A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Contestants' talents are undeniable, but their willingness to place themselves in perilous situations for entertainment purposes demonstrates questionable judgment.
Violence & Scariness
Contestants often put themselves in dangerous situations during their acts. One man sticks his hand in a bear trap; another plays Russian roulette with pneumatic nail guns aimed at his own head. Multiple warnings remind viewers that what they're seeing is dangerous and shouldn't be imitated by anyone at any time.
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Infrequent use of "hell."
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Products & Purchases
Angel often draws comparisons between the contestants and himself, making many references to his own series when he's supposed to be offering them feedback.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there's good reason for the multiple warnings that accompany this reality competition series, as the mentalists often do dangerous (even life-threatening) things as part of their act -- like sticking their extremities in animal traps or playing Russian roulette with nail guns. Some contestants talk almost excitedly about getting a rush from conquering pain and cheating death. Other acts touch on the ideas that people can defy the laws of gravity, read minds, and talk to the dead. Some of the acts -- which are designed to amaze adults -- may confuse, frustrate, and even frighten kids when they can't be adequately explained. Be prepared to remind young aspiring magicians and illusionists not to try the stunts at home.
Is It Any Good?
The mentalists' personalities are as varied as their supernatural specialties, which focus on paranormal abilities like ESP, levitation, mind control, and talking to the dead. Whether or not you believe in the paranormal, chances are your heart will race when one of the performers reveals a series of random numbers he predicted or another puts a nail gun to his temple in a dangerous game of Russian roulette, staking his life on his ability to read inflections in an assistant's voice. For at-home doubters, host Tim Vincent pre-empts the inclination to cry "phony" with assurances that there are no retakes and absolutely no camera tricks involved. (Try to keep that in mind as you attempt to absorb what you're seeing!)
Phenomenon is mind-testing entertainment that thrill-seekers are sure to enjoy, but be careful about sharing it with young kids, as this isn't a family-friendly magic show with rabbits popping out of hats. Many of these acts are dangerous enough to be accompanied by multiple warnings against imitation (a man tests his pain tolerance by putting his hand in a bear trap, for example), and concepts like ESP and communicating with the dead may be frightening to kids and some tweens. If kids do watch, be prepared to answer their questions (to the best of your ability, that is!) about how illusions are created and tricks of this caliber are done. And it's worth repeating the warnings against trying the stunts, since the danger factor is often lost amid the audience's -- and viewers' -- excitement.
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