This is a big week in the television industry. Networks and streaming services are holding their big fancy upfronts and revealing which shows did and did not make the cut for the upcoming fall season. Some of it is very inside baseball and only notable to people in the industry, but some things that happen are truly important. Extremely important. And when one of those things happens, I consider it my duty to bring it to your attention. This is one of those things.
ABC greenlit a show about a disgraced magician who works with the FBI.
A disgraced magician! Working with the FBI! It’s true! It’s called Deception. Look, here’s the blurb they released to describe the show back in pilot season:
When his career is ruined by scandal, superstar magician Cameron Black (Jack Cutmore-Scott) has only one place to turn to practice his art of deception, illusion, and influence — the FBI. He’ll become the world’s first consulting illusionist, helping the government solve crimes that defy explanation and trap criminals by using deception.
Two perfect sentences. They even worked in the title of the show twice, once in each sentence, almost like they’re trying to get us to watch through subliminal messaging. (Or through, if you will, “deception.”) Well, the joke’s on them, because I was already going to watch. They had me hooked at “When his career is ruined by scandal, superstar magician Cameron Black…” You start a show description with that and I will follow you to the ends of the Earth.
“When his career is ruined by scandal, superstar magician Cameron Black joins the BMX circuit.” Would watch.
“When his career is ruined by scandal, superstar magician Cameron Black moves in with his parents.” Would watch.
“When his career is ruined by scandal, superstar magician Cameron Black gets a pizza and watches The Prestige alone in his apartment.” Would still watch.
It honestly might be my favorite “wisecracking hotshot with non-cop job works with law enforcement” concept ever. And that’s saying something, because there are a lot of those shows. Castle? Writer works with cops. Psych? Perceptive guy works with cops. The Mentalist? Also perceptive guy works with cops. This is like those, but he’s a magician. A magician. I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it’s real. I can’t believe this is literally the first thing we see him do in the trailer.
I’ve been watching that GIF for almost 24 hours. I bet I have another 48 in me. It’s the best sunglasses-related performance I’ve seen since Peak Caruso. And the rest of the trailer is incredible, too. A criminal uses magic to steal a plane. Cameron Black says the line “You’re looking for a drug dealer, I’m looking for the magician who helped him get away.” Vinnie Jones is there! This might be the most excited I’ve been about a show based on premise alone since CSI: Cyber cast Bow Wow as a hacker and James Van Der Beek as a loose cannon named Elijah Mundo. (R.I.P. CSI: Cyber.) The only downside about it, as I mentioned the first time it popped up on my radar, is that someone on Twitter beat me to the phrase “turn in your badge and wand.” I’m still mad about that. I will do better going forward, I swear.
A disgraced magician working with the FBI. That’s a show now. I’m so happy I could puke.