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TV Review: VEGAS - Episode 1.1 on CBS Starring Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis

Friday, 28 September 2012

I have to say that out of all the new “Pilot” TV shows coming out of America this Fall, Vegas starring Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis is probably the one which I was least looking forward too, don’t ask me why, I don’t really know. Guess I just thought it was going to be some sort of old town “western” Nevada type thing. I stand here corrected now, as I couldn’t have been more wrong, I was toying with they idea of leaving on Person of Interest (a repeat) but found the effort to reach for my Blu-ray player to check this out and I’m pleased I did because this is actually one of the better Pilots I have seen in a while and it really set Vegas up to look as if it’s going to be a really good show.

Vegas is set back in the 1960’s way before Las Vegas was set up as it is now, it was a simpler time when there were a few casino’s in the area, and most of the land was taken up by ranchers. However, the 60’s was also the time when everyone including the police and town governors were on the take, with the Mob moving in on Vegas to take advantage of the various gambling laws officials decided to look the other way with even the local Sheriff being corrupt. Things quickly go wrong for the small town during this Pilot though and the governors daughter turns up dead and the Sheriff is missing in action, step in Ralph Lamb (Dennis Quaid) a local ranch owner and former military cop who is hard as nails, Lamb really does not care to much for the new Vegas residents and within the first five minutes of the Pilot he is already beating several air traffic controllers to a pulp for letting planes give fright to his heard. With the Sheriff MIA Lamb is asked to take lead on the investigation by the mayor who for his own gains needs the crime solved.

We are introduced now to plenty of characters, joining Lamb on the hunt for the murderer is his brother Jack (Terra Nova’s Jason O’Mara) and son Cale (Billy Lush), their investigation is backed of course by the mayor Anthony “Red” Carvelli (James Russo) and Vegas’ Assistant District Attorney Katherine O’Connell (Carrie-Ann Moss). Their investigation of course does not go without its snags as new Mob boss Vincent Savino (Michael Chiklis) has recently rolled into town, the pair meet on mutual grounds to start with, but it quickly becomes apparent that Savino is not in favour of the local Sheriff snooping around unescorted in his plush Savoy Casino.

It's quite amusing that Ralph Lamb who is made Sheriff by the end of this Pilot has been brought on board to help run a more strict law enforcement operation, whilst at the same time Mob boss Savino has been sent to Vegas to straighten out and “clean up” a few unorthodox mob activities, it would seem that Savino to this point will never be directly involved in anything, and on the face of it although Lamb will and does know Savino is corrupt he will have nothing to go on, think Robert De Niro Goodfellas.

I was worried about my enjoyment of the show like I mentioned above, mainly because of the 60’s setting, I have to say that I thought Vegas actually felt at times very current, maybe even more so than Revolution does in it’s Pilot, there was nothing unbelievable about what was being portrayed, yes, a couple of the fight scenes had you laughing and came as a bit over the top, especially as Lamb chased a Hells Angel motorcycle club member on his horse only to catch him and close line him off the bike, funny, and adds to the enjoyment, kind of reminded me of Arnold Schwarzenegger in True Lies “Hurry up, my horse is getting tired”. The added thump of those punches also adds to the persona of Ralph Lamb being a hard ass.

The Pilot centred on the murder investigation, but succeeded in setting up what should be an interesting battle between Sheriff Lamb and Mob boss Vincent Savino, I would hope that each episode does not involve some sort of police procedural and they concentrate more on the battle between the police and the Mob. Following the Pilot Alcatraz’s Sarah Jones was added to the cast to play a mobsters daughter, so an interesting twist could come in there with Lamb’s free living son Cale and her. I really think Vegas looks ok, I’m wouldn’t say I’m totally sold but I enjoyed this Pilot and hopefully it will be built upon in the second episode “All That Glitters”. How about you? What did you think of Vegas? Your comments and discussion are welcome below as always.
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