In, and Of Itself

Holy shit.
This absolutely deserves a watch. I saw a tweet from the novelist Brad Meltzer to go onto Hulu, not look at any description, and turn this movie on. And now I try to pass this on to anyone else and will try to review this masterpiece without actually reviewing it. I try this because I struggle with finding the right way to review anything on here. If you want a review, go to the reviewers. I’m going to test out a new structure including: what I liked about it, what I learned from it, and what were my main takeaways. Skip over rewriting plots and characters and just give the meat of it.

What I liked about this show.

Derek seems like he’s bearing his soul to his audience and there’s a deep connection he has with everyone in attendance because of this. He was emotional, the crowd was emotional, and I teared up watching it. There is no real genre for what this show is, and there’s no real label for what he does. I think that’s essentially what the show is about. He tells us his story with an amazing performance including illusions. He gives us tales of his struggles and overcoming them, tales of connection, and ultimately finds a way to break through our barriers connect with the audience on a very deep level.

What I learned.


The shocking power of a good story told extremely well. We didn’t know what the show was about, but we were hooked within the first 10 minutes. We gave it the 15 minute challenge to see whether we would watch it or not. A 15 minute trial that we didn’t even consider changing at any point. I think he hit home the fact that we are all humans that are all complicated and more than they appear on the surface. He broke through barriers and inspires others to do so. He isn’t a magician, he’s not overly confident and looking to con you, and he doesn’t have everything figured out. Or is the moral of the show that he has everything figured out by realizing that no one has it all figured out? He brings members of the crowd onstage and it is a beautiful display of humanity. People from all different walks of life, backgrounds, but is able to give all of them an experience that brings them to tears.

My takeaways.


Authenticity trumps ability. Derek is able to connect to people because of his appeared honesty. Without his story, or even on mute, this would still be a visually amazing show. He is the only one in the world that could do this show this way and he nails it. He built his own moat by combining skills that he mastered. He moves to remove the common concept of labeling people in multiple different ways, with multiple examples. This hit home in multiple ways for me. When you start blogging you are supposed to fit yourself into your corner and stay there. That doesn’t vibe with me, I don’t put myself in a corner or subscribe to a single label. I wouldn’t be able to pick a single label out to describe myself and that’s okay. Many other people are the same way, we are complicated, we can all struggle with this, and that’s the beauty of life.

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