in itself fairly questionable; in one, Wilman performs card tricks after eating a ghost pepper. We don’t recommend trying this at home, folks, even if the Carolina Reaper is much hotter.
TV Guide goes into the details about the allegations. Apparently the Magic for Humans star Justin Willman has been accused of using actors and green screens for his stunts. Willman denies the allegations and says that his tapings instead have ample rehearsal to prepare for technical difficulties and astounding feats. He cites that Harry Houdini had a similar trick for pulling his wife out of a bag as the one that Wilman did in season one.
To the onlooker, this line of inquiry seems a little silly, to accuse a film magician of having done tricks to further his illusion. Stage magic by its nature requires a suspension of disbelief; the audience knows that they are viewing a magic trick. People can float with technology, but they can’t fly via sheer force of will. The joy comes from not knowing how it’s done, and even if you do know the trick, some of the feats are death-defying. People have died trying to recreate the escapes and tricks of those like Harry Houdini or David Copperfield, and sometimes it’s the luck of the draw that they avoid sharp nails.
With Netflix, viewers are not seeing the trick done at magicians’ camp or in a club but rather filmed ahead of time. Yet the viewer knows this is another trick. The traditional stage musician needs to find different ways to find their audience, in the age of television on-demand and diminished interest in stunts and sleight-of-hand. Artists have even turned simple decks of cards into stories about magicians. An onlooker wants to be entertained, to see traditional stage tricks translated to the big screen.
Don’t forget that Wilman is a showman before he is a magician; between 2010 and 2016, he was the host for Cupcake Wars on the Food Network. That means entertaining the contestants, the judges, and the viewers; no easy feat. Magic Beyond Words relies on his charm and charisma to win over the visible audience on-camera and the invisible viewer beyond his tangible reach. He can make a donut-challenge seem cruel and hilarious at the same time.
The bigger concern, of course, is that the passerby’s reactions may or may not be genuine and that the show’s premise is misleading. (With the kids, probably not; it is hard for producers to get kids to work with them and to know if they have a promising career as actors.) If that is the case, then Netflix has to do damage control to reassure its audience that the tricks are obviously fake and the reactions just as much. They need to roll out the disclaimers and backpedal on the pitch that you are seeing “real” people on the streets. If so, they better hurry before this allegation goes viral.
Source: TV Guide
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