Friday, 30 December 2005
The Magic of Jesus, Channel 4
It provided reasonable entertainment for an hour, but the quality of the magic far outweighed the likeability of the two presenters and magicians, Barry Jones and Stuart McLeod.
What was good about it?
• The whole idea of re-creating the miracles of Jesus using their own magic was very good. Channel 4's patronage of magickry (yes, we did make that word up, but it'll be in Webster's next year) is also laudable, if perhaps a little desperate to make it cool by taking elements of Jackass on board.
• It was a particularly nice notion to get various people of religion to read the text from the bible that was relevant to each trick.
• The walking on water, the making the blind see and the turning of water into various different drinks at the whims of a wedding party were all very impressive tricks. The virgin birth was incredible.
• The show proved that Jesus wasn't so great at all. Just a very competent magician. I bet the American Christian right are preparing to invade the C4 offices as we speak.
What was bad about it?
• Barry and Stuart are pretty annoying. Their presentation seems desperate and contrived, as if they imagine themselves as the Vic and Bob of magic, but they can't quite carry it off. Their over-rehearsed style only makes it seem as if they're trying to hide a lack of personality.
• The irritating reactions of the witnesses to the various tricks. We don't need to be told whether something is amazing or not, we can work that out for ourselves.
• The good tricks were almost equalled by the poor ones. The waking the dead was pretty lame (as was the woman who they chose to witness the trick - she shrieked when she saw the 'dead' body - what did she expect to see on entering a morgue?) because it was obvious they would never be allowed to use a real dead body for a magic trick. The feeding of the masses with loaves and fish was also very poor - the baskets used were so obviously gimmicked it was embarrassing.
• There was a bizarre, perhaps suspicious, lack of amazement from many of the people involved in the tricks. The woman they used to wake the dead jumped a bit, but that was it, while the Egyptian fishermen seemed totally non-plussed when they caught the fish and found the previously-marked coin inside one of them.
In the Flesh: Why we should be shouting about this more
Amid the tremendous bevy of high quality programmes delivered over the past few months – Prey , Happy Valley , From There to Here ...
What to Expect from The Lady Vanishes
Sunday night has long been the home of period drama on BBC One with recent examples being Upstairs Downstairs and Call the Midwife. Thi...
The TV week – what's new June 28-July 4
Lennie James in Fallout Saturday 4.15pm/9.30pm/midnight Glastonbury 2008 BBC2 – Jo Whiley, Lauren Laverne, Mark Radcliffe and Phill ...
ITV launches new Drama trailer
Today (Monday 14th January 2013) ITV1 became ITV. I know nobody likes change do they? With the rebrand came a new trailer showcasing the for...
2014: Our picks for the best of the year.
So we've done it! We've reached the end of the year. 2014 wasn't as packed as last year, but when it was good, it was very go...
Born Sloppy, Channel 4
For those of us mystified by the popularity of Sara Cox, Born Sloppy provided no clues. As a Radio 1 breakfast show presenter, she's no...
Did we like it? Our ITV, which art in trouble, ridiculed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come; thy off switch will be pressed, on t...