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The Crazed Spruce

S05.E05: Psych!

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Emily got the surprise Fooler, no one seemed more shocked than her.  

Really liked Penn and Teller's egg bag routine.

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Emily is a redditor and does seem pretty shocked. Her method was flashed due to a poor camera angle and producer requested change in wardrobe. Not the greatest presentation but I give her props for creating the effect herself and only doing this less than a year.

The box shape was a nice presentation. Very well rehearsed. At first I thought it was going to be as simple as that chocolate bar trick that you see on facebook from time to time. A Hershey's chocolate bar is cut into a couple pieces. Then rearranged to form the bar again but one square is missing. From the clue given by Penn, that method wasn't used. 

The rest of the show was pretty bad though. The mirror card had one of the worst forces on this show. 

The car escape was bad by small town fair standards. A million different ways to leave the car unseen with all of that signage, stage, oversized welding rig, etc. Zero effort to try and prove that you are still in the car. No visual aide, no hand waving etc. Just amateur hour. P&T really showed how kind they are to the community by playing along and helping this guy get his name out. Just wish he had something better to show.

P&T's egg bag routine was pretty good. I like when they take something that is in a child's magic set and show that with proper banter and a good routine, you can really elevate even the most basic of tricks.

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I've never enjoyed that kind of car escape thing. Basically, if you're on a TV show and your trick requires prerecorded video outside because it "can't fit onstage" I pretty much know I will not be impressed.

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1 hour ago, theatremouse said:

I've never enjoyed that kind of car escape thing. Basically, if you're on a TV show and your trick requires prerecorded video outside because it "can't fit onstage" I pretty much know I will not be impressed.

You might if you were six years old. I don't mean that as a shot. I mean this is on at 8pm on the CW. Families watch and I bet there were a lot of kids who found it cool that a robot dinosaur tore a police car in half. For me, yeah it wasn't a great trick. But a season has a certain amount of space fillers anyway, so I'm fine varying it up.

I agree with @lynxfx that the mirror trick was my least favorite. A simple gimmick, barely obscured. If you have a cool prop, at least work up a better act for it.

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13 hours ago, Amarsir said:

I agree with @lynxfx that the mirror trick was my least favorite. A simple gimmick, barely obscured. If you have a cool prop, at least work up a better act for it.

Yeah the prop is actually really cool. I have never seen those 'ghosted' cards before but like you say, the way he presented it gave it away and didn't make it impressive anymore. P&T proved with the egg bag that you can have an act around a prop that everyone knows and still make it impressive.

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14 hours ago, Amarsir said:

You might if you were six years old. I don't mean that as a shot. I mean this is on at 8pm on the CW. Families watch and I bet there were a lot of kids who found it cool that a robot dinosaur tore a police car in half.

Maybe it wasn't that great of a trick.  And I'm closer to 60 than six years old, but I'll admit I thought it was kind of cool that a robot dinosaur tore a police car in half.

What was it that Penn was trying to say about that?  He never came out and said what he was thinking, but I got the impression he had thought it was some kind of political statement or something?  But the magician guy said he chose the police car because it was supposed to be hard to get out of.

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I mean, yes, in a Monster Truck Rally sort of sense, robot dinosaur destroys vehicle is amusing. I'll give the guy that. I just meant from a magic trick perspective "you weren't really in the car that got torn apart" doesn't wow me. He didn't do a prover to suggest he was even in the car when the dinosaur picked it up. If I'm watching magic I want a "how the heck did they have time/space to do that" experience. When they go outside and have huge robots and big signs and large pauses and whatnot, it's showing me they have space or time for shenanigans. I mean, obviously there are always shenanigans, but it's only impressive if it seems too fast/small to have happened. That's what I meant about when they go outside or when stuff is literally big that I know it's not my cup of tea. There's literally too much wiggle room. 

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4 hours ago, rmontro said:

What was it that Penn was trying to say about that?  He never came out and said what he was thinking, but I got the impression he had thought it was some kind of political statement or something?  But the magician guy said he chose the police car because it was supposed to be hard to get out of.

Yeah Penn may have interpreted it as a political statement or something. 

I think the biggest mistake the guy made was not talking up the "police car" aspect at the start. Those cars don't have inside handles on the back doors. So that alone makes it inherently more difficult to get out. Had he mentioned that it would have added at least a little much-needed tension.

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I think Penn just said that there was another reason why the guy used a cop car- my assumption was that he was referring to the fact that it had tinted windows.

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Yeah, I thought this might have been the weakest episode of the show so far.

Patrick had the best trick of the show by far. It's a really clever presentation and an elegant method. I didn't think I was going to like him when he came out, but it's a really good trick.

It's really cool that Emily fooled them, particularly as an amateur, but it's not a particularly compelling trick to watch. It's very straightforward mentalism, which is not a genre of magic I have much affection for.

