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The basic format of the 30-minute program, which was renewed for a second season, is documentary meets music video meets magic show. In the pilot, Angel (née Christopher Sarantakos) gets things off to a "crackling" start when he sets himself on fire ("Burned Alive"). It is, to say the least, a rather unconventional way to pay tribute to his mother on the occasion of her 70th birthday. As the mindfreak himself puts it, "I'll be the living birthday candle." In other episodes, he defies gravity ("Levitation"), lifts a cab ("Superhuman"), and blows himself up ("C4 Crate"). Angel is also a practitioner of street magic and performs a variety of sleights of hand (card tricks, etc.) prior to the more hazardous feats.
From the start, Angel makes it clear that he requires assistance with those feats and is often joined by an array of consultants, technicians, and such, including brothers J.D. and Costa. Then there are his guests, like Lance Burton ("Wine Barrel Escape"), Rob Zombie ("Buried Alive"), and Mandy Moore ("Blind")--even his cat, Minx, and girlfriend, JoAnn, put in occasional appearances. As with Jackass, Mindfreak is meant to entertain rather than to instruct. Accordingly, it comes with the following disclaimer: "These demonstrations are extremely dangerous and should not be attempted by anyone, anywhere, at any time." --Kathleen C. Fennessy