The Office: American TV’s Best Poker Show

Like fast food, fast cars, and fasting during Ramadan, America can’t get enough of poker. 

The_office_nbcNew poker-inspired TV shows are popping up more frequently than acne on Barry Bonds’ back (allegedly).  From Calvin Ayre’s Wild Card Poker to Fox’s Speed Poker, TV programmers are continuing to invent new ways to brings America’s favorite past-time from the card room to your living room.

Tonight, NBC took it one step further, as it successfully shifted its critically-acclaimed The Office (cast at right watching Rainn Wilson’s "Dwight" play Pot Limit Omaha online) from being a sitcom to something totally new and genre-busting: a pokercom.

Which leads to the inevitable question: can pokercoms save the sitcom?

It would be only natural for Steve Carell, star of last year’s best poker movie, The 40 Year-Old Virgin, to lead the way with The Office’s "corporate re-structuring" as a pokercom.

For those who missed tonight’s episode, Steve Carell’s character, Michael, throws a casino night where much of the set-up for the show’s big finale takes place around a game of no limit Texas hold’em (much like what occurred in The 40 Year-Old Virgin).  After the game, the simmering sexual tension between John Krasinski’s "Jim Halpert" and Jenna Fischer’s "Pam Beesley" finally comes to a head.   We also learn that monotoned Brian Baumgartner’s "Kevin" is a WSOP bracelet winner in deuce-to-seven low-ball. 

The_office_2_nbcMaybe earlier episodes would have been even more entertaining (and garnered better ratings) had they incorporated poker as a key show component from the get-go.  As seen in the scene at left, without poker, it’s like the life was just completely sucked out of the show.  Somebody needs to deal these working stiffs some cards!

While the poker action was hard to follow at times, and in some cases, completely, utterly wrong (a hand was won without actually seeing a flop), Wicked Chops Poker must hand it to NBC for finding a new way to present poker to the public–something we didn’t think could possibly ever be done again. 

While we won’t know for sure until the Nielsen Ratings come out if the pokercom can truly save the sitcom, we definitely like where NBC is not only taking poker, but comedy, as we know it.


4 Responses

  1. Billz

    May 11, 2006 9:05 pm, Reply

    wicked chops poker is america’s funniest poker site, by far. nice work fellas, as always.

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