Oi! Derren Brown! NO!

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carmonk

Original Poster:

7,910 posts

126 months

Saturday 5th November 2011
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I've given him the benefit of the doubt for too long and I now have to admit, most or all of his shows are fabricated beginning to end. Initially I thought he used a big dollop of psychology and manipulative skills, then I began to think his claims of misdirection accounted for more than a small part of his work. Now I think it's all staged. One hundred percent acted with stooges, or at best, weak-minded people who play along to be on TV.

The one that finally did it for me was the murder mystery thing last night. For those that haven't seen it, he claimed to have invited this guy along to a bogus conference at a country house (the guy having previously applied to be on the show and 'rejected'). Everyone else present were actors and we were expected to believe that through psychological techniques this guy was tricked into admitting to a murder that he believed actually happened. Absolute BS. Not because I believe it's impossible, it may or may not be, but because there was so many holes in the story that a five year old could have seen that this guy was playing along.

After about a dozen absurd instances of this guy conveniently behaving exactly as planned (on many occasions a single look in the wrong direction would have wrecked the entire, vastly expensive production, if the premise was to be believed) brought us to the ending, which was more contrived than Scooby Doo and blew the whole thing apart, should that have been necessary. The 'police' came in and Derren Brown made out that he'd expected this guy to admit to the murder there and then, but he hadn't. Minutes later the guy ran from the hotel to confess at the 'police station' in the village, where Brown revealed the ploy. Funny thing was, there was no actual police station, it was specially built for the show, and what's more, all the actors were down there behind a false wall waiting for him. Which is slightly surprising given that it would have been impossible to predict he'd go there in the first place, not to mention vanishingly unlikely.

In view of this I now doubt everything Brown has done, and must assume that all his shows were populated entirely by stooges and actors and people desperate to do anything to be on TV, and that none of it whatsoever is genuine. In other words, he's little better than the woo-woo merchants he purports to expose.

Arbs

135 posts

114 months

Saturday 5th November 2011
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Totally agree. Absolute fake! The bit that did it for me was when they took him outside when he was asleep. No one sleeps in a dressing gown! Thy just seems rather convenient!

Oakey

23,817 posts

155 months

Saturday 5th November 2011
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Arbs said:
Totally agree. Absolute fake! The bit that did it for me was when they took him outside when he was asleep. No one sleeps in a dressing gown! Thy just seems rather convenient!
Yes, good job he didn't sleep naked isn't it hehe

freecar

4,245 posts

126 months

Saturday 5th November 2011
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I hate the fker too, I like magicians I can't stand charlatans! Stick with silly little tricks that make people smile, don't try to pretend you can predict the lottery numbers! If I met him I'd kick him square in the nuts and ask if he predicted to wear a cup for the day while he's on the floor puking his breakfast up!


condor

8,158 posts

187 months

Saturday 5th November 2011
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I didn't bother to watch it as last week's was obviously fake.
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Symbolica

10,819 posts

154 months

Saturday 5th November 2011
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With the police station part I assumed the original plan was for the guy to confess to the police, then be "arrested" and taken there for the reveal. When he didn't cough they just had to improvise and run with it.

I'd find it a lot more believeble if they hadn't named everyone after bloody Cluedo characters though. Reverend Green? Colonel Coleman FFS?! Come on.

Halb

46,670 posts

122 months

Saturday 5th November 2011
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freecar said:
I hate the fker too, I like magicians I can't stand charlatans! Stick with silly little tricks that make people smile, don't try to pretend you can predict the lottery numbers! If I met him I'd kick him square in the nuts and ask if he predicted to wear a cup for the day while he's on the floor puking his breakfast up!
He is no different than other magicians except he tells the audience his techniques, that's hardly a charlatan. Magicians tend to keep their techniques more secretbiggrin

carmonk

Original Poster:

7,910 posts

126 months

Saturday 5th November 2011
quotequote all
Symbolica said:
With the police station part I assumed the original plan was for the guy to confess to the police, then be "arrested" and taken there for the reveal. When he didn't cough they just had to improvise and run with it.
I considered that too, but at the beginning the guy made a point of saying that all there was in the village was a police station and something else (a pub, or something, can't recall). To my mind it seems the only reason he'd say this is if the guy needed to know it, i.e. to go there himself.

Halb

46,670 posts

122 months

Saturday 5th November 2011
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carmonk said:
I considered that too, but at the beginning the guy made a point of saying that all there was in the village was a police station and something else (a pub, or something, can't recall). To my mind it seems the only reason he'd say this is if the guy needed to know it, i.e. to go there himself.
Yes, in case they did have to improvise. They would load him with as much good info as possible, it's not a tight direct path, lots of variables would have been considered.

carmonk

Original Poster:

7,910 posts

126 months

Saturday 5th November 2011
quotequote all
Sure, they will have edited a lot, but the things that really gave it away in my mind were the numerous ways in which the whole thing could have been blow apart. In the lecture all he had to do was glance to his left and see that woman changing her dress, or the bloke with the tie, and it would have been game over. In the restaurant when they were swapping his food around he must have been able to see that with his peripheral vision, he seemed to be trying his best not to show it. And so on. Now if the set-up had been cheap and quick then I'd be prepared to believe they filmed dozens of different people, then picked the one who genuinely came through it, but because of the logistics and the cost it's clear that they only filmed this single situation and therefore it must be fake.

