Reality shows, on the whole, have never been particularly ethical endeavors. From beauty pageants where women got plastic surgery makeovers to substance abuse intervention shows that allowed participants to drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol, their interest has always been less in exploring the human condition and more in producing the most outlandish, desperate, and provocative behavior possible for the entertainment of the audience. But Netflix is poised to take this shameless impulse to the next level with The Push, a reality show designed to manipulate people into committing murder. Yes, you read that correctly. The very best thing I can say about this show is that no one commits “real” murder, and that we haven’t reached The Running Man levels of depravity… yet. But with the help of Derren Brown, who bills himself as a “psychological illusionist,” The Push plunges a seemingly unaware contestant into an elaborately constructed scenario involving 70 actors — one devised specifically to encourage him to push an old man off a building. “I need him to feel like there’s only one way out when he’s told to commit murder,” says Brown in the trailer. That’s an interesting use of the word “need,”… Read full this story
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