TV Preview: Katherine Mills: Mind Games

Katherine Mills: Mind Games: TV1, 7.30 Thursday


By Doug Coutts

Katherine Mills is, apparently, the first woman to host her own magic show on the telly. She’s been doing magic for yonks and was, she says, inspired by that other great television wizard Dynamo, the guy who does accomplishes seemingly impossible feats by somehow cheating but in a wholesome way.

Katherine Mills does things a little differently. Not for her the perils of walking on water – it’s hard enough in ordinary shoes but in six-inch heels, no way – but she is into Mind Games.

Katherine reckons she likes to get inside people’s heads, even though she also claims that most of us sleep walk through life.  There must be easier ways of making an hour of TV than to rifle through dozy half-formed notions still in their onesies in the hope of getting a show out of it, but that’s the path she’s chosen.

So, with an in-depth knowledge of psychology and sociology combined with a love of trickery, Katherine embarks on a series of parlour games that has everyone asking, “How did she do that?” They’re still asking.

Half the fun is in being tricked and the other half is in finding out how you’ve been tricked – but Katherine’s not telling.

Well, she sort of is on occasion – there are some hints dropped here and there, and there are enough shots of the crew to lead one to suspect there’s an element of backstage chicanery going.

And that’s fair enough, too – because magic isn’t real (sorry if that upsets anyone who’s invested hours and hours in Game of Thrones).

But when she admits to a bit of jiggery-pokery without the barest of hints – pouting only that “that’s up to you to work out” – it ceases to be magic and becomes annoying. It’s like struggling to open Air New Zealand’s famous cheese packet – after three attempts you move on to the cassava chips.

Instead of wasting an hour with Katherine, head down to Cuba Mall and be amazed by that street magician in the top hat – at least when you both tire of the mind games, there’s a couple of pubs handy.

Doug Coutts has had a career in and around television for close to 40 years.  He spent 13 years as a floor manager at Avalon Studios before going freelance and never earning as much again. His writing has spanned TV genres — from Shortland Street dialoguery and quiz shows to documentaries and comedy — while a lengthy stint as TV reviewer in the Auckland Star earned him two mentions in Metro magazine’s Hot List and an angry letter from Jon Gadsby. You can read more of Doug (the satirist) at: Weakly Whirled News.

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One Response to “TV Preview: Katherine Mills: Mind Games”

  1. Good review! There’s more entertainment from one Cuba St street magician than all these TV knobs put together! Only Penn & Teller could pull off this type of TV show.

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