Magic for Humans: Spain review – an energetic spin on a tested formula sleight changes

March 26, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Netflix, TV Reviews
3.5

Summary

Netflix takes an established formula and gives it a more specific spin in this charismatic magic series.

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3.5

Summary

Netflix takes an established formula and gives it a more specific spin in this charismatic magic series.

Netflix is no stranger to providing some cultural spins on a tried-and-true formula, and after the global success of something like The Circle, which seems to have a new version every other week, Magic For Humans: Spain is the latest addition to the canon. We covered the third season of the American version last year, which starred magician Justin Willman as the roving street magician wowing passers-by with unexplainable feats. His Spanish analog is Mago Pop, but the format, which harkens back at least as far as David Blaine’s mega-popular street magic, remains the same.

There’s a delicate balance to street magic. Too small and personal and it can become unimpressive, but going too big gives a manufactured feeling like the production is doing all the work. Magic For Humans: Spain finds a nice middle ground in its breezy episodes, shifting between small and slightly bigger tricks without losing its sense of energy or rhythm. Thematic episodes dealing with subjects such as hobbies, time, and love help to give the illusions and ideas some cohesion. It’s a very binge-able series.

There’s nothing original about any of this, obviously, but there hasn’t been for hundreds of years. Magic For Humans has never been interested in really shifting the boundaries of how magic can be performed on-screen – these shows don’t have the social experiment quality of something by Derren Brown. But they delight in the simple pleasures of the unexplainable; that feeling of knowing something is impossible but seeing it happen before your eyes. That relatable vibe coupled with the show’s energy and Mago’s charisma makes for a winning formula.

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