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A Look At TV Shows And How Factually Correct They Are

Generally when we watch a TV drama or sitcom we are expected to suspend disbelief as the events of the show are generally fictional or exaggerated for entertainment purposes. Despite this many events within a show are at least plausible so that we can still relate to them. Many things can sometimes slip under the radar and we don’t realise how inaccurate they are until we think about them later on. Here we take a look at a number of popular TV shows that weren’t quite factually correct.

At the end of the fifth season of the long running hit US sitcom, the six lead characters end up in Las Vegas, which served as the perfect excuse for the show’s producers to show off the Caesar’s Palace casino. While there the character of Phoebe gets into a conflict with a slot machine ‘lurker’. She claims that a lurker waits until somebody finishes playing on a slot machine after a while and then jumps on the machine straight after they’ve finished and claim a massive jackpot. This led leads to a showdown where Phoebe tries to out-lurk the lurker. As entertaining as this is within a TV show, in actual casino facts all slot machines are programmed to be completely random and wouldn’t be a genuine way of making money from a slot machine.

Boardwalk Empire
Adapted for the screen by Terrence Winter from the book Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City by Nelson Johnson, Boardwalk Empire features around Enoch L Johnson, an infamous criminal kingpin played by Steve Buscemi. The show is set in Atlantic City during the Prohibition era of the 1920’s and 30’s. The show has been critically praised for how well written it is and there has clearly been a lot of time put into researching the era and the costumes in particular are very accurate. However many of the events of the show are completely fabricated for entertainment purposes. Many of the lead characters are based on real people but have had their names and facts about them slightly changed.

How I Met Your Mother
Just like Friends, How I Met Your Mother (affectionately known to fans as HIMYM) also liked to take their characters on road trips for episodes in other locations, like a wedding that never quite happens on Shelter Island in season 4, and the majority of season 9 set in the fictional hamlet of Farhampton. Early in the second season Marshall and Lily decide to elope in Atlantic City but they need $5,000 for the ceremony, which they don’t have. Barney runs into some shady Chinese businessmen who challenge Barney to a game of Pinyin: xíng háishì bùxíng (Chinese for Deal Or No Deal) which nobody but Barney seems to understand. Marshall manages to figure out the game and advises Barney on how to win the money need for the wedding. Barney and Marshall return to Atlantic City later in season 7.