Masters of Illusion

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Masters of Illusion TV Poster Image
Amazing magic makes for fun family viewing.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The show puts on display talented illusionists and magicians who make the seemingly impossible happen. It's fun to watch, but you're always left wondering how they were able to put one over on you. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The performers set out to trick and deceive viewers both at home and in the live audience. Audience members who are brought onstage to participate in a trick or stunt are good sports about being the brunt of a joke at times. 

Violence

Some illusions play up the element of fear or potential harm to make them more dramatic, and weapons are used as props and aids. In one, it appears a man is sawn in half, for instance. In another, an escape artist must free himself from a straightjacket before flaming metal jaws snap shut on him. 

Sex

Female assistants typically wear outfits that are short, tight, and revealing around the breasts and butt. Some even dance and gyrate to draw attention to their bodies.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Masters of Illusion is a collection of performances by professional escape artists and illusionists. Some of the acts incorporate props and elements of danger that may seem frightening to kids, as in the case of a chainsaw that appears to cut a man's body in two and a last-minute escape from a flaming contraption called the Jaws of Death. The (mostly male) illusionists' female assistants usually are shapely and wear revealing costumes (in some cases, they're more like bikinis), and they carry themselves in ways intended to show off their bodies. As content goes, there's nothing much to worry parents, provided kids are old enough to understand the concepts of magic tricks and illusions. 

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What's the story?

In MASTERS OF ILLUSION, top illusionists share the spotlight in impressive shows of sleight of hand, large-scale tricks, and daring escapes. Hosted by Dean Cain, the series splices segments of live stage shows, yielding 30 minutes packed with jaw-dropping feats of magic and occasionally comedy. Some tricks call for an audience member's participation; others simply dare viewers to explain acts that seemingly defy the laws of science.

Is it any good?

Unless you're a master magician yourself, it's impossible not to be in awe of what these professionals can do in front of a live audience. From masterful card tricks to seeming death-defying escapes, these mysteries will both stump and enthrall you, and that goes for your kids as well. The show itself makes for great family viewing, although your younger members might need some reassurance of a happy conclusion when the stars start brandishing chainsaws and allowing themselves to be restrained and hung upside down.

The illusionists aren't only great at staging tricks; they're also excellent at entertaining with a flourish. Although this helps induce some laughs at times, it also dials up the tension during the tricks with elements of danger. Just be sure your kids are ready for this kind of content before you tune in to watch. If they are, then sit back, relax, and prepare to be amazed by some amazing feats of deception. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what draws crowds to magic. Is it fun to be on the receiving end of a trick? Would it be more fun if you knew how they pulled off each one?

  • Do you think the performers are in any real danger during some of the big stunts? How do special effects influence how we feel about a performance? Can we ever fully believe what we see on TV, whether it's a magic trick or a model's "natural" beauty?

  • Families can contemplate how some of the tricks are done. Did you get any clues to indicate where swaps are made? Do the acts' extras always have a role, or are they there to distract you from the illusion itself? 

TV details

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