New Jersey Should Seek to Continue its TV Show Hot Streak; there’s Plenty to Explore

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Of the many, many television shows that are on the schedule, remarkably few are filmed, or even take place, in New Jersey. This might not be surprising given the more entertaining allure of the likes of New York, California, Nevada, or even Texas. However, when you consider the quality of the shows based in or made in The Garden State, you may question why more don’t. Atlantic City has often made for a fun one-off episode, as showcased by the episode entitled The Casino that aired earlier this year from the vampire comedy What We Do In The Shadows, but there’s a lot more to the state that has proven to make for great TV.

Fame and intrigue surrounds Atlantic City and the state

As you can tell from the more famous shots of the city, Atlantic City was once a very resort-centric destination, but this declined in the 1950s and 60s. So, to revive the local economy, the city was permitted to legalize gambling, with the Boardwalk hosting the first legal casino outside of Nevada in 1978. This would become the new legacy and draw of Atlantic City, making it the jewel of New Jersey tourism once more. To stand out from their west coast rivals in Las Vegas, AC casinos decided to introduce a more player-friendly rule, the Early Surrender. However, it was so player-friendly that venues quickly suffered as a result.

So, the Late Surrender replaced the rule, allowing players to forfeit hands after the peek to get half of their stake back. This still offers a superior house edge, and is why Atlantic City Blackjack remains an eye-catching game, allowing it to be a top pick alongside other modern blackjack games online. Atlantic City Blackjack, Gold Series, and Multi-Hand being popular online today show the impact of this move made some 40 years ago. While not quite with the momentum that it once had, Atlantic City remains a gaming attraction in the US, with venues willing to go all-in on a classy offering. Of course, this aspect of the New Jersey story comes after what was seemingly a triumph of investment and interest in the 80s and 90s.

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This was spearheaded by one Donald Trump, who pumped hundreds of millions in junk bonds to erect three colossal casinos in his name. The tales of unpaid work and negativity led to their rapid decline, but while they were seen as the future of Atlantic City, the venues certainly put on a show. Predominantly, this show was brought by heavyweight boxing superstar Mike Tyson, who was quickly identified as the mega-attraction needed to bring people in through the Trump Plaza doors. Tyson, Larry Holmes, Evander Holyfield, George Foreman, and Michael Spinks all helped to make Atlantic City a mighty name in boxing. A bit further from the glamour of casino halls and heavyweight boxing, New Jersey also happens to be a haunting hotspot. It’s said that if you want to explore somewhere haunted, you should go to The Spy House, Shippen Manor, or The Devil’s Tree.

Shows that prove New Jersey’s the place to be

HBO certainly has a penchant for high-quality drama, with Mare of Easttown being its latest exploit, but when talking about New Jersey TV shows, it’s impossible not to start with The Sopranos. It really was a revolutionary show that we’ll talk about forever, having masterfully reinvented the genre, all while showcasing the iconic locations of The Garden State. Still, it’s not the only big-hitter in New Jersey – and not the only one from HBO either. Boardwalk Empire was a superbly crafted show that looked at a truly interesting period in US history. Designed to be the next Sopranos, it was usurped in popular culture by another of its parent company’s shows, Game of Thrones.

Another huge name, this time not from HBO, is House M.D. Starring Hugh Laurie, it ran for eight seasons and 177 episodes, being filmed in Princeton, New Jersey, and can ultimately be credited for a resurgence of characters like the titular House emerging across T.V. Despite these smash-hit shows, the one that reigns supreme among critics and viewers is a 2019 release set in New Jersey and created by Rutherford-raised Ramy Youssef. Simply called “Ramy,” the Hulu Original has been renewed for its third season. Of course, other less-decorated, but certainly still popular, shows also put the state front and center, namely, The Real Housewives of New Jersey.

Given the tremendous success of several shows set in New Jersey, as well as the tales of its more recent past and the superstitions that are very much alive and well, perhaps more should follow the likes of Ramy and take to The Garden State.

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