It’s Friday night, you have nowhere to go and nothing to do. It’s just you and your TV loaded with 400 cable channels, TV on Demand, a Netflix account, an Amazon Prime Account, Disney Prime and a subscription to HBO you forgot you had.
Twenty years ago you had were 5 channels unless you were lucky enough to be the one guy in the street with cable. The internet. Pah! What internet? If you did have it forget using it to watch anything. Back then it was TFI Friday, the cinema or the pub. Plenty has changed in those 2 decades, none more so than the quantity and accessibility of the TV shows that we can now spend our lives gorging.
TV from every generation raised by the nurturing fluoresce of television is there, waiting to be streamed into our eyes and minds at the touch of a few buttons. Classic, contemporary, cultish, crap; it’s all there at the touch of a few buttons. The tough part is knowing where to begin.
At dawn of the 20th century, when Farnsworth, Baird and Jenkins endeavoured to bring the medium to life no one could have guessed how all-consuming TV would become. For good and for bad, the programmes that we welcome into our living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms and toilets, via our TVs, laptops, tablets and phones have helped to shape the world we live in today and will continue doing so as more platforms to view them on become available every year.
Astonishingly, more shows and more ways to watch them does not necessarily mean that we need to be left drowning in mediocrity. Whilst the cheap nature of reality TV might have swamped certain channels with banal shows about antiques restorations or exuberant housewives in whatever part of the planet they display the most TV-worthy exuberance, there is quality everywhere you look.
The good and the bad of TV have all made their way into online casinos and the vast world of the video slot. Fruit, Jokers and Stars just aren’t enough anymore. Some of the best slots available are those that have our favourite theme tunes, sets and characters. And every sort of TV show that you can imagine has made an appearance.
Sitcoms, dramas, cartoons that are just for grownups, quiz shows, reality TV shows and much more. There are black and white stills from the 60s, flairs from the 70s, mullets from the 80s, baggy trousers from the 90s and all the fake tan that came after nestled in amongst the endless array of reels.
Here at ThePogg, we want to bring you the very best TV Shows as Slots, all in one convenient place. Our list of the 10 Best TV Shows as Slots will contain some of the most iconic TV programmes have ever aired that were subsequently turned into some of the best video slots on the market today.
Who would have thought that a show like Downton Abbey could every have become such a massive hit? A period drama set in the early part of the 20th century, depicting the lives of wealthy British aristocrats should, on paper, be something of an acquired taste. Yet, this has been a mainstream success. 120 million viewers with 10 million tuning in America alone to view the final episode. Things have gone so well for the cast of Downton that not only can they find their faces on the reels of a stunning slot machine but also on side of movie theatres all over the world.
The show ran for 6 series and was set between 1912 and 1926, a timescale that included the First World War and the Irish War of Independence. Julian Fellowes, the show’s writer claims that part of Downton’s success was that it explored a world that was brimming with seismic change, both politically, socially and technologically, yet in that Abbey everything remained constant. He created a snapshot of a world defined by routine and tradition that aired at a time when everything else as in an almost permanent state of flux. In other words, Downton Abbey is a success because, in a world gone mad, it provides us with the necessary comfort needed to tune in and forget about Brexit, climate change, austerity and whatever else keeps us awake at night.
As for the Downton Abbey slot, if you love the show then you are going to love this. The reels are divided into 2 parts, an upstairs and a downstairs, which fits perfectly with one of the show’s central themes, as the wealthy aristocrats live upstairs and the workers all live downstairs. Downton managed to distil society into these two parts depicting a Britain that existed before the emergence of the middle classes. For the slot to tap into this is very impressive, with the designers doing more than just throwing features in for the sake of it and instead really thinking about their theme and how best to work features around it.
Moreover, you get 3 different Free Spins features and a Bonus feature. There is nothing not to like about this slot.
Star Trek: The Next Generation
As thankless tasks go, being asked to make a new series of Star Trek, over 20 years after the original had aired, with an entirely new cast, is about as thankless as it is possible to get. Yet, there are many out there who will argue passionately that Captain Picard and this crew surpassed everything that Kirk and Spock managed in the 60s.
In its prime, Next Generation was the Game of Thrones of its day. 7 series, 4 movies and multiple awards, Star Trek the Next Generation was a phenomenon that didn’t just keep the series moving on but added new threads that didn’t exist before. The Borg (the best bad guys in the Star Trek Universe), the Ferengi and the Cardassians were all introduced during the series and have gone on to become staples of the franchise.
The show even managed to break with some of the conventions of the original series by adding a Klingon to the crew of the Enterprise.
But if there’s one thing, one element of Star Trek the Next Generation that defines it as a better watch then the original series then it has to be Sir Patrick Stewart. Picard is the best Star Trek captain because he lives and breathes every mission and does so whilst protecting every one of his crew. He is brave, morally incorruptible, loves Shakespeare and English tea and above all else he made it OK for men to be bald in in late 80s and early 90s.
