“Magic for Humans with Justin Willman” premiered on the streaming service Netflix on Aug. 17, 2018. This reality show dazzles its viewers by showing mystifying tricks in a comedic way. “Magic for Humans” is the first street magic-themed Netflix original series.
In this series, magician Justin Willman does “real” magic tricks on camera, explaining that there is no editing of the footage and that the persons he encounters are not actors. He performs a wide range of acts, from turning a picture of a pig into the living breathing animal to inducing levitation on common individuals. Willman will have the audience asking themselves “Wait, how did he do that?”
Each 25 minute episode has a different theme. They range from topics like love and expression, to advancements in technology and self control. Willman provides the show with more depth than a typical magic act by alluding to psychological studies such as the Stanford marshmallow experiment and recreating them with his own magical take. I’m sure psychology majors would find interest in the way he makes connections to these studies, but also adds humor and illusion in his acts.
Justin Willman even included some tricks that illusionist and stuntman Eric Wilzig performed for St. Mary’s College of Maryland students in February of this year, such as making a piece of paper a student has written on appear inside of an orange. Additionally, both magicians displayed the trick of having participants color in a picture of a man, giving each clothing item a different color. After, the performers revealed that they were wearing the same clothes as represented by the picture underneath their outfit!
This series only highlights one section of Justin Willman’s talents. In addition to touring as a magician, he was also the host of competitive shows such as Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” and Disney Channel’s “Win, Lose, or Draw.” He is the author of the book Building Couples: Rebuilding Trust, and he is also an actor and comedian.
“Magic for Humans” can be easily compared to the show “The Carbonero Effect” on TruTV in which magician Michael Carbonero presents magic to strangers he comes across. In the first episode, he presents himself as a bartender and proceeds to pour beer out of a seemingly never ending glass. Later in the episode, he removes living puppies from a parcel. If you like “Magic for Humans,” you will probably like “The Carbonero Effect” as well.
If you’re looking for a splash of humor to brighten your day, “Magic for Humans” is a great show to relax with in between homework assignments. Although there is not a confirmation of a second season, I am hopeful that Justin Willman will continue to share his magic on film. Six episodes isn’t enough! If you want to see more of Justin Willman’s elegant tricks, he has a special on Comedy Central called “Sleight of Mouth” and is currently on his “Fake Believe” tour.