Berdan's Binge-Watch Corner #4

16 March 2018

Dear readers, my name is Berdan and welcome to my binge-watch corner. As for today, I will monthly update you with the best recommendations when it comes to binge-watching. Whether it’s movies or series, whether it’s comedy or horror, drama or science fiction; you’ll find all of it over here on the EmbrACE online magazine. So, jump in, and join me on my crazy ride through the land of Netflix. Who wouldn’t want to live there?

Binge #4: Derren Brown: The Push 

‘’Whatever it takes. Do whatever it takes… WhAtEvEr It TaKeS. WHATEVER IT TAKES!’’

You’re probably thinking I’m a psychopath – and there are no medical records to deny that – but this is how British mentalist, and illusionist Derren Brown finishes his sociologic masterpiece of an experiment. He’s really curious about what it is to be human (casual question on a first date). Brown’s experiment is all about social compliance and the only thing he needs is an innocent member of the mass public. The chosen one for this great mind game is Chris. We’re going to see if Chris can be manipulated through the familiar forces of social pressure to commit murder (I would wait with that question until the third date).

Okay. So, social compliance, everyone knows what I’m talking about, huh? 

I’ll help you out. Brown illustrates the most extreme case of social compliance, in which an individual follows orders that some authoritarian figure gave, just because that person has told the innocent victim that it’s the right thing to do. This can push (ha-ha) people to commit terrible acts. Although, social compliance has been seen as a part of everyday life, as people are ‘safe’ following the crowd, it can be dangerous.

Intrigued yet? 

Remember that ordinary Chris has no idea he’s part of the experiment and also doesn’t know he is being filmed. In the meantime, Derren and his team are communicating with 70 actors, in a hidden room in the same building where the venue takes place. Tonight, at the venue it’s all about highlighting a youth charity called… (you’ll never guess it…) PUSH. The charity auction is attended by high-profile, rich business men and women in order to raise funds. Also, throughout the venue there are several screens where you can see famous faces that have recorded a well-worded message to promote and support PUSH (this name gets really eerie, doesn’t it?). This is such an important gala event… and it’s all f-a-k-e as well.

This show is not about this imaginary charity called PUSH, it is about – and I quote Derren – "how readily we hand over our authorship of our every day lives and the dangers of losing that control."

There’s no way I’m going to spoil how the experiment will eventually turn out but I will give you a glimpse on how Derren Brown subtly starts manipulating Chris, with baby steps (you’re probably going to think "how the fudge are those baby steps?" after you’ve read it but hey, don’t judge me, judge Chris). Chris is basically asked to murder somebody, but we’re starting off with vegetarian sausage rolls. Yep, that’s exactly what you read: ‘vegetarian’ and ‘sausage’; not the same, are they?

Some rich guy called Tom – who’s in charge of the event – gets informed by his assistant saying there are no vegetarian canapés at the venue. When Tom’s assistant leaves, he already has the perfect plan (FYI: Tom is one of the actors, just like his assistant): we’ll put some meat canapés on another plate and prick them with little, green flags that say ‘vegetarian’. And who else would be of perfect help to follow this authoritarian figure than Chris?

Go see what happens next! Because boy, oh boy, there’s a lot. By the way, I still didn’t explain why I started this article with ‘wHaT eVeR iT tAkeS?’

Guess you have to figure that out yourself.

Enjoy 1 hour and 9 minutes of complete madness. Derren Brown’s The Push; only on Netflix.

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