The Star Trek: The Next Generation slot comes with the show’s central cast as symbols and has you veering off into space on the back of the USS Enterprise. You get a number of random features, one where you get to shoot your enemies but the best bit about this slot has to be the Free Spins, where characters from the show are beamed down, fully stacked onto reels. This excellent addition proves that when designers think carefully about connection of the features to the theme, they can elevate a slot light years above the competition.
Peter Griffin has to be considered one of TVs most memorable characters. When Family Guy first hit our screens all the way back in 1999 there were plenty of critics out there who wrongly cast him in the mould of less likeable Homer Simpson. Over 300 episodes later and Peter has been a news reporter, a football player, a stand-in for Death, Boba Fett, the US President and… the list goes on.
Family Guy always has and always will be about trying to take things too far. It is a show that tries to shock its audience, normally by having Peter say or do the thing that no one in the real world would ever get away with.
It is a formula that has worked wonders, but there was a time when it looked like Family Guy had reached the end of the road. With just the one episode left to be aired in the 3rd series, Fox cancelled the show. Poor viewing figures and far too much controversy meant that it was easier to wave goodbye to Peter Griffin.
However, the hiatus did not last long. Saved by an ancient technology known as the DVD and a growing cult following Family Guy had found its audience, one that wasn’t ready to give up on the Griffins by a long way.
It is testament to the strength of their audience that Family Guy is still going today and has inspired a whole new clutch of adult orientated TV shows that continue to push things too far in a way only animations can. Rick and Morty, Big Mouth and Bojack Horseman, to name but a few all have Family Guy to thank for their own little place in the world.
The Family Guy slot is one that embraces its source material and makes the most of everything that the TV show has to offer. There are a lot of features and I won’t go through them all, but what impresses me the most about them is that they either based around the show’s characters or some of the more memorable moments from Peter’s illicit past; my favourite of them all being the Chicken Fight feature which must be considered one of the most iconic episodes in Family Guy’s back catalogue.
Who would have thought that a TV show depicting the life of the world’s most notorious drug dealer, a man who at the height of his powers was considered to be one of the richest men on the planet, would make for utterly mesmerising TV?
This Netflix release is one amongst another 6 or 7 titles that has helped turn the streaming platform into a multi-billion-dollar corporation, one that I am sure Escobar would have been pleased to know he helped to fund (although he would have probably wanted a piece of the action).
Yet, despite the Columbian drug lord being the show’s main attraction, viewing figures appear to be on the increase even though he makes no appearance in either the 3rd or the 4th series.
Narcos has the perfect combinations needed to make a TV show that people love. It has characters so well-written that we both love and hate them in equal amounts. We know how things are going to end and yet, the twists, turns and the quality of the writing keep us tuned in as the journey becomes more important than the destination.
The series is now in its second incarnation as the battle ground has moved from Columbia to Mexico and with a second series involving the Mexican Cartel due for release soon it is unlikely that there won’t be an awful lot more to come.
The Narcos slot does everything that you should expect from a slot on this list. The features tie in perfectly with the theme. There is a feature that is called the Drive By, during which a spray of bullets will leave Wild symbols in their wake. There’s also a Locked Up feature where you attempt to combine symbols in an effort to catch the man who avoided the DEA for years.
Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones didn’t take long to establish itself as one of the biggest TV shows of all time. The shocking end to first series left audiences reeling but also hooked.
Based on the George RR Martin novels (that he might never finish), the writers and directors took what the Lord of Rings movies had set in motion and added a touch of violence, nudity and the sort of twists and turns that you knew were never coming for Frodo and Sam.
Part of what made tuning in each week so enthralling was not knowing who was going to be there at the end of the episode with you. Time after time GoT would break with convention and kill off someone you had grown to love or hate, leaving viewers in a permanent state of heightened anxiety.
With the benefit of hindsight, we can assume Game of Thrones was a no-brainer for HBO. But at the time of its initial release there was nothing out there to suggest that we were ready for a very adult, gritty and real fantasy series. From the outset the GoT would cost HBO a fortune to make and with a number of failing series since the conclusion of the Sopranos, the stakes were high.
We now know that the gamble paid off and has subsequently paved the way for more fantasy themed series on multiple platforms but all could have been very different. Now, in a world of family friendly Marvel domination it could be time for HBO to do it all over again as their adaptation of the Watchmen looks set to make the superhero genre for adults only.
One of the prerequisites of a Game of Thrones slot is that it looks good, something that the designers of this game have absolutely nailed. You get 4 different Free Spins features, each one named after one of the main families in the series. Again, the importance of making sure your features tie in with your theme has been addressed. Add some stacked Wilds in and you have some solid features and a cracking looking slot.
This series has something in common with 2 of the others already mentioned on this list. First of all, along with Star Trek the Next Generation, Battlestar Galactica should be considered one of the best sci fi series of the last 20-30 years. Secondly, like Game of Thrones, its ending was decidedly ropey.
In the off chance that you haven’t seen the show and don’t know how it ends I won’t spoil it for you but in my opinion this has to be one of the most anti-climatic conclusions to anything ever (I didn’t see Lost through to the end).
