Netflix’s upcoming reality special Derren Brown: The Push takes a look at whether a normal everyday person can be convinced to commit murder. While there are definitely arguments to be made about possible “fates worse than death,” most people are likely to agree that there is no crime more heinous than murder. To actually take the life of another human being is a truly despicable act, and one that can never be undone. Unless one’s own life – or the life a loved one – is directly threatened, it’s hard to think of a scenario where killing someone would be considered acceptable, outside of being a soldier in combat.
Despite that fact, more than one psychological experiment performed over the years has illustrated just how susceptible even the most unassuming people can be to peer pressure or the influence of an authority figure, even if said authority is suggesting that one commit crimes. So, could the average person be talked into murdering someone they don’t even know? That’s exactly the question Derren Brown: The Push seeks to answer.
Netflix has released the trailer for Derren Brown: The Push, a thought-provoking special hosted and created by the titular “psychological illusionist.” Check it out in full above. If the special looks familiar to U.K. readers, that’s because it aired on Channel 4 across the pond back in 2016, and caused much controversy in doing so. Netflix is clearly banking on U.S. audiences not having seen The Push yet, and hoping that it proves to be equally as buzz-worthy stateside.
As the trailer above lays out, the scenario presented by Derren Brown: The Push is simple, yet devious. One man – being secretly filmed – is placed in a situation where he is unknowingly surrounded by paid actors. These various characters act out a carefully scripted storyline designed to lead the man into pushing a millionaire off the roof of a building. Will he succumb to the peer pressure and power of suggestion, or have the resolve to refuse to take a life, even in a scenario where he’s made to think that not doing so would lead to adverse personal consequences?
If the unwitting star of The Push does indeed decide to kill the man he believes to be a millionaire, what does it say about him as a person? That’s but one of many interesting questions viewers may be considering after watching the special. Presuming they didn’t already see the U.K. airing, or are aware of spoilers regarding what happened on it. Netflix is not publicizing that this special has aired before, and it’s not hard to understand why. Still, for new viewers, Derren Brown’s latest project is likely to be quite enthralling.
Derren Brown: The Push is available to stream starting February 27.
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