The latest magic to hit our screens in the UK is Drummond Money-Coutts (aka DMC) Netflix series, “Death By Magic”. It’s sharp and impressive like a fresh suit from Saville Row but should you watch it?
TV Magic 90’S – Noughties
Before the wonder of accessibility of streaming services like Netflix, the earliest magic on television that I can remember is the Heroes Of Magic shows, The Masked Magician and David Blaine. Some slightly less commercial but equally entertaining shows by Criss Angel, Paul Zenon and Jerry Sadowitz, too. In more recent times we’ve seen Dynamo, Troy and the dire shows like Killer Magic. It’s been a good couple of decades for magic on television, which has helped changed the public image from the now kitsch Paul Daniels shows that first aired in the 1970’s. A new era of magic on screen.
Magic On TV 2001-2019
For decades now magic programs on TV have all followed a very similar format of magician on the street accosting strangers and impressing them with a magic trick before walking away in to the distance. A great format, twenty years ago. Death By Magic continues this tired format of street magic interjected with cut scenes of DMC talking philosophically, ending with a grand illusion at the end of each episode. It’s nothing new, but enjoyable and interesting to fans of magic nonetheless.
Death By Magic Verdict
I will be honest, there is a lot I love about DMC’s Death By Magic on Netflix. The style, charm and intellectual elements previous shows have lacked. The magic looks great and for the most part has interesting ideas behind it. However, that’s the silver lining around a dark cloud. DMC is part of elitist society. He openly talks about his family who founded Coutts bank and some of their history throughout the series. He is a silver spoon, pretentious posh boy wearing £3,000 suits to do magic at the beach. Even putting aside that I cannot connect at all with DMC’s aristocratic lifestyle, the program doesn’t offer much new. The same grand illusions at the each of each episode, talking about his super rich family while saying how spiritually connected he is with places like India and repetitive dialogue throughout the episodes. It leaves a lot to be desired.
Should You Watch It?
Do you love magic? Then it’s probably worth watching a few episodes. If you think magic is cheesy, naff card tricks perhaps watch an episode to help change the stereotype of what a magician is. Are you looking for your next captivating series on Netflix? Then give it a miss. If you’re not part of the 1% then maybe give this public school boy a miss all together.