Criss Angel is one of the most mind-boggingly interesting magicians that has ever been. His show is definitely worth watching. The vast majority of his illusions are simply amazing and inexplicable.
With that said, however, I do have some pros and cons to list.
1. Amazing illusions that defy explanation.
2. No stuffy, old-school, big-production-number-on-a-stage magic acts of the David Copperfield variety. Criss does nearly everything as street magic.
3. He has more personality and warmth than David Blaine. (Of course, that's not saying a whole lot.)
1. The show has an annoying tendency to show you clips of the finales of the best stunts of the show, before the show even gets going. I don't want to see that. I want to be surprised. Don't give me a detailed run-down of what you're going to do and even show me short clips of what you're going to do. It ruins part of the mystery. Just get the show started and do it.
2. Criss talks in a monotone drone, like he's perpetually on quaaludes.
3. I could do without his family members. They each have their own (obviously fake) "jobs" to do on the show.
His brother JD's job is to pace around and act all nervous about everything Criss attempts, and to say things afterward like, "I'm telling YOU, that he will NOT be doing something like THAT again. No way."
His other brother Costa's job is to give vague praise every step of the way. "Lookin' good; don't look down; you got it!"
His Mom's job is to freak out and scream in horror at everything Criss attempts. I always think it is interesting, in an annoying sort of way, to watch her thrashing around in horror, and then see that all of the people standing around her have decidedly different expressions on their faces. Of course they do...because they know it's just a show. And Criss's mom obviously does too. But her job is to freak out and act like Criss is in mortal danger.
4. During the large illusions, there are too many cut-scenes away from the illusion and onto some member of his entourage spewing some vague banalities about the stunt, or about how "deep" Criss is, or some other blather. Example: Banachek saying things like, "I think people would be very surprised to find that what they think is illusion, is not illusion -- and what they think is not illusion, is illusion." Or the big-eared dude (forgot his name) saying equally vapid things that have no real substance. Or even to Criss himself saying, "With me, what you see is what you get." OK, OK, yes, we know that already, you've told us a bunch of times. So on with the illusion, OK? One continuous shot, OK? Also, most of the illusions are shown with different camera angles. Every cut away from the action or even to a different camera angle means an edit of the show, in which ANYTHING could have happened between one cut and the next. It's the equivalent of saying, "OK, turn your back for a second...OK now you can look again." It serves to cast doubt on EVERY trick that Criss does.
5. A lot of the people that Criss picks to perform in front of are idiots. David Blaine suffers from this more than Criss does -- "Hey, here's a tattooed low-life with an IQ of 70. He'd be a good subject to perform for!" -- but Criss also tends to have people that are no brain surgeons, or even reasonably intelligent professional types. Instead, he gets people that either (a) say Oh My God a million times, (b) say four-letter words a million times, which results in a ton of bleep-outs, or (c) run away. I can never understand the last reaction, running away. I mean, Huh?!? I'd be examining that as closely as possible, asking questions along the way and looking at it with an analytical eye. But instead, you get people that, when presented with an amazing illusion, RUN AWAY. Some of the mental midgets that David Blaine performed for also showed much the same reaction. (See Deion Sanders' reaction after Blaine levitated in front of him.) What the heck is up with that?
6. There are obviously "plants" in the audience. One of the most obvious examples was in one of the later Mindfreak shows, where he finds a couple in the Aladdin hotel hallway and asks them if they've ever experienced Deja Vu. Then another couple (a too-plastic-looking couple) steps in from behind and acts like they're just another couple at the Aladdin also. Criss says he wants to show these people something, and starts walking down the hallway a bit. The first couple follows him, but the second couple stays put, perfectly posed in the center of the hallway, even before Criss tells them to stay there. Then he tells them that they will experience Deja Vu, and he blocks the camera for a split second. Freeze-frame that split second. You will see the girl in the second couple move a little bit too soon. Obviously these people both have twins, and while the couple quickly darts into hotel rooms on either side of the hallway, their "twin" couple comes out of rooms at the far end of the hall, to make it look like Criss has just "reversed time" and thrown the couple down to the end of the hallway.
It's the kind of thing that makes me skeptical of EVERY so-called "audience" member in any of Criss's stunts. I suspect that Criss has TONS of plants in the audience -- at least one with just about every illusion he does -- and that really lessens the impact of his tricks for me. For another example: Take the girl that he "just happens to meet" in a parking lot in one episode. He asks her to draw "any animal" on a piece of paper, and then fold it up. She draws a butterfly. Criss unfolds the paper, and a real butterfly flies out and the drawing is now blank. Well, great...but what if the girl had drawn an elephant, or a rhino, or an armadillo, or cassowary or something? But nope, she conveniently draws a butterfly, and Criss just happens to have a live butterfly under his sleeve to produce. The girl was obviously a plant.
7. A bunch of the random people that "just happen to be there" when Criss shows up to perform something for them, curiously also just happen to have Mindfreak shirts or logos on their clothing. Like random people just go around wearing Mindfreak gear all the time. Right.
8. The Mindfreak theme song. Annoying noise.
Seems like a lot more cons than pros, right? But still, I watch the show because the pros carry a lot more weight than the cons. It is simply a very entertaining show to watch. Worth the purchase if you can put up with some of the cons.