Friday, 2 October 2009

Daring Brown?

For my second blogathon entry, I'd like to put down my feelings towards the latest series of programmes by Mr. Derren Brown, which have already generated a considerable amount of discussion in the media and with Brown's fans. First off, I'm a fan of Derren Brown and have been for a while, having enjoyed pretty much everything I've watched that he's done in the past.

So far, on the surface, I've been slightly underwhelmed by the series as a whole. I've enjoyed watching the programmes as they've gone out, but they feel slightly less tight overall than what I've seen Brown do in the past. Apparently many others have had this feeling to various degrees, with the media questioning the quality of Brown's series and the internet bubbling with everything from mild disappointment to furious outcry declaring that Brown has broken the bond of trust with his fans. I'm closer to the mild disappointment end, although having said that I've still enjoyed watching the series despite hoping for something slightly more throughout.

Brown's final Event, where he plans to correctly predict the outcome of a roulette wheel's spin and apparently win some money for a member of the public through doing this, is to be broadcast later this evening. At the end of tonight's Event, one of two things will happen. Either it will simply be the end of the series and I'll feel somewhat crestfallen and unsatisfied by the series. Or, another thing will happen, that I'm really hoping (and, at this moment, fairly confident) is going to be the case.

Let me explain. The main bone of contention people seem to have with this series is that Brown in some way hasn't delivered what he's promised or has used methods which cheapen the whole experience. He said he would show us how we can predict the National Lottery, and because he didn't give people a foolproof way of doing it during the show, the audience feels cheated. As I said before, the programme didn't sit quite right with me, but I didn't feel cheated in any way. His explanations during the series have felt somewhat flimsy compared to his previous track record. But every time I think that I come back to the same thought, and that thought involves the adverts that ran on Channel 4 before the series began.

Brown described these shows as "events of misdirection". So, by definition, that means that anything you think you're seeing him do, you actually aren't. He's controlling the whole thing to make the audience think one thing's happening when it's actually something quite different. The "explanations" he's given for these events are purposefully put together building towards Brown's intended outcome. So, back to the "other thing" I'm hoping is going to happen. Brown has pulled off an immense, month-long misdirection of everyone who's watched the series. All of the frustration and slating and denouncing him as a cheat, he's wanted all of that to happen. He's misdirected the whole time. And at the end of tonight's final Event, he's going for the big reveal. Or not. Either way, he's going to tie things up, restore the faith of all those nay-sayers, and prove to me that I was right to stick with him all along.

The final Event starts in about five minutes, so don't be surprised if my entry tomorrow reflects on what I've said in this post.

Blogathon score: 2

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