Mr GrimNasty

8,172 posts

109 months

Saturday 5th November 2011
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Halb said:
freecar said:
I hate the fker too, I like magicians I can't stand charlatans! Stick with silly little tricks that make people smile, don't try to pretend you can predict the lottery numbers! If I met him I'd kick him square in the nuts and ask if he predicted to wear a cup for the day while he's on the floor puking his breakfast up!
He is no different than other magicians except he tells the audience his techniques, that's hardly a charlatan. Magicians tend to keep their techniques more secretbiggrin
He doesn't tell you though, not truthfully, what he says is all part of the scene setting/misdirection to convince YOU it's genuine. A typical example was last week when the people put on the masks so their decisions would be 'anonymous'. Their votes were anonymous anyway. It's just pantomime, the only trick is on the gullible TV viewer. It's like the street magic David Blaine used to do, people were set up by mates who supplied inside info., or he only showed the 20th guess when it worked by chance, not the 19 failures! All tired garbage now.

durbster

7,185 posts

161 months

Saturday 5th November 2011
quotequote all
carmonk said:
...In view of this I now doubt everything Brown has done, and must assume that all his shows were populated entirely by stooges and actors and people desperate to do anything to be on TV, and that none of it whatsoever is genuine. In other words, he's little better than the woo-woo merchants he purports to expose.
You might want to have a look at this

carmonk

Original Poster:

7,910 posts

126 months

Saturday 5th November 2011
quotequote all
durbster said:
carmonk said:
...In view of this I now doubt everything Brown has done, and must assume that all his shows were populated entirely by stooges and actors and people desperate to do anything to be on TV, and that none of it whatsoever is genuine. In other words, he's little better than the woo-woo merchants he purports to expose.
You might want to have a look at this
It depends how you define a 'stooge'. If I were to be very generous then I'd say the people he uses have been screened not for 'psychological suitability' but because they're desperate to be on TV. In that way Brown can technically avoid the allegation of employing stooges. So they go through the selection process, find someone who's desperate to be on TV and get him to sign up to a confidentiality clause that includes the stipulation that if he even suspects he's on Brown's show, he's to play along with it. So when he's invited to a conference at a country house (shortly after an interview for show) with people named Black, White, Green and Colonel Coleman, and people start behaving in an obviously bizarre and contrived manner, and there are TV cameras present, he of course realises he's part of a TV show and not only does he want to play along, he's contractually obliged to do so.

freecar

4,245 posts

126 months

Saturday 5th November 2011
quotequote all
Mr GrimNasty said:
Halb said:
freecar said:
I hate the fker too, I like magicians I can't stand charlatans! Stick with silly little tricks that make people smile, don't try to pretend you can predict the lottery numbers! If I met him I'd kick him square in the nuts and ask if he predicted to wear a cup for the day while he's on the floor puking his breakfast up!
He is no different than other magicians except he tells the audience his techniques, that's hardly a charlatan. Magicians tend to keep their techniques more secretbiggrin
He doesn't tell you though, not truthfully, what he says is all part of the scene setting/misdirection to convince YOU it's genuine. A typical example was last week when the people put on the masks so their decisions would be 'anonymous'. Their votes were anonymous anyway. It's just pantomime, the only trick is on the gullible TV viewer. It's like the street magic David Blaine used to do, people were set up by mates who supplied inside info., or he only showed the 20th guess when it worked by chance, not the 19 failures! All tired garbage now.
Thank you! I didn't want to explain it again to another person, my mate falls for his "explanations" makes me listen to it and then gets mad when I say it's still bullst! The easy way to tell that Derren Brown is lying is that his lips are moving!

durbster

7,185 posts

161 months

Saturday 5th November 2011
quotequote all
freecar said:
Thank you! I didn't want to explain it again to another person, my mate falls for his "explanations" makes me listen to it and then gets mad when I say it's still bullst! The easy way to tell that Derren Brown is lying is that his lips are moving!
Nonsense. He uses pretty well established and documented mentalist techniques and is frank about that. There is no point lying about it and, being on TV, he couldn't lie about it even if he wanted to for legal reasons.

What some people don't seem to realise is that there's nothing particularly remarkable about what he does, other than his ability to turn it into entertainment. The techniques he uses go right back to Mesmer. There's no point making it up and using stooges because the things he does are not as supernatural as they seem.

As I think I said on the last thread about DB, it is quite evidently possible to get a person to do absolutely anything. If you don't think that's true then just look at what people are made to do in the name of religion.

