Derren Brown: The Push Is a Netflix Special About Manipulating Somebody to Commit Murder (Seriously)

Netflix's Derren Brown special asks, "Can social compliance be used to make someone push a living, breathing human being to their death?"

By Chris Harnick Feb 20, 2018 4:15 PMTags

Over the course of its popularity, there have been reality shows and specials about all sorts of things from full body makeovers (The Swan) to trick dating shows requiring straight men to play gay (Boy Meets Boy), and now Netflix's The Push is here to ask: Can somebody be manipulated into committing murder?

The Push hails from Derren Brown and features a subject interacting with actors and "enmeshed in a web of lies" with one goal: "I need him to feel like there's only one way out when he's told to commit murder," Brown says in the trailer.

Brown continues, "The question we're asking is simple: Can we be manipulated through social pressure to commit murder?"

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The subject in the trailer is put in high-stress situations and according to the trailer, does not know he's being filmed.

"This show is about how readily we hand over authorship of our lives every day," Brown says. "Can social compliance be used to make someone push a living, breathing human being to their death?"

Yeah, you heard and read that right. Here's how Netflix describes the special: "In The Push, Brown exposes the psychological secrets of obedience and social compliance. He expertly lifts the lid on the terrifying truth that, when confronted with authority, our natural instinct is to unflinchingly obey without question—to such an extent that even the most moral people can be made to commit the most horrendous acts, simply because they are told to do so."

According to his site, Brown has become "synonymous with the art of psychological manipulation." His other TV stunts include a playing Russian roulette on live TV, predicting the National Lottery and hypnotized a man to assassinate Stephen Fry. His latest stunt, The Push, streams on Netflix on February 27.

Will you watch The Push? This is a far cry from the twists viewers are used in reality shows like Joe Millionaire.