“Magic for Humans” good if you’re bored

Have a short attention span? Like neat magic tricks? Like to laugh at people’s humanity? Incredibly bored? Watch “Magic for Humans” on Netflix.

“Magic for Humans” is a Netflix original reality television series composed of six, 25 minute long episodes.

The host and executive producer of the show is Justin Willman, magician, actor and television personality. He’s best known for hosting “Cupcake Wars” on the Food Network, “Win, Lose or Draw” on the Disney Channel, and for performing his magic tricks on a YouTube channel called Magic Meltdown.

Other producers include Tim Heidecker, Dave Kneebone and Eric Wareheim.

Willman is a likable host with a grounded demeanor and good comedic timing. His love for magic is apparent and he interacts well with the subjects.

Most of his tricks, although seemingly fake, were unique and interesting with him effectively playing on human emotions with his tricks. The show begins with him taking subjects’ phones and tying them to a dozen balloons having them watch their beloved phone float up into the clouds. As Willman would say, “He’s just backing it up in the cloud.” He then turned around with the subject’s phone taped to his back. It was fun to watch peoples despair as they watched the cruel trick unfold.

The subjects are (allegedly) total strangers of the street. This seemed believable for some and not so much for others. This could be because some of them were truly unsuspecting victims or they were simply better at acting.

“Magic for Humans” attempts to teach lessons about humanity through a wide variety of magic tricks.

The six episodes are titled after their themes. They are, “Self Control”, “Express Yourself”, “Terrifying Tech”, “Seeing is Believing”, “Guilt Trip”, and “Love”. Each episode explores the dimensions and layers of their specific topic with tricks geared to getting specific responses from the subjects.

The show is full of quirky editing and quick random-seeming clips in-between tricks. These include the two short segments, “Trick Questions” and “Magic for Susan’s”. Each episode has roughly five larger scale tricks or experiments and a few shorter ones thrown in for good measure.

The show is fast paced and throws a lot at you in the span of twenty-five minutes, so I highly recommend if you like simple fun entertainment and have a short attention span.

The show does integrate some adult humor, especially in the episode “Love” where he discusses sexuality with the subjects.

The magic at times seems staged. They work with children in some episodes and these children gave away some believability by not being great actors and not seeming genuine in their surprised reactions to the tricks.

My favorite episode of the series was “Seeing is Believing” because they used old video clips of Willman when he was younger and connected that to his love for magic today and gave more reason and purpose to the episode’s theme.

Some of the most memorable tricks were first- when Willman made subjects believe they were invisible and second- when he made subjects who have undergone surgery believe the doctor implanted a microchip in them by using magic.

IMDb rated the show 7.2/10. I think this is a fair and agreeable score for this show. Although it is flawed, and I question the legitimacy of the magic tricks, it’s a very neat concept for a show and every episode made me smile.