|Reality TV stars Rob and Amber Mariano take a chance on a move from Florida to Las Vegas, and the cameras come along. (Michael Becker/FOX Reality Channel)|
Will Vegas be lucky for 'Rob & Amber'?
"Rob & Amber: Death" may be in our futures. I can see it now: Reality TV's First Couple lie beside each other, wrinkled eyelids closed but well-lit, breathing heavily while the cameras move in for a close-up. "Ambuh," Rob says, panting. "Looks like our alliance will be broken forevuh. But you're still slammin', babe."
"Oh Rob," Amber mumbles. "We'll live on together in 'Ripley's Reality Believe It or Not' as the most famous-for-nothing couple ever, and in the DVDs of 'The Surreal Life XXXXVI.' "
And then the cameras retreat. A lone tear falls from host Jeff Probst III's eye, and Rob joins the Amazing Race to that great Boston Beer Works in the sky, the spirit of his Ambuh close behind . . .
Um, oops, my fantasy life may be getting a little out of hand. But seriously, this couple is taking the reality thing and running too far with it -- even farther, it seems, than Ryan and Trista from "The Bachelorette." Tonight at 8 on Fox Reality, the pair that met on "Survivor," married on a TV special, and traveled as newlyweds on "The Amazing Race," returns once again with "Rob & Amber: Against the Odds." This time around it's Romber being Romber in the casinos of Las Vegas.
The series opens with the couple residing in nouveau-riche bliss in a lovely Pensacola, Fla., home. Of course, the rooms are spacious enough to fit a camera crew, and a camera crew just happens to be on hand in their bathroom to film a first-thing-in-the-morning tiff, but otherwise it's all just real life. Sidebar: I do hate it that reality shows pretend things happened spontaneously, when the presence of the camera crew puts the lie to naturalness. Come on, producers! Every step was planned in advance! Give us some credit! We don't think you're documentarians! But I digress again.
Long story short, Rob wants to move to Vegas to become a professional poker player; Amber wants to stay in Florida. Rob wins, or else the show does not go on; and soon the pair are shuttering their windows and en route to Sin City for three months. Rob has already made an advance trip to Las Vegas to ask a professional card player named Daniel to mentor him. And after "thinking" about it for the cameras, Daniel has agreed to show Rob the ropes.
And so TV's Rob and Amber set out into the neon sunset, this time with a few more clothes on their backs than "Survivor" or "The Amazing Race" allowed. "I'm pretty much bringing my entire closet," TV's Amber confides. "I can't go back to a 9-to-5 job," TV's Rob confesses.
At the poker tables, Rob is quickly identified as Boston Rob, which is bound to complicate his game. Everyone who has seen his shows knows Rob can bluff, and that he is a shark. Will Rob make it as a serious player? Will he blow all the money he and Amber have accumulated selling their privacy? Will they find a better gig than Fox Reality or is their star fading into the netherland of deep-niche cable? If I were a gambling man, I'd bet "no" on all three.