Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Project 365 (26/365): Phenomenon

.:26/365: Phenomenon:.

Scripted or real? Too bad I don’t care about Criss or Jim. At all.

You could simply believe that mentalism has hit either an all-time high or an all-time low the minute television comes up with an American Idol-style reality show for them, all the while skirting the uncomfortable question: how is any of this stuff done, and do these people genuinely have powers? Despite that very awkward question that the show never makes an attempt to answer, it was still worth a lot of entertainment value, albeit for me, the whole program made no sense.

Essentially, you had eight mentalists come together to show everyone who’s the best, you put together Uri Geller and Criss Angel to judge the program, then after you crown your “Phenomenon”, what’s supposed to happen to him or her? This is akin to a really bad season of American Idol, where you don’t even know or care who ended up winning. I do know who won because I had a vested interest in the competition as a mentalist, but what about the general public? Did this program’s production team even bother to make it a point to market the winner of the competition. After five episodes, Mike Super came out as the winner of the whole thing, and nobody knows or cares about him, no matter how good he actually was.

Personally, I liked Mike Super’s performances. I think he carried himself in a way that made mentalism very fun and exciting and strayed from the traditional approach of contemporary performers. He was part mentalist, part game show host, and it really worked. I personally feel he deserved to win based on the strength of his performance style, although I’m a bit tired of seeing a million and one variations on the PK touch, and let’s face it: he was one of those guilty of that.

Overall, I believe that this show didn’t really achieve its objective of getting mentalism out there and having it more recognized in the mainstream. That’s too bad, although thankfully, the TV show “The Mentalist” managed to help ease that failure somewhat.

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