Phenomenon Phenomenal

Discuss the latest feature articles in Genii.

Postby Dustin Stinett » 02/19/08 11:31 AM

Last night I finished Brad Hendersons article on the television show Phenomenon in the March issue of Genii and I have to say that it was a terrific read. It was a much better use of my time than was the show (what I saw of it). Its a remarkable combination of feature article and op-ed without pretending to be just the former. No matter what you thought of the show, I highly recommend not passing this great piece by.

Great job Brad!

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Postby Mark Paulson » 02/20/08 11:28 AM

I agree. That was one of the first articles I read last night, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Many times last night my wife asked me why I was laughing so much. It was a good read!
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Postby Bill McFadden » 02/20/08 01:33 PM

Thank you, Dustin. Had you not brought this to our attention, I probably wouldn't have read the article. Even though I'm a big fan of Brad Henderson (as a performer, a thinker, and a writer), I don't watch any prime-time network television (unless it's the NFL). Shame on me for intending to pass this by! His excellent, witty article on Phenomenon is a great companion to my other current readings which include Jamy's review of the Osterlind Trilogy, and the outstanding Maurice Fogel - In Search of the Sensational by Woodward & Mark. The fundamental things apply as time goes by . . .
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Postby Tony Brent » 02/20/08 10:13 PM

I enjoyed Brad's article as well. I too was approached to be on the show. I gave it about 7.5 seconds of thought before deciding to pass. I had already had a bad experience with another short-lived "reality show". I couldn't bear to watch an entire episode of Phenomemon but did watch some clips on the internet. Brad's article was funny, articulate and totally worth the time to read!

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Postby Herman Koster » 02/24/08 02:36 PM

It surely was a great article. The fun part is, that we only have to change the competitors names, and the article would describe the version being broadcast in The Netherlands, called: The next Uri Geller.

The effects and everything are exactly the same as on the USA version (and I even believe, on the German version) of the show.

Also interest in the show is declining every week. It started with very good numbers of viewers, but gets less and less.

I myself find it very hard to watch a show that lasts about 2 hours, but has only about 30 minutes of magic (oops, sorry Mentalism)

I must say that Uri is the only person on the show that you want to believe. All the other performers are just presenting some written script. I think if some great actors were cast for the show, the effects would be more impressive.

For Richard Kaufman:
The only strange part about the Genii article, was that during reading, my right thumb was resting on the right hand page, and the ink was coming off the page. Even the frontpage (the purple-ish (if spelled like this???)) is becoming white where my thumb was. Not sure if the printing ink should come of like this, just thought I'd let you know. Or maybe there's more to Uri than we think :)

Take care
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 02/24/08 03:28 PM

Originally posted by Herman Koster:


For Richard Kaufman:
The only strange part about the Genii article, was that during reading, my right thumb was resting on the right hand page, and the ink was coming off the page. Even the frontpage (the purple-ish (if spelled like this???)) is becoming white where my thumb was. Not sure if the printing ink should come of like this, just thought I'd let you know. Or maybe there's more to Uri than we think :)
I had the same issue. For some reason, the ink on the cover came off on my hands like cheap newsprint. Never had that happen before with Genii.
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Postby Tony Brent » 02/24/08 07:26 PM

Uri was causing the ink to vanish to stop people from reading what a lousy show Phenomenon was.

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Postby Brad Henderson » 02/25/08 01:14 PM

Just wanted to thank everyone for their kids words. In truth, I have to thank David Rowyn, Nancy Moon, Jim Steinmeyer, and Richard Kaufman.

David is my "go to guy." If you ever need killer graphic design done, he's the guy. He also knows when a joke will fall flat. He helped me go through the entire piece and try to keep it entertaining all the way through. It takes a real friend who will say: "That's not funny, cut it."

Nancy proofread everything and helped a lot with the initial editing. She did a great job of figuring out just what tense this thing would be in, and kept it there. (Unless I changed it back, and then it's my fault.)

Both RK and JS did the final cut. It was LOOOONG. It's always tough being edited when you really have something you think is funny or pointed or important to say and it gets cut. But RK really knows what works and JS did a great job parsing it down. The article would not have been nearly as good without either of them.

So, thank you for your kind words, but a lot of the real work was done by these people.

Thanks,

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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 02/25/08 01:20 PM

Originally posted by Brad Henderson:
Just wanted to thank everyone for their kids words.
My kid's words sound something like "lalalalalalpppphhhhhbbbbtttttlalalaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA".

-Jim
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 02/25/08 02:14 PM

Mine too; and they're 24 & 20...
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Postby Brad Henderson » 02/25/08 03:50 PM

See...it just proves how important the editors were to the article!

Thanks for your KIND words.
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Postby MaxNY » 02/28/08 02:43 PM

The first paragraph nearly lost me, but Brad did a terrific job with all the details. This piece was one of the most brutally honest assessments of televised magic to ever appear in a magic mag. I usually record stuff to a DVD-RW, then go back and edit out all the commercials, I was reminded why I haven't looked back at the show yet... I really liked the way he broke down the thought of a "true" Mentalist...Maybe he should have picked on Ross a little more.
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Postby Robert Toomer » 02/29/08 01:25 PM

I also enjoyed the artical. I did not watch the show as I don't watch much television(except the Stanley Cup Finials), I even had cable tv for about 8 months and only watched Mindfreak for about 30 seconds. But after reading the artical I know way I don't. I too laughed out loud at several points. It's like Brad wrote with so much talent they used those people for the show. Maybe the writers strike should have stayed longer. Oh well thank goodness for books!
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Postby Jeff Haas » 02/29/08 01:49 PM

I thought Brad was much nicer to the show than I would have expected, or it deserved. Admirable restraint.
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Postby Cugel » 02/29/08 02:16 PM

I very much enjoyed this piece. Brad's writing voice is much more natural and his humor shines through now that he's not consciously trying to emulate Swiss or Maven.
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Postby NCMarsh » 03/01/08 11:00 AM

Best line of the article:

"The only thing that would make me more upset than seeing Mike Super win would be getting stuck in line behind Criss Angel at airport security."
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