I recently received a new episode to watch and can tell you that in season 6, Criss Angel is definitely in good form and still retains his magic touch. The episode that I watched, "Cement Shoes," has Angel, once again, cheating death with a dangerous underwater escape.
As in prior seasons, each show features a theme and is presented as a pseudo reality show. As the episode leads up to the big event there are discussions between Angel and his crew and rehearsals. And there are the usual interviews with experts ("this has never been done before...") and Angel's Mom ("Criss, don't do it..."). And before the show culminates with the big stunt or event, we're treated to some magic along the way. This format has worked well for Angel since season one.
Since he's moved into new digs, Angel's multi-million dollar home, "Serenity," makes numerous appearances. Something new is Angel's positive attitude. "He tells viewers to believe in their dreams - something he professed when he recently made the TV talk show rounds. With a television series and Vegas show, Angel has his hands full, but if he wanted to add motivational speaking to the mix, I'm sure he could.
Angel himself remains much the same. In performance, he's not as talkative and outgoing as most professional entertainers but offers considerable charisma as well as a strong presence. And he has a definite flair for creating drama and excitement.
Is Angel pioneering new territory in season 6? It is undoubtedly difficult to come up with new stunts for the series. The "cement shoes" episode was dramatic as well as entertaining, but it felt like something that I had seen Angel do before (he has performed numerous underwater escapes in the past). In the end, had I not known that this was a new episode, I could have easily been convinced that it was from an earlier season.
Even with a certain sameness in season 6, there's no denying that Criss Angel has built a formidable and successful franchise with a significant fan base. And he continues to appeal to a youthful crowd and make magic relevant to them. This is why I think that Criss Angel remains a positive force for our art of magic.