October 3rd, 2009

Derren Brown: The Events

It doesn't give me any pleasure to say it- because I admire the man- but Derren Brown's latest series fell flat. That final episode- where he promised to break a casino for us, then showed us some grainy video that purported to be live footage of him going into a nameless casino in a nameless European country and then just failing to pull off the coup- can't have fooled anybody who bothered to think about it.  What this series has demonstrated, above all, are the limitations of TV magic.  Brown has a handful of basic tricks: he predicts things, he hypnotises people, he does sleight of hand.  He  dresses his repertoire up in all sorts of clever ways, but we've seen enough of him now to know he's repeating himself.  Also, once you introduce electronic trickety into the mix, anything becomes possible and so nothing really impresses.