Breaking Magic

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Breaking Magic TV Poster Image
The science behind magic is fun for the whole family.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series demonstrates how magicians use science to perform their tricks and illusions.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Magicians like to tease, trick, and entertain, but in this case they are also educating folks on how science works.


Illusions sometimes incorporate swords, cannon balls, fire, and other elements that can make them potentially dangerous. Occasionally glass is shown being smashed.


Live audiences are told "to keep it clean."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Alcohol is sometimes used in tricks, but is not consumed.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Breaking Magic features magicians demonstrating how science helps them perform magic tricks and illusions. Magical performances occasionally incorporate weapons, handcuffs, and other potentially dangerous stunts that might make younger viewers anxious, but nothing bad actually happens. The show is mild enough for families to watch together, as long as everyone remembers not to try anything that they see here at home.

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What's the story?

BREAKING MAGIC features four master magicians from around the world fusing science with magic to change the way we think about the world around us. Each episode features James Galea, Billy Kidd, Ben Hanlin, and Wayne Houchin performing a variety of street magic, hidden camera tricks, and epic illusions for live audiences. After each act is successfully completed, the scientific elements that secretly make the trick work are revealed to television audiences with the help of animated graphics and replays of key parts of the performance. From timing chemical reactions to create a liquid lie detector to applying magnets to slow down cannon balls, each skilled performer shows us how magical science really is.

Is it any good?

Magicians usually guard their magical secrets carefully, but these folks are committed to highlighting the importance of science in their work. They show how they use the laws of chemistry and physics to manipulate items to play tricks and create illusions. In between the scientific explanations, the performers also show how things like timing and movement impact the way they are able to successfully impress audiences.

Kids and adults interested in science, magic, or both will definitely enjoy learning more about how these two things go hand in hand. The live audience presentations are entertaining, too. But even if you're not usually a fan of this sort of thing, just getting a chance to learn more about the tricks-of-the-trade makes worth watching.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about magic. What kind of knowledge or training does a magician or illusionist need to be a good performer? Why are people entertained by magicians and illusionists, even though deep inside they don't necessarily believe it's real? Do the scientific explanations offered here make these tricks less entertaining?

  • Why do magicians usually keep the methods of their tricks secret?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love to learn

Themes & Topics

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