87°F
weather icon Clear
TV

Did you spot Laughlin in Peacock’s buzzy ‘Poker Face’?

Laughlin looms large over “Poker Face,” the high-profile new drama from writer-director Rian Johnson (“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”).

It isn’t mentioned by name. “Poker Face” even goes out of its way to camouflage its setting. But the town serves as the inspiration, as well as the site of exterior filming, for the home of cocktail waitress Charlie Cale (Natasha Lyonne).

Charlie has a gift: She can tell when someone is lying. It served her well, for a time, in poker rooms across the country. Charlie eventually was found out and blackballed, though, which led to her living in a rusty trailer in the desert and slinging drinks at the Frost Casino.

While the interiors of the casino were filmed on sets built in upstate New York, Don Laughlin’s Riverside Resort stood in for the casino’s exteriors. Its rooftop sign was replaced in postproduction — kind of the way the Palazzo became the Palmetto on HBO Max’s Emmy-winning “Hacks” or how downtown’s Plaza became Biff’s Pleasure Paradise in “Back to the Future Part II.”

After shooting the rest of the 10-episode series, the cast and crew reconvened in Laughlin, Johnson confirmed in a Twitter post, to film around town. Traffic at the Laughlin Bridge was limited to one lane for eight hours on Sept. 19, according to a tweet from the Bullhead City (Arizona) Police Department that didn’t mention the filming.

In the world of “Poker Face,” the Frost Casino isn’t in Clark County. Instead, it can be found in Frost County, named after the casino’s founder, Sterling Frost Sr. (Ron Perlman). But there is one distinct Southern Nevada touch: Incoming phone calls feature the 702 area code ahead of the phony “555” prefix.

Given the events of the “Poker Face” pilot, part of a four-episode debut Jan. 26 on Peacock, Laughlin and its fictional counterpart aren’t likely to get much, if any, screentime moving forward. (New episodes premiere each Thursday.)

But given the critical reaction to its debut, “Poker Face” already is more successful than the last TV series with prominent Laughlin ties.

“Viva Laughlin,” a musical mystery executive produced by Hugh Jackman, was canceled by CBS in 2007 after just two episodes.

Contact Christopher Lawrence at clawrence@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4567. Follow @life_onthecouch on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Lisa Vanderpump shares her secrets to a beautiful life

“My mantra is love and laughter supersede all,” says the reality star, who has a new series, “Vanderpump Villa,” coming out on Hulu.

‘Oppenheimer’ lights up Academy Awards with top honors

Oppenheimer,” a biopic that became a billion-dollar box-office sensation, was crowed best picture at a 96th Academy Awards that doubled as a coronation for Christopher Nolan.