TV | Troy – Does he stand out against the other magician heavyweights?

Magic shows have seen a resurgence recently, spearheaded by names like Derren Brown and Dynamo. Troy is the latest magician to try and take advantage of this popularity, with a show on E4. Does he stand out in a world dominated by big names? Not really, but he can do some incredibly impressive tricks.

One of the most important parts of a magic show is making the audience like the performer. Troy puts a lot of effort into making the eponymous magician out to be a likeable, down-to-earth kind of guy, from an insight into his fashion style and weakness for glasses, to a chance to meet his self-professed biggest fans: his family. One of the highlights of the show so far has been Troy performing magic for his adorable little sister, who seems both impressed, and a little bit sick, of her brother’s tricks. It’s not the most amazing trick, but it’s a surprisingly touching moment and really sold Troy as a person, as well as a performer.

The star of the show was always going to be the tricks, and it’s here that Troy starts to flounder. He does have some genuinely amazing tricks. One highlight was a trick in a tattoo parlour in which Troy picked up a sheet of goldfish designs and waved it behind a water filter, where the goldfish promptly appeared, leaving the paper blank. It’s incredibly impressive and the desire to figure out how it was done is almost overwhelming.

Whilst these grand tricks are fascinating, the issue is going to be in filling a whole series of hour-long episodes. Even the first episode featured quite a lot of rather commonplace sleight of hand tricks, including substituting a chewed piece of gum in his hand for a freshly wrapped stick and turning an earring into a ring in his palm. These are good as sporadic interludes, but there was a few too many,  and it’s questionable whether people will tune in week after week.

Troy is trying to break into an already cluttered area of entertainment, and it’s unclear whether he’ll make it. He’s undoubtedly a genuinely nice guy, and offers a far more personal side than many magicians, but the balance between grand, mind-bending performances and simple tricks is a little bit imbalanced and could prove to be the obstacle that keeps Troy for bursting into Dynamo-level popularity.

Watch Troy on E4, Tuesdays at 10pm

Joseph Thomas

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