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Though he's described as a psychological illusionist, British entertainer Derren Brown is basically known for TV specials based on large-scale social experiments. Brown recently signed a mega-deal with Netflix to bring his unique power of persuasion to streaming audiences around the globe, and now U.S. subscribers have our first look at his most recent WTF special, re-dubbed The Push, which will hit Netflix soon. Warning: if you have aversions to watching people being put through incredibly stressful situations for only entertainment's sake, things are going to get uncomfortable.
In The Push, which is like Scare Tactics 5.0, Derren Brown puts the unwilling participant Chris Kingston through a decision-making process that's straight out of a Telltale video game or a surprisingly tame Saw sequel. With 70+ actors all working together to fool Kingston into believing an increasingly complex emergency scenario, The Push will attempt to show audiences the imposing power that authority and mob mentality can have on a person, especially when they're backed into a corner with no ethically clear manner of escape. In slightly less eloquent words, they're trying to make Kingston believe that he has to murder someone.
The details surrounding that manipulation aren't fully laid out by the trailer, though it appears a private event will get derailed by someone's sudden (fake) heart attack, and Chris Kingston will be put in the hot seat when it comes to trying to get help. Somehow, things will spiral out of control to the point where Kingston is forced to make the decision whether or not to push another person off a ledge and to their (fake) death. As one might imagine, this is not a choice that Kingston takes lightly, and it looks like he'll be taken to his mental limits throughout the special's runtime.
At one point, he's taking some alone time to wig the hell out, and doesn't the lighting here make him look like The Joker? I mean, we know he's not The Joker, since he's struggling with the concept of murdering someone rather than gleefully embracing it. Unless, of course, he's actually cracking a giant smile behind those hands.
In the U.K., the special was titled Pushed to the Edge, and it aired in January of 2016, so it definitely isn't new viewing for everyone in the world. But it should work just fine as a calling card to Netflix audiences for Derren Brown's psychologically intriguing talents, which will help whenever the entertainer releases his very first Netflix exclusive special. We have yet to hear what that special will be about, but it promises to be massive in scope.