For a special that seems almost entirely geared to answer one climactic question, “The Push” is surprisingly spoiler-resistant. Magician/sociologist Derren Brown unveiled this elaborate TV experiment in the UK back in early 2016, but it’s just now making its way to the States via Netflix. Purporting to answer the question of whether or not a random individual could be psychologically coerced into justifying the killing of another person, the twisted entertainment of “The Push” comes in all the moments before that fateful ending task.
The set-up is simple: Take one unsuspecting person, chosen for his human suggestibility, and lead him through a series of tiny tasks that slowly make him more perceptible to carrying out an unthinkable task. As the on-screen string-puller directing a cast and crew of hundreds through a thoroughly choreographed set of circumstances, Brown plays coy with whether or not