Penn & Teller: Fool Us

I *love* Penn & Teller.  They’re the most skilful exponents of magic, comedy, and debunking that I think exist in mainstream TV today.  So I *had* to watch this Netflix show in which would-be magicians would perform their tricks to Penn & Teller, and if P&T couldn’t explain or guess how a trick worked, then they’d been “fooled”, and the magician “won” the prize of coming to Vegas to work on P&T’s show as a support act, or similar.  The first season was helmed by Jonathan Ross and every aspect of the talent show side of the show was cringeworthy – the video packages, the interviews, the stage banter… awful and second rate.  But the tricks were great, and watching P&T analyse and communicate to the acts the crucial info they needed to to get the act to concede that they hadn’t been fooled was just delightful.  And of course every episode culminated in Penn & Teller performing one of their illusions.

The second series was a little odder – set in Vegas, the prize was still a trip to Vegas.  The banter with host Alyson Hannigan was better (or at least lost its wink-nudge knowing misogyny), and seemingly there were more would-be players prepared to come to Vegas and try out than the endless repetitive attempts by what seemed like the same 15 people in the UK edition. 👍