The other night I happened to be switching channels on the old crystal receiver and during the course of the evening ran into not one, not two, but three different shows in which poker was featured. These were otherwise non-poker shows, mind you -- one a “reality” show, another a sitcom, and the third a crime drama.
I ended up rewatching all three shows, then put together a brief discussion of how each “used” poker to help with the business of storytelling.
One idea that struck me as I wrote the column was how poker can provide show creators a kind of short cut when it comes to character development, advancing the plot, or communicating themes or messages. As anyone who has played the game well knows, poker is a story-producing activity, instantly providing contexts for characters to emerge, conflicts to occur, and ideas about human nature to be explored.
Meanwhile, television shows are about as fast-paced a variety of storytelling as there is these days. Thus does the occasional poker game come in handy to move things along more quickly in between all of the Geico commercials.
Anyhow, if you’re curious go check the column out. The shows I discussed were “Basketball Wives LA,” “30 Rock,” and “Law and Order: Criminal Intent.”
Got some more gift-wrapping to take care of, so I’m going to cut things short here today. Everyone enjoy them holidays, and thanks again for giving me some time now and then on this here blog.