Poker player, actor and producer, Josh Kimmel, is going to try and buck the trend and create a television show about poker that people actually want to watch. But there is one slight caveat. Kimmel doesn’t want people to refer to his show Living the Life as a poker show, and instead wants it referred to as a lifestyle show. It seems the networks are just as switched off as Joe Public when it comes to television shows consisting of chips, cards and shouts of ‘all-in.’
The problem with the notion of a reality TV poker show is that they all end up so phony. What you see is not what you get. Poker interest comes out of the very mundane. It’s the daily struggles of the hundreds of regulars who travel around the poker circus with hardly a nickel in their pocket that is interesting. But sticking a camera in the face of a broke professional poker player is just not that exciting for the average viewer.
The stars of the show are former Survivor star, Amanda Kimmel (no relation), and former Real World star, Trishelle Cannatella. Living the Life chronicles the girl’s lives as they travel the world’s poker circuit trying to earn a crust. So far, Kimmel has only created a pilot, which was filmed when both girls took part in the European Poker Tour (EPT) Barcelona. Kimmel didn’t even know how to play the game, but Cannatella does know her way around the felt with a third place finish in a WPT Celebrity Invitational event sitting amongst her three live cashes to date.
PokerStars Team Pro, Barry Greenstein, was hardly quaking in his boots at the prospect of facing the pair at Barca: “I’m hoping one of them is going to be at my table because they are going to be below average, in as far as the players in the field, and it looks like there will be good eye candy to.”
But Greenstein does have a great point when he mentions the term eye candy, as it seems like it might be the strongest chance the show has of gaining any success. When reality TV shows first hit the airwaves there was a genuine Big Brother interest in the way that other people live their lives. But these days the reality TV stars are wannabe TV stars and act accordingly. In a sense there is nothing real about it.
“She was on one of my favorite reality shows ever, and she’s really beautiful and she made out with the hottest guy on the show, which sounds a lot like me, so I think we will have a lot in comment.” Said Cannatella when asked about her new co-star.
“I remember in High School watching her on the Real World Las Vegas and my first impression of her was that she was a wannabe bad ass chick.” Said Kimmel in response.
Kimmel is not exactly moving all-in, but he does have a sizeable portion of his stack riding on this train. Despite only filming the pilot he has plans to create 10-episodes per series with shooting taking place in locations like London, Monte Carlo and Colombia. In order for Living the Life to be a success the girl who dated the hottest guy on Survivor, and the wannabe badass chick really have to do something memorable, either on the felt or off it.
The last TV show that featured a female poker player ended in disaster. Sin City Rules, which aired on TLC, featured five prominent Las Vegas ladies as they showed the world what an amazing lifestyle they had, one of which was the High Stakes cash game player Jennifer Harman. Unfortunately, no one in the world cared and the show was cancelled after just a few episodes.
So what are Kimmel and Cannatella going to do if Living the Life ends up on the cutting room floor next to Sin City Rules?
“I really didn’t think about what would happen after I quit my job and poker doesn’t work out. But Hollywood Boulevard is just a couples of block down there and I heard people make some pretty good money walking on the street.” Said Cannatella.
Now that’s what I call a great Plan B.