Tilt TV Series – review
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and with Christmas holidays in sight, many began to look for a good TV series to binge watch in the comfort of their own homes (and with no risk to their health and the health of the others.
Much like the others, I, too, was spending hours upon hours scrolling through the variety of options, until I came across the Tilt. Released back in 2005, it caught my attention for two reasons: the cast seemed very good and the short description was very engaging.
Three friends, three professional poker players united by a single goal – to participate in the Las Vegas poker tournament and take down the local poker legend – gambler Don “The Matador” Everest. Poker aside, each of the players has their own reasons for wanting to see “The Matador” fall – perfect setting for an interesting drama to unravel.
When TV Series are both entertaining and educational
First of all, this TV series is definitely one of a kind. It perfectly captures the atmosphere and the tension of the poker game, all wrapped up in an interesting plot with complex character developments. The latter is what makes these series so unique, as at times you are not really sure whether you should be rooting for the protagonist, “The Matador”, whose ruthless lifestyle will leave no one cold. On the other hand, you might find yourself unsure of whether you should sympathize with the main characters, as sometimes they appear to smug for their own good. You might think that this is due to the show’s creators’ inability to develop likable characters, however, that’s where you might be wrong. I firmly believe that the main characters are not as obviously positive on purpose, and that’s why we can often see the flashback where we learn how each of them has ruined their own life. Overall, there is definitely a good depth to the series in general, and nothing is as apparent as it seems.
As for the poker aspect of the series, there are two things to be said about it. First of all, the way this game is portrayed is very inspiring. So much so that when the series first came out, there has been a sudden surge of new players joining the poker platforms across the world. Betting websites operating in Norway, Malaysia, Brazil, or even South Africa have all been reporting thousands of new players signing up during the period when the series was aired.
For more experienced poker enthusiasts, the series had something even more interesting to offer. In a number of episodes, you can see the cameo appearances of the real poker champions, such as Phil Hellmuth, Norman Chad, David Williams, Erik Seidel, and many others. Thus, one can definitely see that ESPN has made a good effort of feeding into the surge of interest in professional poker, by combining the best of the two worlds – quality cinematic production and the real stars of poker.
When it comes to the series’ cast, unfortunately, one has to note that although in general, the actors are doing alright, sometimes the dialogues come out a little wrong. There is an easy explanation to it, as although today both Chris Bauer, Eddie Cibrian, and Kristin Lehman all have managed to create a solid acting career, back when the Tilt was shot they were merely a group of aspiring actors with little experience to rely on.
In poker jargon, “on tilt” refers to the emotional state when the stress and frustration interfere with the player’s ability to make a rational judgment. And, with the slogan of “You’re playing poker. They’re playing you.” the series does deliver the level of tension that the game should be defined by. Overall, whether you are interested in poker, or simply enjoy the thrill of gambling and action series, the Tilt can be a good choice for a quiet holiday season indoors.
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