Calling all sadistic bastards and morbidly curious streaming addicts, on Tuesday Netflix unveiled their new reality show The Push and, well, it's dark. Like really dark. The twisted brainchild of self-professed psychological illusionist Derren Brown—who has built his entertainment empire on a foundation of coercion and manipulation (gee, what a shocker)—The Push asks one pretty simple question: Can an ordinary human being, via unfortunate circumstance and the influence of a group of trained actors, be convinced to get commit murder? Roll trailer:
So yeah, pretty f—ked up. As you can see from the trailer, poor Chris, who probably thought he was filming one of those crappy Chevy commercials or something, gets slowly, painstakingly drawn into a real-life nightmare from which his only escape seems to be murder. As that realization dawns, the actors in this sick charade then surround Chris in a dark, secluded place like carrion and pretty much just shout this until the mental wheels start to come off:
So yeah, before you tune in to watch an innocent man get psychologically and emotionally abused for two straight hours, there are few things you should consider:
Netflix loves to game-ify murder. Making a Murderer infamously toed the line between entertainment and investigation and somewhere along the line, the audience got lost and started calling for the acquittal of a convicted murderer. Netflix, meanwhile, laughed all the way to the bank, thrilled it tricked people into thinking this was about justice not views. This is a dangerous precedent and deeply problematic on a number of levels, so say it with your click and ask Netflix to just start selling sex again like everyone else.
This is so barely legal it's insane. If a dime bag is all it takes for Everytown PD to entrap a 17-year-old kid, then what the hell is this? To Catch a Predator got away with it because they were ACTUALLY CATCHING PREDATORS. This is more ethically murky and with none of the upside. What lesson we are supposed to learn here? That you should always make sure to ask if the people you're currently having a beer are, in fact, a carefully coordinated acting troupe sent here with the express purpose of convincing you to kill the bartender? Yeah, have fun never trusting another human again, Guy Like Chris.
The branding looks like After Effects design baby of David Blaine and Criss Angel which is a bit of a red flag for any pseudo-intellectual reality TV show seeking to, in the words of Netflix's marketing magicians, expose "the psychological secrets of obedience and social compliance."
You already know how it ends. He doesn't kill the guy, obviously...and if he does, holy sh*t ignore everything we just said and watch this damn thing.
Want to watch a guy almost get talked into killing another guy? You can via Netflix beginning Tuesday 2/27.