It’s movie star Dennis Quaid’s first TV series — Vegas. Will this show bring blockbuster ratings to CBS or will it cancelled instead? Is it worth watching?
Vegas revolves around a longtime rancher Ralph Lamb (Quaid) who’s recruited to bring order to Las Vegas in the 1960s. This new job brings him face to face with Vincent Savino (Michael Chiklis), a ruthless Chicago gangster who has no intent of backing down. Co-stars include Jason O’Mara, Taylor Handley, and Carrie-Anne Moss.
Is Vegas worth your time? Here’s what some critics say:
Kansas City Star: “Tuesday’s episode could be a textbook example of how to make an effective pilot. It does what pilots have to do — tells us who’s who and sets the plot and tone of the story — but does so in a way that doesn’t feel like the writers were sitting there with a checklist. Whether you see the seams or not, though, what matters is that it all works, and we’ll keep watching, if only to see Quaid and Chiklis square off against each other week after week.
Chicago Sun-Times: “What Vegas lacks in the whodunit department it makes up for with the bigger narrative about a town up for grabs and the two men vying to get their hands on it. Quaid and Chiklis have the makings of formidable foes. Odds are good that their story — and the story of Vegas itself — will draw more viewers than crime solving in a cowboy hat.”
Salt Lake Tribune: “The first episode is good. Quaid and Chiklis are very good. CBS’ legions of crime-drama fans should approve, and it will be interesting to see how the lawman-vs-mobster storyline will play out. Vegas just might be around for a while.”
Boston: “Given the talent in front of and behind the camera — and the chemistry between Quaid and Chiklis and Quaid and Moss — this is a benefit-of-the-doubt situation. The debut isn’t disastrous by any means, it just doesn’t crackle… CBS didn’t bring in Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis to headline yet another cop show. Vegas needs to dream bigger, and here’s holding out hope that it will.”
Pittsburg Post Gazette: “If Vegas goes the Good Wife route and focuses on characters and politics, it could develop into a worthwhile series. But not many CBS shows get that kind of latitude in serialization. So Vegas may just be a risky gamble in premise that doesn’t take chances in storytelling.”
TIME: “Bottom line: while the pilot didn’t blow me away, there’s enough in its premise (the mob comes to Las Vegas in the early ’60s), its casting (Michael Chiklis as a gangster and Dennis Quaid as his sheriff adversary) and its seeming ambition that make me more interested in it than in most new shows this fall.”
NY Daily News: “Chiklis is terrific. Too often, though, Vegas plays like a comic book, without much depth to its characters. While we want Quaid on our side, his perpetual scowl doesn’t, at least at first, humanize him much. The eerily empty set also at times seems lifted from a graphic novel, muting the period impact. On the upside, it’s nice to see CBS gamble on a show where the longer story arc feels at least as important as the case-of-the-week procedural elements.”
Newsday: “I’m starting to think CBS could turn The Flying Nun into a crime procedural… CBS’ sustained level of series craftsmanship is certainly admirable — their dramas all look sharp and function smoothly. But that doesn’t go so far when even a sweeping period piece in a distinct locale with superior stars seems to roll off the same assembly line. Despite the desert vistas, Vegas feels disappointingly small.”
LA Times: “Not every moment works. A scene in which a motorcycle gang is corralled like cattle with police cars and pickup trucks plays as silly, and would be even if it actually happened. And the murder mystery that gets the story going is itself less than compelling — I was never moved to try to solve it on my own, nor did I ever really care who done it. But there is much else to see.”
NY Post: “The procedural on the premiere, which involves a murdered girl, is so by-the-book that they even find her notes detailing everything an investigator might need to know. The tension is gone before it begins. Chiklis chews scenery — in a good, very good way — and Quaid is terrific, but both deserve far better than what they’re given here. On the good side, so far there are no Rat Pack impersonators.”
What do you think? Have you seen the Vegas TV series on CBS? Will you watch it again? Would you recommend it to others?