Monday, January 17, 2005

TILT – Original ESPN Series

The premise that a famous poker player is also a big cheater that needs to be taken down was interesting enough. Michael Madsen seems right for the part. The ingénues all look TV typical, much more time in the gym than in the card room. The first episode had an uncomfortable cameo by Daniel Negranu and TJ Clotier (will there be more?). Daniel did the talking and seemed natural, TJ looked as frozen as the professor on that episode of Gilligan’s Island.

The website gives away too many details like Madsen will eventually groom one of the youngsters and he will in turn date Madsen’s daughter. This could lead to soap opera territory soon.

One positive is that the little poker that did exist seemed creative. We get to see Madsen go up against one particular mark and Madsen psyches him out enough that the dude checks his set in order to let Madsen draw to his gut shot.

We also get to see the young phenom (compared in the show to Stu Unger) get over-anxious and push a hand too far and get booted from the tournament. I suppose we’ll get to see his continued growth as a player.

The young lady poker player is named Miami, because someone has to be named after a city.

The shady president of the Casino is nicknamed “Lowball” which I suppose is pregnant with meaning.

I don’t have the best expectations for this, but thanks to Tivo, I can record the first few and get around to deciding whether future viewing is worth the time.

1 comment:

Dude said...

I caught about 15 minutes of this show. It didn't look so good as all the advance hype suggested. The one thing that I really liked was when we overhear the thought process of the young poker stud and as he looks at his opponent's hole cards, we get an x-ray glimpse of what he supposes those cards to be as his thinking progresses.

The greatness of this convention was neutralized moments later when the vanquished opponent lamented "four-three! You beat me with four-three? You played them like you had a pair!" to which the hero responds, "No, I played them BECAUSE I have a pair."

You only get to use this line once, and it was hungrily used up on the premiere episode. I can see a bunch of ESPN suits sitting around the conference table greenlighting this project based on the writer's pitch which was comprised of that one snappy comeback. Boy, poker is so cool. The rest of the episode seemed to mostly consist of Michael Madsden doing his "Jonny Boy" (DeNiro in MEAN STREETS) where he casually looks back over his shoulder while licking the inside of his cheek before lashing out physically at the meek guy begging for mercy.

Post a Comment