Hey TV.com, Should I Watch Vegas?

By Tim Surette

Sep 24, 2012

During this busy week of season premieres, your time (and your DVR's time) is valuable and you can use all the help you can get. CBS was nice enough to compress a bunch of 1s and 0s in the shape of its new drama Vegas onto a CD-Rom and send us a copy so that we might impart our opinion of the show onto you. Should you tune in? Here's some advice that might help you decide.

What's Vegas about?

This is CBS taking on the (already over) trend of '60s period pieces in its own way: with cowboys! The hour-long drama boasts an impressive cast to tell the true-ish story of Ralph Lamb, a real-life cattle-rancher-turned-Vegas-sheriff who battled mobsters as they turned Vegas into a glitzy money machine for their cabals.

When does it premiere?

Vegas makes its series debut Tuesday, September 25 at 10pm on CBS.

Who created the show?

If you're good at something specific, there's nothing wrong with sticking to it. Nicholas Pileggi, the screenwriter behind mob hits Casino and Goodfellas, came up with the idea and co-wrote the pilot with Without a Trace executive producer Greg Walker. So expect this Vegas to look an awful lot like Casino's Vegas.

Who's the target audience?

This mix of period procedural and character study should appeal to the "comfort TV" crowd longing for a new American hero in the vein of icons from yesteryear. There's nothing too edgy here, so expect it to do well with CBS's older-skewing base demographic, but it provides just enough of an escape from the rest of CBS's lineup to bring in younger viewers.

Let's hear the pros!

There are lots of familiar faces in the cast! Dennis Quaid channels Harrison Ford as Mr. Lamb, a country boy thrust into law enforcement who's good with his fists. Michael Chiklis really looks the part of Chicago mobster Vincent Savino. Plus you'll see Carrie Ann Moss (The Matrix), Jason O'Mara (Terra Nova), and enough familiar TV journeymen to make you feel pretty comfortable. Even though Lamb is a pretty standard cowboy hero type, he's incredibly likeable—and Quaid is perfect for the role. The cast is supported by strong time-traveling sets, and an easy-to-understand premise. Nice twang in the score, too!

And the cons?

Because it appeals to such a broad audience (in a totally okay way) it doesn't stand out or do anything unexpected. Thrill-seekers will probably find the show boring, predictable, and stale, but they're not who it's for.

Make a decision for me! Should I watch!?

Honestly, this is about a 50/50 shot here. Like I said, it's entirely unoffensive, but it's not breaking new ground, either. It's comfort food for those with an hour to fill or viewers longing for shows that echo television from the good 'ole days. You won't hate it, but you're not guaranteed to love it.

Do you have a clip or a trailer I can take a look at?

You bet.

What is the appropriate libation to imbibe while taking in this program?

Whiskey, neat.

Vegas debuts Tuesday, September 25 at 10pm on CBS.

  • Comments (16)
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  • indy2011 Sep 27, 2012

    Just watched the show I am a fan of Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis.

    And to be honest I had a good night to be honest.

    No over rated gimmicks just a straight forward show.

    If this is going to be the normal (getting better with each episode) I am hooked.

    Looking forward to the next episode already (but that's just me).

  • soapieaddict23 Sep 25, 2012

    I guess this soundszzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • meathead704 Sep 25, 2012

    The trailers for the show (as well as the fact that I am a fan of both Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis) did the job in at least getting me interested enough to watch the pilot. The general consensus on the advance reviews I have read have basically said the show is good, not great. The best thing to do is to see for myself which I will do. See you there!

  • DavidJackson8 Sep 25, 2012

    My personal history with period TV series aren't particularly good, and I have my doubts about this kind of show working on network television... but I feel like I have to give this one a shot. The main reason is the cast; the second reason is the premise sounds like it could be entertaining.

  • shocker713 Sep 25, 2012

    But where are Dan, Bea, and Binzer?

  • MichaelBomer Sep 25, 2012

    This show seems like it would be awesome on a channel like FX or HBO/Showtime.. but CBS? I just don't seem them brining the necessary edge and grit that would be required to make this show special and true to its premise. I'll tune in and give it a chance anyway but.. my expectations are tame. I'm strictly tuning in right now for the prospect of more Michael Chiklis.

  • Swinglabacase Sep 25, 2012

    10 p.m.? Chiklis? Quaid?

    Casino and Goodfellas were definitely not boring.

    I don't think the show will be either...

  • Mate Sep 25, 2012

    This doesn't sound promising. Jason O'mara should have a clause in his contract that states he gets to slap around the writers for making shows that he is in too broad and trying to appeal to everyone. This would be a perfect show to go dark. It would also be great for CBS to go away from safe. Michael freaking Chiklis can go as dark as a writer wants. Why waste him on something like this. It is the founding of Sin City, it should be dark.

    This also doesn't bode well for Elementary, if CBS refuses to explore the dark side and just makes safe and appealing shows for everyone. Then they are just going to be bland. Granted they will have good ratings. CBS shows consistently do. But come on, you can be daring for a season.

  • indy2011 Sep 25, 2012

    We won't hate it but we won't love it ?

    Yet we are suppose to put up with reality shows about "who know what" and other mind warping crap when all we need (well I need) is a show that will not rot my brain a show that has a story and the cast is of a love and hate (where as you cheer for the good guy or the bad guy). So I will give it a chance and see what I think cause after all the only thing left would be the likes of The Voice, Real housewives of New York (these two alone would make me shot myself).

  • Muderboy Sep 25, 2012

    Reality shows are actually considered for emmys and some win while we lose. In fact the best thing on TV is a reality show. It's called the NFL. In the meantime we all need our entertainment. I like mine in the form of good TV. Thankfully there is still good TV. This looks watchable...

  • lsbloom Sep 25, 2012

    I'm not sure this season is the NFLs strongest!

  • efonsecajr Sep 25, 2012

    whiskey, dirty.

  • lsbloom Sep 25, 2012

    yuck! that sounds awful (or was that your point?)

  • efonsecajr Sep 25, 2012

    you must be under 21.

  • lsbloom Sep 25, 2012

    Ha, I wish. I like whiskey, I don't like the idea of olive juice in it.

  • patsully Sep 25, 2012

    Yeah he's clearly thinking of a martini?