A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this reality series -- in which celebrities try to learn and successfully perform magic tricks to win a cash prize -- highlights the training and skill that goes into performing illusions and will appeal to young magicians. While there's some competitive behavior, the celebrities appear more committed to learning the craft than winning the money. There's a bit of language ("damn" is audible, while curse words like "f--k" are fully bleeped out) and some mild sexual innuendo that will go over the head of most young viewers. Some of the stunts show fake blood, and the more ambitious illusions can be extremely dangerous and shouldn't be attempted at home.
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What's the story?
CELEBRACADABRA challenges celebrities to show the world that they've got magical talent. Each featured \"B-list\" personality is paired with a professional illusionist, who teaches them the tricks of the trade. In each episode, the novice tricksters must perform magic for audiences and the show's judges, including notable magic instructor Jeff McBride and world-class illusionist Franz Harary. The contestant who conjures up the worst trick gets their magic wand snapped in half and \"disappears.\" The last celebrity magician who doesn't turn into thin air gets to take home $100,000.
Is it any good?
The show doesn't reveal any of the magicians' magical secrets to TV audiences, but it does offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse at what goes into performing top-notch tricks and awesome illusions. It also introduces TV audiences to some of the best magical entertainers in the business. And although the featured celebrities are competing for cash, they seem more inspired by the opportunity to learn the craft and be able to amaze live audiences with their magical skills.
Older tweens and teens with an interest in magic will likely find this series entertaining. But while it's relatively mild, there's some sexual innuendo (most of which should go over the head of young viewers), a few stunts that draw fake blood, and occasional strong language (words like "damn" are audible, while curse words are fully bleeped). There's also some competitive behavior -- particularly from celebs like singer/reality show regular Carnie Wilson and Celebrity Fit Club host Ant -- but it's more annoying than aggressive. Overall, Celebracadabra is a fun look at how much talent and skill it takes to let people witness the unbelievable.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether potentially injury-causing illusions (or other stunts) should be shown on television for entertainment. How much training does someone need before they're qualified to perform sophisticated or dangerous tricks? Families can also discuss the history of magic in the media. Did you know that magicians used to perform tricks for radio audiences? How was that possible? Do you think those performances had the same impact as some of the illusions performed for television and Internet audiences today?