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The Crazed Spruce

S05.E02: The Rematch

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Magicians who have previously fooled Penn and Teller return to attempt fooling them again; featured magicians include Vinny Grosso, Morgan & West, Paul Gertner, and Eric Jones.

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Writing while I watch.

1. I should probably see it again, but I didn’t really get it. Like the last episode, Vinny’s routine seems cut way too short for some reason. Also: did he (and Gilbert Gottfried!) really fool them, or did he win on a technicality? He said something like “that’s not exactly how it was done.” 

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2. I’m not really crazy about elaborate personas for magicians (or any performers) — i.e., the fully-invested ‘lifetime’ personas, where the actors live the character as well as act in it — but at least these guys are funny, with a good sense of humor about their steampunk/time-traveller characters. Loved the trick, especially that cause-and-effect aspect that Penn mentioned, and it has now inspired me to look up Mofo the Psychic Gorilla!

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3. Not sure what to think about Gertner. His presentation is always excellent, and I’m sure he did more than I know—the ending apparently negates the apparent method of the earlier trick? Again—did he fool them, or did they give it to him because they liked him (and/or on a technicality)?

4. Jones is fine—his type of coin magic is very impressive, but I’ve seen it before. Anywhere else, I’d think it excellent, but on this show… I dunno.

5. The P&T trick was good; I saw the final twist coming early on, though I thought Teller would be in the box! Fun trick.

All in all, while I liked most of the performers, I’m not a big fan of bringing back old performers, especially not an entire episode devoted to such a thing—which all makes it feel gimmicky, more like any other game show (if that makes any sense without coming off as impossibly snobbish). The quality is good, and so are the magicians, but I’d love it if they don’t do such themed episodes again! ;)

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15 hours ago, Salzmank said:

Writing while I watch.

1. I should probably see it again, but I didn’t really get it. Like the last episode, Vinny’s routine seems cut way too short for some reason. Also: did he (and Gilbert Gottfried!) really fool them, or did he win on a technicality? He said something like “that’s not exactly how it was done.” 

My feeling was that Vinny was actually being generous. Their guess was video effects to overlay an answer on a chroma-keyed blank. If he used any other technology to make that appear then he might feel it was kind of similar but I didn't.

Very funny with Gottfried. (Who is close friends with Penn for anyone who didn't know / guess.)

13 hours ago, Salzmank said:

3. Not sure what to think about Gertner. His presentation is always excellent, and I’m sure he did more than I know—the ending apparently negates the apparent method of the earlier trick? Again—did he fool them, or did they give it to him because they liked him (and/or on a technicality)?

Here I felt it was a bit more of a technicality, but they do like him. Penn called the move and the timing, and Gertner said the timing was wrong. So they could have been right on the method, which is the biggest part. Fine trick by me though.

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2 hours ago, Amarsir said:

Here I felt it was a bit more of a technicality, but they do like him. Penn called the move and the timing, and Gertner said the timing was wrong. So they could have been right on the method, which is the biggest part. Fine trick by me though.

Nah, he legit fooled them. There's an "add-on" of sorts, but it's not what you would typically mean as a magician when you say "add-on". If they'd spotted his method, they would've been much more specific. The timing that they guess (adding on the royal flush while his back is turned) doesn't really explain the twist at the end of the trick. He very clearly shows the card that he is placing on the bottom of the piles when he says "this isn't your card, right?" and he very clearly puts that card down without switching it. The explanation has to explain how those cards change to the royal flush, and guessing that he added them on while his back was turned doesn't do that.

I love Paul Gertner. I didn't think this was as strong as his previous two, but it's still an excellent trick. He's got such a great, warm personality, and he does such a great job of being super clear in his presentations.

Even though they didn't fool P&T, I thought Morgan and West's trick was much better this time.

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