Netflix’s original programming is some of the best content out there, but an upcoming reality special called The Push looks bizarre at best and disturbing at worst.
The company just released a trailer detailing the premise of the show, which you can watch below.
According to host Derren Brown, a mentalist and illusionist (who, in the words of his website, has become “synonymous with the art of psychological manipulation”), the show is about “how readily we hand over authorship of our lives everyday.”
The main question: “Can social compliance be used to make someone push a living, breathing human being to their death?”
Essentially, this is Punk’d with murder as the punchline. Ironically, this feels like a television show from an episode of Black Mirror.
A group of 70 highly orchestrated actors will put a poor guy named Chris in a situation wherein he feels murder is his only option.
“Chris is enmeshed in a web of lies, and that’s important,” says Brown in the trailer. “I need him to feel like there’s only one way out when he’s told to commit murder.”
Sadly, we know the answer to this show’s question. As the Verge reminds us, psychologist Stanley Milgram proved in the 60’s that 2/3 of male participants in his study were willing to administer fatal electric shocks to other participants when told that it was required.
And that’s just one example. History has shown us over and over again that average men are capable of murder when directed to do so by an authority figure.
Interestingly, the special itself isn’t new either. A version of the special aired in 2016 on Channel 4 under the name Derren Brown: Pushed To The Edge. And, for now at least, you can watch all 70 minutes of it right here.
The Push goes live on February 27 on Netflix.