Thursday, October 4, 2012

New CBS 1960 Era Show "Vegas" Serves City's History Well

"Vegas" photo by Kristine Jane

You may have heard the legend about the Sheriff who squared off with the mob and kept order in the Wild West in Las Vegas. No? That's okay. You can pick up a TV telling of tales from the new show "Vegas" airing Tuesdays on Vegas Channel 8, 10/9c, or the next day via your computer on CBS.com. I've seen the pilot which was filmed in New Mexico, though the show's perma-set recreation of Fremont Street 1960 is located in Santa Clarita, California (the Valley). Due to the commitment to representing Old Vegas back in the day, filming in Vegas now just wouldn't work. It's too changed since 1960. There has been many a fascinating shows set in the city we love such as Vega$, The Defenders, C.S.I. Vegas. None have sought to tell the story of mob vs. law set in the historic surrounding that made this place famous around the world (glitzy gaming, shows, resorts, drinking).

Vintage buffs will revel in the detail added to each scene to create the feel of the Heyday of Vegas. Why, I already saw a flurry of pink flamingo feather-wearing Vegas Showgirls twice in the pilot, glory be. Sets are based upon photos of the time period, including the 1960 version of Club Savoy (previously 116 E. Fremont St.), and the facade of the Fremont Street's Glitter Gulch (the area's nickname before its current use as a strip club name). 

The power-packed cast leaves very little to be desired, including Dennis Quaid -the Dennis Quaid- as Sherrif Ralph Lamb, Michael Chilkis as his nemisis Vincent Savino, Carrie Anne Moss (Matrix, Momento) as Assistant D.A. Katherin O'Connell,  Jason O'Mara as Lamb's Brother Jack, and Taylor Handley as Lamb's Son: Dixon. I'd watch this show for Dennis Quaid and Carrie Anne Moss alone, but I also get the bonus of James Russo apparently for four episodes (IMDB.COM). And there have been many consultations between Quaid and Lamb according to CBS. There is a real effort to make this show based on true events.

The sounds, appearances  decor, and gaming references make this a really fun show to watch. Normally I shy away from television, preferring the programming I watch be more on-demand. I was pretty intrigued about how this would turn out so I watch part of it with a friend on CBS for its re-airing of the pilot, then ended up re-watching the show online. I noticed large chunks of show missing, cut off, during the online version, hacked into by commercials. Hopefully, this will be resolved and CBS will realize that lots of busy people don't sit down to watch the show the night it airs. Some people may even want to watch two episodes back-to-back on their day off. In fact, I'm going to watch the second episode online right now.

"Vegas" airs Tuesdays 8/9c, CBS (Vegas Ch. 8) or via http://www.cbs.com/shows/vegas.

Related Link:
LVRJ Article and interview with the real Sheriff Lamb
http://www.lvrj.com/news/-vegas-series-based-on-former-sheriff-debuts-tonight-171077521.html

Article by Frankie Tease, photo by Kristine Jane