The Casino
Episode 1

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Just Take the Penicillin Now, Save Some Time

I gotta give a quick shout-out to my delightful posters who are smarter and better than me; to the man currently known as The Midnighter, who utters verbatim quotes unlike anyone else ever could; to the island of Maui for not having a single goddamned VCR and making this midsummer recap one thousand times more difficult, to FOX for moving the date of the premiere a few times just to be sure it hit right in the middle of a family vacation, and to Mark Burnett, for making a show so cruddy that not one single person thought to record it, in any of six time zones.

The very first thing we see is a shot over Vegas by night (are there any other kind of Vegas shots?), clouds moving jerkily in Angel-style blipvert action, the sun coming amazingly quickly up over the mountains, and finally a parking lot, with some shady-sounding pseudo-suspenseful music playing that sounds kind of like the heart-stopping sound of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

And then you see two guys, one tall and thin and utterly silent, and the other kind of chubby and reminiscent of my across-the-street neighbor in grade school. Their names are Tom and Tim, and I know a whole lot about them, but they'd prefer to tell you about themselves. And by "them" I mean "Tom," and by "themselves" I mean "every asinine thing you never cared to know about Tom, ever."

One of the things about Tom that you may need to know is that what is about to happen is "the most nerve-wracking thing" that's apparently happened, ever, because he and Tim are about to be grilled by the Nevada Gaming Commission. Keep your seats, please, men, and fan the women if they get lightheaded. I realize the Gaming Commission in your state may be a take-no-prisoners, fashion-forward group, but here in Nevada they're a bunch of pasty 180-year-old men.

It's possible this Wild Bunch of Hooligans will start grilling Tom about silly stuff like his mob associations and those pesky FBI wiretaps, but because Mark Burnett has never freaking heard of pivotal-character sympathy, or indeed subject sympathy of any kind, there are now some "J. Lo's making a video where she pretends to be on a pretend boat and her pretend ass is pretending to be slapped by Ben Affleck's pretend hand and you can hear her pretend ass whispering, 'Jacob, I'm trying to tell you something important'" camera-shoot noises, and everything goes black and white and photographic in nature. Because that is, of course, the lot of the FBI: archaic equipment and the necessity of turning it over to FOX for broadcast on a midsummer floater reality series that is going to be cancelled before I finish this glass of ice water.

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The Casino

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