Close Up Kings

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Close Up Kings TV Poster Image
Fun magician trio performs illusions while traveling U.S.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Hard work and perseverance are themes. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Magicians are professional, entertaining.


Risk, dangers, accidents discussed. 


Flirting as part of the act. Occasional bikini-clad women. 


"Screw," "ass"; bleeped cursing.


It's a promotional vehicle for the magicians. Local-attraction logos. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Bars, beer drinking. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Close Up Kings is a reality series about three magicians who travel the U.S. performing their acts. It features lots of illusions, as well as some innocent flirting, occasional strong language (curses bleeped), and conversations about the risks involved with a life in magic. There's some beer drinking too. Fans of all ages should be reminded never to try some of these tricks without supervision. 

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What's the story?

CLOSE UP KINGS features three New York-based master illusionists who try to outdo each other with their amazing illusions. It stars a crew of best friends and fierce rivals -- Magick Balay, aka "the entertainer"; Loki, "the artist"; and Johnny Blaze, "the hustler"  -- as they travel around North America entertaining people with their up-close-and-personal kind of magic. While they explore each city, the trio brainstorms tricks that reflect some of the iconic things that make each location famous. As they perform for people, the magicians offer their thoughts about each other's tricks, as well as some of the challenges they may pose. Adding to the fun are meetings with famous daredevils and illusionists such as Nik Wallenda. At the end of each episode, they perform an illusion inspired by what they've learned about the city. 

Is it any good?

From Niagara Falls to San Francisco, these gentlemen offer a look at North America's major attractions while offering some insight into what makes an illusion work. It also highlights the fact that not only must magicians have excellent sleight-of-hand skills, they also have to work at becoming entertaining performers if they want success. 

Some of the banter between the guys feels a little contrived at times, and if you're a budding illusionist looking to learn how to perform some of these acts, these fun folks aren't sharing their secrets, either. But their street performances are enjoyable, and magic fans will appreciate the extensive range of tricks featured here. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about magic and illusions. How do people learn how to perform them? Are some of these tricks really dangerous, or do performers say that to increase their entertainment value? 

  • Families also can talk about perseverance. Magic is fun, but it also takes a lot of practice and commitment. Try learning a single trick and work on perfecting it. 

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love magic

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