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Think before you dare to bare.

Magicians hold the secrets of how their best acts of prestidigitation are pulled off very close to their chests. But, there's a 'spoiler' show on the tube that dares to share with viewers how those tricks are staged.

Titled 'Breaking the Magician's Code,' the 'spoiler' show has become popular, because it rides the current wave of more realistic and less fanciful programs-hello, folks, what you see is not what you get!

For our part, however, we believe that magicians' incredible feats of artful manipulation should be kept secret, because baring their inner workings runs directly counter to the purpose and essence of magic itself.

We can see how the tell-all tutorial would be useful to people who want to learn how to become magicians.

But, for the members of the viewing public, the spell and thrill are gone when revelations are made, so the 'tutorials' should be for private viewing, not shared with everyone on TV.

Besides, some feats of physical and mental trickery are so incredible that an 'explanation' diminishes them to an unacceptable degree.

For instance, we once saw a TV magic feature that had the master magician make some 20 people in a room individually float up in the air.

It was clearly an act of group hypnotism, which quite a number of prestidigitators can also easily and breezily pull off-but, what about the individual factor? It vastly complicated the hypnotic process and added to its stunning effect-so, explaining how it worked would have been a rude awakening.

Revelations on TV are great when it comes to corruption and baring attempts to fool and fleece the public, but keep psychological or mystical phenomena secret, so they can weave and wield their magic spell!


Another 'spoiler' program on the tube is 'UnReal,' which bares the fakery occasionally involved in the production of so-called 'reality TV' shows. It does so by spoofing a 'The Bachelor' type of dating tilt, fictitiously titled 'Everlasting.'

The events are fiction, but they're derived from the actual manipulation that's involved behind the scenes of real programs.

The point is that this manipulation of real contestants behaving naturally and spontaneously is one of the reasons why some TV shows turn out to be huge hits that are extended from one season to the next.

In the spoofed dating tilt, the hitmaking and viewer-friendly elements include a lush and lavish setting, a lot of 'winking' but not out-and-out seduction, catfights often erupting between the female contestants, the lovely ladies exposed as witches and bitches, etc.

Since television thrives on conflict and problem-solving, the catfights are par for the course. But, what the reality TV spoofs and exposes add to the witches' brew is the fact that real emotions are involved.

When viewers watch TV dramas, they know that there's fakery involved, since the actors are well-known professionals just doing a job.

But the conflict in reality TV dating tilts is supposed to be actual, since real people are crushed or angered, so the impact is much more felt and hurtful. There is a difference-and there's nothing 'Unreal' about it!

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Feb 26, 2017
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