Sunday, October 7, 2012

Viva Las Vegas

CBS Television
Tuesday Nights; 10 PM
With Dennis Quaid, Michael Chiklis
Five Scoops of Bosco

Reviewed by Allen Bacon, The Daily Bosco

I was trying to figure out why I like this new television crime drama Vegas so much.

Then I took an inventory of my favorite television shows of all time.  On my very short list was Gunsmoke, Mad Men, CSI (The original), and Sopranos.

Then I realized that this show has elements of all the aforementioned shows.

Think about it.

Vegas is like Gunsmoke because you have a Matt Dillon-type character who is sheriff in the wild west.  Ok, it's Las Vegas in 1960 and lead Dennis Quaid skews his sheriff more like Clint Eastwood in an old Spaghetti Western.

In other words, he doesn't say much and likes to unload his rifle whenever he can.

I submit into evidence a scene out of the Pilot.  Quaid gets his deputies to round up a bad guy who is driving a great looking 1960 Chevrolet Impala and the dude ends up playing chicken with Quaid who stands in the middle of the road with his rifle.  After shooting out his tires, causing the cool car to skid to a stop before hitting Quaid, the sheriff grabs the bad guy through the open window and says very Eastwood-like "You about Done?"

Also, as Matt Dillon, the character played by Dennis Quaid is based on the actual sheriff of Clark County in the early 1960's

Vegas is like Mad Men in the sense it takes place in the early 1960's.  But, this show, unlike Pan Am and Playboy Club, other period pieces based in the 1960's with very elaborate sets will probably succeed because the sets, while detailed and faithful to the time period, will not be hard to sustain from a budget standpoint.

Plus there are a lot of exterior shots going on.  There is probably not a big budget needed to shoot in the desert around Las Vegas.  That's because, the desert still looks pretty much the same as it did in 1960.  Also, you can shoot in the desert by Barstow and it looks like Vegas area desert too.

Vegas is like the original CSI because it's a crime drama and is based in Las Vegas, the most interesting city in America.  Oh, the stories that city could tell.  And what is more cooler than 60's Vegas?  The Rat Pack, Anne Margaret...Forget about it!

I was thinking, recently as I walked through the Casino at Pechanga in California how much it reminded me of the Las Vegas Casinos of the 60's.  A Cigarette haze filled the air (because it is on a Native American reservation where regular California laws do not apply) while everybody was gaming.  I thought it would be cool to do a show based in 60's Vegas and here it is.

And last but not least Vegas is like Sopranos because it is about the mob and it doesn't get any cooler than that.

And Michael Chiklis (The Commish) is perfect for his role as the mob boss coming to Vegas from Chicago.

There are so many plots and sub plots that can and will happen because of this interesting dynamic.

I'm looking forward to each episode to see how it plays out.

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