Melvin Udall

73,668 posts

194 months

Saturday 5th November 2011
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freecar said:
Thank you! I didn't want to explain it again to another person, my mate falls for his "explanations" makes me listen to it and then gets mad when I say it's still bullst! The easy way to tell that Derren Brown is lying is that his lips are moving!
It's entertainment. Don't get yourself worried about it. If you want tomget angry, be pissed off at the likes of Derek Acorah, Uri Geller, and the clairvoyants that prey on people's gullibility for cash.

carmonk

Original Poster:

7,910 posts

126 months

Saturday 5th November 2011
quotequote all
durbster said:
freecar said:
Thank you! I didn't want to explain it again to another person, my mate falls for his "explanations" makes me listen to it and then gets mad when I say it's still bullst! The easy way to tell that Derren Brown is lying is that his lips are moving!
Nonsense. He uses pretty well established and documented mentalist techniques and is frank about that. There is no point lying about it and, being on TV, he couldn't lie about it even if he wanted to for legal reasons.
I know he says that, but it's just another element of his 'misdirection'. You can't be charged with lying on TV unless you defame someone, etc. There's nothing to stop DB making up anything he chooses.

durbster said:
What some people don't seem to realise is that there's nothing particularly remarkable about what he does, other than his ability to turn it into entertainment. The techniques he uses go right back to Mesmer. There's no point making it up and using stooges because the things he does are not as supernatural as they seem.
That's not the issue, however. The issue is that he doesn't use these methods. You only have to analyse one of his recent shows to see that the situations demonstrate that it's impossible for the people he uses to be unaware of what's going on. If last night's show didn't convince you of that (why!?) take the last show, where an actor confronted the stooge (er, the guy) in a pub, accused him of being a pervert, was very aggressive with him and told him in no uncertain terms he wanted to fight him. Of course, part of the show, but DB wanted us to believe that the guy believed it to be real. BS! There's no way in a million years a TV show would risk this guy responding (as many people would) and hitting or maybe even glassing this actor, and consequently being prosecuted, and suing in turn. The only possibility was that the bloke was in on it from the beginning.

durbster said:
As I think I said on the last thread about DB, it is quite evidently possible to get a person to do absolutely anything. If you don't think that's true then just look at what people are made to do in the name of religion.
It's a very different situation, and again the point is not that control is impossible, it's that in DB's case it could not have happened that way.

carmonk

Original Poster:

7,910 posts

126 months

Saturday 5th November 2011
quotequote all
Melvin Udall said:
freecar said:
Thank you! I didn't want to explain it again to another person, my mate falls for his "explanations" makes me listen to it and then gets mad when I say it's still bullst! The easy way to tell that Derren Brown is lying is that his lips are moving!
It's entertainment. Don't get yourself worried about it. If you want tomget angry, be pissed off at the likes of Derek Acorah, Uri Geller, and the clairvoyants that prey on people's gullibility for cash.
The reason I'm not happy with DB is that by demonstration his own methods to be false, he detracts from the good anti-woo work he does. In other words, his hypocrisy doesn't do him any favours.

Loominarty

81 posts

90 months

Saturday 5th November 2011
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I saw Derren Brown in the West End about seven years ago and he was superb. Over my shoulder a guy with a strangely familiar voice was quietly calling bullst to almost everything throughout the first half though so I took the opportunity to discuss this with him at the interval as we snook around the theatre looking for somewhere to have a sly smoke.
The guy was Will Self. As cynical yet analytical as ever. Made a great evening unforgettable.
When I left the theatre later I was discussing aspects of the show with my son round at Ronnie Scotts and neither of us could really remember any real details. That was really weird.
A kind of amnesia. So well orchestrated, clever yet strangely obvious. You had to be there. I felt like I was seeing history being made.

I'm afraid his performance has been on the decline since then with too much emphasis on the shock horror to please the obvious mainstream low-brow....

After last weeks 'show', I decided enough was enough and I don't think I'm alone in this. How sad.
I'm afraid Mr. Brown has performed the ultimate trick and made his career disappear.

Or, simply put, he has consistently failed his audience so has merely created a new, more easily pleased one.

Symbolica

10,819 posts

154 months

Saturday 5th November 2011
quotequote all
carmonk said:
take the last show, where an actor confronted the stooge (er, the guy) in a pub, accused him of being a pervert, was very aggressive with him and told him in no uncertain terms he wanted to fight him. Of course, part of the show, but DB wanted us to believe that the guy believed it to be real. BS! There's no way in a million years a TV show would risk this guy responding (as many people would) and hitting or maybe even glassing this actor, and consequently being prosecuted, and suing in turn. The only possibility was that the bloke was in on it from the beginning.
I did think that at the time TBH. What was the plan if the bloke decided to smash a bottle over the actor's head? Or when the "barman" blatently tried to rip him off, what if he'd said, "Oh fk off!" and walked out? Too many variables.

I saw a live show of his a few years ago and it was fantastic, genuinely blew my mind in parts, but this latest stuff is a long, long way from that...

Edited by Symbolica on Saturday 5th November 21:27