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?
What is the appropriate libation to imbibe while taking in this program?
Vegas debuts Tuesday, September 25 at 10pm on CBS.