On Fox’s The Casino, two jerks gamble on the idea that they can turn Las Vegas’ old Golden Nugget into a gushing moneymaker and a hit reality show. The latter, at least, is impossible when the chief drama is whether their cocky young lounge singer will deign to sing Billy Joel tunes on request. I haven’t been less caught up by false Fox suspense since Kiefer Sutherland made it all the way to 23 hours-plus on ”24” and then…just sat there and cried.
Since ”The Casino” is created by ”Survivor”/”The Apprentice” king Mark Burnett, you’d think that the Enshriner of Endurance could whip up excitement. Instead, Burnett relies on flashy visuals (neon signs! spinning roulette wheels! whirling slot machines! blue-haired ladies!) and the old gambling-show standby – making fun of garish high rollers – for some minimal amusement. But Burnett’s two pink-faced protagonists, Nugget owners Tim Poster and Tom Breitling, are number-crunching, flair-lacking nerds. If ”The Casino” came to Vegas to gamble, it’d have gone bust after its first week.