The concept for Migz's trick is cool, but I thought the execution was poor. The force was weak (and there are SO MANY forces he could've used), and the other little bits of sleight of hand were pretty poor as well. 

Ugh, Seth Grabel. It's not just that it was a bad trick (it was), but it felt like a betrayal of all the things that the show is. Part of what makes the show great, to me, is that everything is done for a live audience and right in front of Penn and Teller. Even if I'm watching on camera, I know that they're seeing it with their own eyes, there's no fooling them with camera tricks. Here, that's not the case. It's also just so boring, there's nothing new or inventive added to it. As other people have mentioned, it lacked any kind of convincer that he was actually in there. It's just this cocky, showboating guy doing a boring trick. Felt like the opposite of Penn and Teller's whole ethos to me. 

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Patrick had a really nice trick. To figure out how it is done, you need a really good memory to notice something, which is just the sort of thing Penn and Teller are watching for. 

Spoiler

He doesn't sneak anything out as Penn said, but he does tuck a memory. One of the slots disappears after he picks up the blocks.

 

I agree Migz's execution was poor. The force was obvious as pointed out, and some of the proofs were weak. (he rotated the 'blank' card, never flipped it for example). Still, given more practice and refinement there is a lot of potential there.

 

Seth's trick was meh mainly because it has a lot of camera angles moving around and what not; and lots of opportunities to slip out. Maybe if they had done like AGT does and filmed it with P&T outside and watching it might have been a little better. But this was obviously just a chance for Seth to show off his act with no real intention to try and fool them. They didn't even go for the fake flames for him to put out. 

 

On 7/24/2018 at 8:31 PM, lynxfx said:

Emily is a redditor and does seem pretty shocked. Her method was flashed due to a poor camera angle and producer requested change in wardrobe. Not the greatest presentation but I give her props for creating the effect herself and only doing this less than a year.

 

Mentalism can be hit or miss but I was impressed by it. She did seem very legit and amazed to fool them. Could you give more details on the flash and other issues? (Spoilered or in the spoiler thread if you want). 

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15 hours ago, Taeolas said:

Mentalism can be hit or miss but I was impressed by it. She did seem very legit and amazed to fool them. Could you give more details on the flash and other issues? (Spoilered or in the spoiler thread if you want). 

Spoiler

She is wearing a smart watch. It is connected to her phone so whatever Allyson picked to play it just displayed on her watch. From P&T's point of view, the watch was usually hidden and under her sleeve. 

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4 hours ago, lynxfx said:
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She is wearing a smart watch. It is connected to her phone so whatever Allyson picked to play it just displayed on her watch. From P&T's point of view, the watch was usually hidden and under her sleeve. 

 

Good catch.

The video of the episode is on Youtube here:

 

Spoiler

You can see the unfortunate flash around 4:48 or so, and another instance later on. I'm surprised Penn and Teller missed that. She was pretty careful to keep it hidden for the most part at least. I wonder if the camera feed in studio was different from what we saw. Or they were so focused on her they didn't catch what the camera flashed. The flash was early in the trick when they'd be watching her closely. 

She legit fooled them, though I'm sure they're kicking themselves a bit once they see how it is done. In this case the solution was so obvious they probably didn't think of it. (I certainly didn't until pointed out). 

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20 hours ago, Taeolas said:

She legit fooled them, though I'm sure they're kicking themselves a bit once they see how it is done. In this case the solution was so obvious they probably didn't think of it. (I certainly didn't until pointed out).

Yeah you can see her reveal it to Teller after she got her trophy. His expression is basically that.

Edited by lynxfx
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Patrick's trick was also in "Great Puzzles of the World", a book that had a lot of variants on the tangram puzzle (this being one of them.)  That said, as P & T noted, it was great presentation.

I didn't figure out Emily's trick, but I appreciate the spoilers.   She had some GREAT misdirection.  That included the glasses. The challenge for P & T were that, as they noted, there were a number of ways it COULD have been done, she just picked one they hadn't considered--and she was an excellent sport as they were fishing, and got close.  As she notes, it's a great memory for her.  (Or she goes into stage magic as a career, either way.)

I liked the Japanese reveal of the mirror trick.  Presentation matters--the egg trick was a perfect example of that.

Seth Grabel could get an honorable mention for most expensive props on this show (and I know you can repaint a clunker, even so...)/variation on a milk can escape.  Wasn't Robosaurus on Pawn Stars a few years back?  Not important, just an interesting crossover.  The "not another card trick" line was great, as was Penn's reveal.

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Unfortunately for Migz, I saw those cards on reddit before seeing the episode, lol. 

They don't seem very practical for playing cards with, so that trick might be all they're good for. 

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