I love this show. I think the writers to took science fiction to the next level. A single developing storyline, a gritty realistic setting, characters whose character can often be questioned. For the time that it was made it looked and sounded great thanks to the developing technology and an excellent ensemble of actors. Any criticism that you could have levelled at a series like Babylon 5 could not be applied to this.
The Battlestar Galactica slot comes with all the main characters as symbols and 3 engaging bonus features. You even get to take on the might of the Cylons in yet another slot that pays close attention to its source material. What allows this slot to really stand out is a house edge that is much more competitive than many of the branded slots out there today.
Vikings is likely to have some serious company in the Amazon Prime stables over the next few years, with the shopping giants set to make some major releases in a Lord of the Rings and a Wheel of Time series. But for now, Vikings is the number 1 wielder of broadswords on the streaming platform, wowing its viewers with the sort of Viking barbarity that you can genuinely believe in.
I have to confess to having never seen the show but I do know that unlike Game of Thrones, the reviews for the series have been somewhat sketchy. I guess part of the issue was always going to be the that it is based around facts and a divergence away from those, even in a fictional setting, was always going to come under heavy fire.
The Vikings slot however, is nothing short of stunning. I’ve written in different reviews how much I love the way this slot looks. The detail in each of the symbols is offset perfectly the simple little flourish of snow drifting across the reels. It suggests there is a battle to come or that one has just ended, the calm before or after the storm. Add this a set of features that ties in perfectly with the series and you have a genuine triumph of a slot.
Who want to be a Millionaire Megaways
This quiz show changed everything. Prior to it, the most you might expect to win on TV might be a few thousand pounds or a luxury holiday. When “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” hit our screens it was a cultural phenomenon. Everyone, across 160 different countries, was tuning in to see if the elusive million pounds (or whatever the currency was in your part of the world) could be one.
It established certain phrases in our daily dialogue, from needing to phone a friend when anything remotely tricky came our way to the concept of lifelines.
Despite airing for over 20 years, with more than 600 episodes in the UK, only 4 people have ever walked away with the top prize. Over the years the format has changed, adding lifelines, changing where you can lock in your winnings and even switching to a new presenter to help breath new life into the show.
TheWho Wants to be a Millionaire Megaways slot takes all the best bits of the show and throws them in there. You actually get asked questions and have lifelines to help you through them when you trigger that bonus. The slot might not look as good as the likes of Vikings and Narcos but as far as game play goes there is little out there to compete with this once you get into those Free Spins.
When American Dad was first released it came in for some pretty heavy criticism. The format was too similar to Family Guy. You had your family with your outlandish Dad and the unorthodox kids. Like Family Guy you had a pet that could speak, a son who wasn’t particularly cool and a daughter who didn’t comply with social norms.
However, the fact that American Dad is still being made today tells you that there is an audience out there for it. Week in, week out Seth Rogan has found the missing pieces of the American Dad identity that have allowed it to flourish as its own TV show.
Comparisons will always be drawn between the two but many would argue that American Dad is better than Family Guy. It would appear that this is the series where Rogan gets to experiment the most. With American Dad he is more likely to break with the shows conventions and have standalone episodes in completely different settings. It is also a more socially provocative show than Family Guy. I don’t mean that it is more shocking, but I do feel that it has more interesting things to say about politics in America and the role of the female characters in American Dad is much more important than the ones you find in Family Guy.
You could also argue that American Dad has better storytelling, that narrative is more important that laughs. Within those stories there is more chance for an element of morality to creep in and as such the characters can become more likeable and more relatable than they are in Family Guy.
With the American Dad slot you get 5 different bonus features. All of them have been assigned to the characters in the show which is exactly the sort of thematic recognition that we are looking for from all the slots on this list. It looks as good as the show does and all of your favourite characters will make an appearance at some point.
I have never seen Love Island but I think I understand the premise. A group of well-groomed 20 somethings enter a luxury holiday resort, live there rent free for the whole summer and eventually 2 become a couple?
I appreciate my understanding of the show is likely to be deeply flawed but I do accept that it is hugely popular that many invest themselves in for weeks at time.
What I think we can all take from Love Island is that the nature of reality, fly-on-the-wall, TV has changed since Big Brother was conceived back at the start of the 20th century. Now anyone entering that resort is well aware of the cameras and the impact that their actions will have on the viewers. A pretence can be established almost indefinitely, with participants becoming whoever it is that will gain them the Instagram followers that they’ll need when they leave the resort to become famous for being famous.
Back in the day producers and participants of shows like Big Brother had no idea what was waiting for them outside of the house. Social Media hadn’t taken off yet and how to market fame for fame’s sake was something that only a select set of celebrity dossers had managed to achieve.
The Love Island slot gives you a little dip of the toe into what the show has to offer. I like that fact that it comes with choice. You get to choose which of the islanders you want to be and you get choose who you want them to go on a date with. I like how the features trigger, by landing each of your chosen couple within the Hot Zone, it feels to me like a good attempt at linking back to the show’s main concept.
There are lots of slots out there that are based on TV shows but what I have tried to do here is bring together a collection of them that all have features matching the show’s central themes. Each slot on this list has some of the imagination that the shows themselves have and come from a fairly wide-ranging selection of programme types.
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