Criss Angel Mindfreak
Premieres: Wednesday, July 23, 2008 at 10:00 p.m. EST
Network: A&E
Creator(s): Robert Sharenow and Elaine Frontain Bryant (Executive Producers)
Starring: Criss Angel

Criss Angel Mindfreak features popular illusionist/magician Criss Angel as he performs seemingly magical stunts ranging from card tricks and other street-magic entertainment to huge stunts like levitating or walking on water. In the fourth season premiere, Criss will perform a stunt called “Walk on Lake,” in which he will attempt to walk on the world’s largest man-made lake, Nevada’s Lake Mead.

Next Wednesday (July 30, 2008), A&E will air a special LIVE one-hour episode in which Criss will be shackled in a 6-story building in Florida. The building is packed with explosives and set to blow. Angel will have to get through the restraints and other physical obstacles and get to a helicopter on the roof before the building implodes.

I’m not one for magic tricks but I actually really enjoy Mindfreak. The series has a couple of things going for it. For one thing, Angel is really charismatic. He has a cool sort of charm about him that makes the show so much fun to watch. On top of that, he’s a true master of his craft, whether he’s doing “simple” street-magic or huge dramatic stunts like the building escape he’s going to attempt next week, watching it you don’t get the sense that you’re being manipulated or distracted somehow.

The other thing that the series does well is focus on the reaction of the spectators. When watching “magic” be performed on television, it could be very easy to assume that special effects are being used to trick the series’ viewers into thinking they’re seeing something they aren’t but because we get to see the reactions of Angel’s audience, it gives the sense that they’re seeing pretty much the exact same thing we are. Angel is pretty open about what he does, often revealing the truth behind some of his tricks. I don’t think he claims to actually be magic or have special powers. All the same, a lot of what he does is nothing short of astonishing.

For the full 2008 Summer TV Premiere Schedule: CLICK HERE

Here’s an older clip from the show:

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