Vegas: New CBS Drama; Is It Worth Watching?

CBS TV show Vegas worth watching?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?

Canceled and renewed TV show

52 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. says

    CBS you have a HIT on the Vegas Series my wife and I watch it every time it is on, just like we did another hit you had Dallas and you know what a hit that series turned out to be. So PLEASE DUE NOT CANCEL ‘VEGAS’. Another hit we like is Bluebloods on Fridays. So that being said as long as Basketball or Obama do not preempt it you have viewers of BOTH SHOWS. I’m sure their is more POSITIVE VIEW POINTS than NECATIVE ONES ON THESE HIT SHOWS.

  2. Ginny says

    My husband and I love Vegas. We did NOT like Golden Boy, and will not watch it. We dislike reality shows, and am getting tired of the American Idol type shows. Soon we won’t watch TV at all!

  3. M A Kagle says

    My husband and I watch Vegas every week and we so disappointed when we sat down to watch it and it was not on. We grew up in the 50’s and enjoyed the down to earth show. So please bring it back. Please

  4. Ed says

    We really enjoy the show. What happened Did the show cancel or are they shooting more episodes? We hope so! It seems every time lately, we enjoy a show, it is canceled, maybe we’re too old to give opinions but we hope that the show continues! Thanks!

  5. Anonymous says

    Don’t shoot the horse until it eats its breakfast at least, I like the show no one is perfect and giving the actors in this show character development takes time. That’s why they call it development. Don’t be so short sided that you don’t give it a chance America . Like 3D is so great, it takes out story and character development it show you a floating donuts. Don’t be the do-nut and use some thought beyond flashy special effects and let this story grow and with its growth you will find that characters will get the depth that they develop over time like a child grows so should the show go on……

  6. KRS says

    We were looking forward to this but if the first episode is a sign of what is to come it is bad. Talk about silly. Quaid will never make a western Gibbs. His character comes of flat. You could take all the NCIS characters and fill the spots on Vegas and get a decent movie but the characters on this show are truly blah. Why do so many shows have to be half comedy and half serious? The only one that pulled that off was “A Gifted Man” and that was pulled of course. Vegas is a waste of time certainly not worth staying up until nine for.

  7. says

    Well I have been waiting for Vegas because I really enjoy mob movies, now I have seen all the great Mob movies in fact I have quite a collection, including all of the Soprano’s series.

    Now when you have a Vegas type of mob movie you really need to have several real Italians as the bad guys, I think Tony Spilatro would turn over in his grave when he seen this gem. Quaid is good but shouldn’t be fighting the Mob not his cup of tea.

    He’s not mean enough Quaid needs to be in what he does best, and this isn’t it. I will give it one more shot but I was really not happy with it at all.

  8. Kern says

    Vegas has great potential, very good cast and the premise is interesting , wise guys meet Wyatt Earp in a boom town . There is enough story lines here for years,I got the impression that the crime procedural stories were going to be background for the much more interesting stories concerning early Las Vegas and its evolution during the sixties, Mad Men goes to Vegas. The set design was a little sparse however, not the attention to detail that makes Mad Men so compelling.
    The series needs to be more LA Confidential and less Walker Texas Ranger.

  9. says

    Almost everything I read about the new Vegas series says it’s being played out in 1960 Las Vegas. If this is so, why did I see a 1963 Pontiac in one scene? Thought we wouldn’t catch that, did you? Apart from that goof, everything else seemed pretty good. I’ll watch it again before making a final judgement.

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