Not many entertainers manage to capture the attention of audiences the way a magician can. They can take a crowd on a rollercoaster of emotion with tricks and illusions that’ll leave them asking the question – “How’d they do that?”
If you’re a fan are hoping to find something great to watch, Netflix has a small but growing catalog of magician specials and docu-series, and it has started investing in original programming as well. Here is a roundup of some of the best magician specials on Netflix right now.
Best Magician specials on Netflix:
Editor’s note: We will continue to update this list as more magician specials on Netflix are available.
1-3. David Blaine specials
David Blaine’s specials have stuck to a tried a tested formula for years. They feature card tricks and street magic galore. A few tricks that aren’t for the faint of heart. And celebrities are undoubtedly going to freak out. However, the complete, almost unnatural, control Blaine has over his body is a sight to behold. There are currently three David Blaine specials on Netflix and all of them are worth the watch.
One of the more recent is “David Blaine: Real or Magic” from 2013. Each special has increasingly high-profile celebrities and Blaine’s more recent work features bonafide A-listers. Watching celebs lose their minds has its own appeal (they’re just like us!), but Harrison Ford’s growled “get the f*** out of my house” is the best reaction you’ll ever see.
“David Blaine: What is Magic” from 2007 has all the “usual” tricks, illusions, and slew of celebrity cameos. One of the main things that make this special a must-see is watching Blaine catch a speeding bullet in a cup. With his teeth.
Finally, there’s “David Blaine: Street Magic,” all the way back from 1997. This is his first TV special, and features a young David Blaine randomly approaching strangers on the street. If you’re familiar with his persona, watching him smiling and laughing in this special is almost as fascinating as the tricks themselves. Also, Leanardo Di Caprio hosts.
4. Death by Magic
Death by Magic follows magician Drummond Money-Coutts, aka DMC, around the world as he attempts to re-work and perform dangerous stunts, many of which proved to be fatal to others.
While these dramatic stunts are the main draw of this eight-part series, episodes are interspersed with moments of levity and some excellent street magic as well. This part magic show and part travelogue is packed with action and drama — it’s a must-watch for those curious about the more dangerous aspects of magic.
5. The Carbonaro Effect
Moving on to more light-hearted fare, The Carbonaro Effect sees magician Michael Carbonaro pranking unsuspecting strangers with tricks and illusions. It’s hardly a new concept, but the big selling point of this hidden camera show is its charming and witty lead who has people believing everything he says. If you’re looking for some good-natured and funny trickery, The Carbonaro Effect is a good option.
There are close to 90 episodes of the show that have aired on Tru TV since 2014. However, what is available on Netflix is a “collection” of 20 of these 20-minute episodes. Definitely not a bad binge, but I’d love to have all four seasons of the show available on Netflix.
6. Magic for Humans
Magic for Humans features Justin Willman, a comedian and magician, who goes around the streets of L.A. performing a variety of magic tricks and illusions. It starts strong but not every trick is great and the show has its share of ups and down. Still, it’s a pretty quick binge and the good news for fans is a second season should be dropping on Netflix soon.
7. Magic of Houdini
A lot of people are familiar with the name Harry Houdini. Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of documentaries and dramatized TV shows about him as well. One of the best around, for a simple look at the life and times of this incredible illusionist, is Magic of Houdini.
It follows comedian Alan Davies (who played a magician detective in the BBC mystery drama series Jonathan Creek) as he explores Houdini’s career. He even tries out some tricks considered to be among the all-time greats.
8. Breaking the Magician’s Code
We’ve all heard the phrase “a magician never reveals his secret.” So Breaking the Magician’s Code was a huge deal when it first came out in the late 90s. Of course, there are now Youtube tutorials breaking down tricks and showing you how to perform them, so the impact of the show isn’t as much as it once was.
Currently available on Netflix and spread out across two seasons and 18 episodes, it’s still one of the best Netflix magic specials and a great way to look back at how some of the classic magic tricks are performed.
That’s it for our look at the best magic shows on Netflix. Looking for more recommendations? Check the list below.