Keep the magic alive with secrecy

Published Feb 25, 2011


PSSST! Want to know a secret?

Think about it – sometimes knowing the answer to your burning questions doesn’t bring you as much pleasure as you might think.

You will be warned as such at the beginning of Breaking The Magician’s Code (Magician’s Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed) on on Saturdays at 6.05pm.

Did I want to know how the illusions are created? Or did I want to retain some kind of magic in my life? Curiosity got the better of me and it’s just as well I am not a cat.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out this show is from the last century. It’s laden with cheesy, corny mystery because as we all know, magicians subscribe to a code of honour not to reveal their secrets on pain of death.

Oh wait, that’s the Mafia. Anyway, so they have a bloke called The Masked Magician (whose identity is on Wikipedia, so much for secrecy).

I think might have bought this series along with its dreadful adult viewing package because the Masked Magician wears what looks disturbingly like a gimp mask and his troupe of assistants could be moonlighting from their other job at that strip club in Paarden Eiland.

Criss Angel discredited the show, saying the creators were not nearly clever nor creative enough in their revelations. Bit disappointing, really.

Elsewhere – BBC Lifestyle to be exact – I marvelled over the brand that is Jamie Oliver.

To his numerous television series, he has added Jamie’s Food Escapes (Tuesdays at 8.25pm) in which he gallivants around the world as a food tourist, meeting families and farmers and, of course, cooking.

The episode I watched was set in Andalucia, Spain and I have to say I enjoyed it more than some of his other poncey shows even if his “hangover breakfast” was a bit ridiculous. Anyone who has time to fry quail eggs, cook up some black pudding-type sausage, slice bread, rub it with a piece of tomato and pile the whole lot on a plate with paper thin slices of Serrano ham does not have a hangover.

Next week he’ll be in Venice, not exactly the heart and soul of Italian cooking, but Jamie will veer off the beaten tourist track to find the real regional food and meet the female prisoners who grow vegetables behind bars.


Grey’s Anatomy (M-Net, Monday at 7.30pm): This season appears to be broken somehow. I think it’s all Cristina’s fault; she used to be so feisty and now she’s just a pain in an unpleasant region. In this episode she’s going to decorate her new home and throw a housewarming party. Seriously?

The 83rd Academy Awards (M-Net, 9.30pm): Hosted by the beautiful Anne Hathaway and the gorgeous James Franco, this is the culmination of the annual awards season.

It will be broadcast live on Movie Magic in the wee hours if you can’t wait for the results.

That used to be such a novelty, but honestly, now that every awards ceremony gets the same treatment, quite frankly I am over waking up at 3am and drinking Red Bull.

Clearly Hollywood makes more great movies than ever with 10 nominees for best picture when once upon a time it used to be a neat and tidy five. Does anyone really expect Toy Story 3 to be a contender when going up against films like Black Swan, The King’s Speech and The Kids Are All Right? I think not.

Other best picture nominees are The Fighter, Inception, 127 Hours, The Social Network, True Grit and Winter’s Bone. See more at

Justified (M-Net Series, Tuesday at 8.30pm): I am really looking forward to this one. From the FX network it stars yummy Timothy Olyphant (Hitman, Deadwood, Damages) as Deputy US Marshal Raylan Givens who is exiled to his rural Kentucky mining hometown after his controversial shooting of a Miami drug cartel assassin. The series was created by Graham Yost who has written for films Speed and Hard Rain, and TV series like Band of Brothers and Boomtown, as well as writing and directing for the Tom Hanks/ Steven Spielberg award-winner The Pacific. Wait, there’s more – the Raylan Givens characters is based on the one in Elmore Leonard’s novels Pronto and Riding the Rap and his short story Fire in the Hole. When it premiered last year, Justified was the highest debut for the network and its second season is currently on air in the US.

Top Gear (BBC Entertainment, Wednesday at 8.30pm): My three favourite men who taught me the catch phrase “how hard can it be?” return for their 15th season with more madness, mayhem and petrol fumes. Jeremy Clarkson leaps right in with the question “Why aren’t there more three-wheeled cars in the world?” – and I am sure there is a good reason, while James May gives the Toyota Hilux one final assignment as he attempts to drive one up an active volcano in Iceland. Hammond gives the old Chevrolet Lacetti a dignified send off before he and Jeremy host a star studded tea party to welcome in a new reasonably priced car. Stars in this season include Harry Potter star Rupert Grint, Cameron Diaz, Jeff Goldblum and Formula 1 driver Rubens Barrichello.

The Mentalist (M-Net, Wednesday at 8.30pm): Jane goes and gets himself kidnapped and the CBI team must go back through years of casework.

The list of suspects is extremely long as they realise almost everyone he’s ever dealt with might want to harm him. He does have that effect on people.

Desperate Housewives (M-Net, Thursday at 8.30pm): This is another series which seems to have lost its sparkle. Here, I blame Vanessa Williams. Could any actress possibly be more one dimensional?

I see little difference between her character here and Wilhelmina in Ugly Betty. It’s Thanksgiving on Wisteria Lane so Gabrielle and Carlos lay on a lavish show-off feast for Carmen, Hector and Grace.

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