The Casino (2004) is Fox’s attempt at a Las Vegas reality show. However, just as usual, Fox uses the term “reality” as broadly as possible. There have been testimonies from people who live in Las Vegas and have seen with their own eyes how the director asked people to do another take or have the conversation again. I initially tried to watch this show because I love everything about Las Vegas. I love gambling, I love casinos, I love the slots and I love all the energy the city has. Needless to say, I was extremely excited when I first heard about the series, as I think that a good reality show is the second best way of experiencing Vegas, right after actually going there.
Unfortunately, it didn’t take me even a full episode to realize that this show is scripted from start to finish. There were too many factors that gave it away. For example, the camera work on most reality shows is often shoddy, because they have to run all over the place just to get a piece of the action. In The Casino, the camera work is just too good. I know it might sound weird, but it’s true. Apart from that, the show presents situations that would be completely impossible if the show was not scripted. In fact, the only way this would be a reality show is if they had hundreds of cameras all over Las Vegas.
OK, so now that we got that covered, is the show really that bad? Well, if you don’t go into it thinking that it is a reality show, you might actually have a good time. As I have already mentioned, I’m in love with Las Vegas and I take every chance I get to see shows about it. So if you really want to watch the show and enjoy it, I have one piece of advice for you: watch it as a soap opera. If you get into it thinking that it’s a soap, you might get a few good laughs and you will also be able to enjoy a few half decent Vegas plots. With that in mind, the show handles a few things pretty well.
I mentioned the camera work before, and I should add that it is really, really good. When the show wants to send a message to its viewers, the cameramen do an excellent job and I love that. If you are a Vegas aficionado like myself, you will also enjoy the scenery. You will be able to see the beauty of the city and its amazing casinos. For that reason alone, the show is worth a view. Furthermore, some of the plots are actually quite exciting and managed to keep me on the edge of my seat. I know that this may not be the best show about Las Vegas, but it does have its strong points. If you have nothing better to see and you can’t engage in some actual gambling, I think you should give it a try.