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Handicapping VEGAS – The Complex Takes Bets On CBS’ 1960′s Sin City Drama
If your name is Michael Chiklis, you may not want to read this.
I’ve taken a liking to dropping giant, elephantine shits on upcoming network television premieres, particularly the high-gloss product. I love doing it, because so much of the upper-echelon drama series fall into the Complex Realm of spent shell casings, nitrate tests, clipped dialogue, and squinty glares, and I’m kind of protective of all that stuff?
Also, since I was kid growing up in the Reagan ’80s, the networks have been trough-feeding the American public a steady diet of gray slop, with only the slightly higher-grade product pumped into American movie theaters to compete with them. Kids today don’t know how dubious it is to admit that you watched The A-Team when you were a kid. I know, it’s all fun and retro to think back to The A-Team. Murdock. B.A. The opening credits and the muffled, brassy theme song. Here’s the thing, though. The fuckin’ A-Team sucked. It was a canned, standards-and-practices-restrained, milquetoast exploitation of the Rambo craze, made strictly for kids whose parents were too straight-laced to take them out to see Rambo. And so was pretty much everything else from those days. Well, not the Rambo part, but you get what I mean.
Twenty-five, thirty years later the colors are brighter, the picture sharper, the casts more diverse, and the content a carefully calibrated measure more risque. And, uh, yeah, that’s about it.
The difference is, now you can flip over to FX or AMC or HBO or Syfy or even the fucking History Channel and see some of the freshest, most ground-breaking television ever made, while the networks continue to scratch their heads and dump demographic statistics into their Univacs, hoping to come up with the Next Big Thing. The ironic thing is that a few years ago, during the Writer’s Strike, when the network logjammed their line-ups with reality television, they never realized that the Writers Guild had actually forced them to discover what it is that they are good at: Producing really trashy reality TV shows.
They should’ve just stuck with it. It’s a formula that they are ideally suited to. And when I say they’re good at it, I’m not being facetious. I watch America’s Got Talent. I watch American Ninja Warrior. I watch 60 Minutes. Spectacular, wild stuff.
But for some reason, the networks insist upon continuing to take their hacks on the scripted dramas, about three-quarters of which is crime-based. The latest to get a chance at the plate is the CBS drama entitled Vegas. It’s about Las Vegas. In the sixties. Take a gander:
You may go through a mix of emotions as you watch this clip. I’ll walk you through what I was feeling.
Awesome. Dennis Quaid is in this.
Awesome. This is about Vegas, in the sixties.
Aw, shit. Is that Michael Chiklis again?
Oh, I get it. This is kind of about that sheriff that got De Niro’s character by the balls in Casino, right? When that jerk-off gave up two jackpots on consecutive nights on the same machine and De Niro tried to fire him?
In fact, I think I just saw that very jerk-off.
Hey, that’s that chick from The Matrix. She still looks pale. She should eat something.
Dennis Quaid. Go on and figure that out.
Okay, so this is kind of cool. It’s like a certain aspect of Casino, but more in-depth. They’re really going to go into the chess game between the mob and the natives. I guess I could dig that.
Damn, I wish Michael Chiklis wasn’t in this.
Course, they won’t be able to swear on CBS like they did in Casino. Mobsters and deputies that don’t swear. That’ll be rich for about eight minutes. Maybe they’ll make a gimmick out of it like they did in The Chicago Code. Worked for them.
Jesus, how did Dennis Quaid get himself backed into network television? Did he get caught tweeting out pictures of his dick or something?
Did Michael Chiklis just say “It’s bad for business”? Does the novelty ever wear off mafiosos emphasizing that they consider what they do a business? I hope so. Kind of over them pointing it out all the time.
They probably won’t be able to baseball-bat fuckers to death with sickening, meaty thuds on CBS, either. Kinda blows.
When I see Michael Chiklis, the only thought that goes through my mind is, “Water heater’s down the stairs, first door on the left. Conked out two days ago. You want a bottle of Gatorade or anything?” and then I change the fucking channel.
Come to think of it, what the hell did Dennis Quaid ever do that was so terrific?
And then the thing stops. And now I’m just left annoyed and feeling a little guilty for thinking rude thoughts about Dennis Quaid.
Here’s the only thing that matters. It can’t be authentic. It can’t be Boss. It can’t be Breaking Bad, and that’s the other thing. I’ve still got a backlog of Breaking Bad to catch up on. And Mad Men. In fact, there’s so much good stuff on cable now that I haven’t even really started to watch The Walking Dead. You believe that?
And they expect me to remember this show on September 25th? They expect me to remember this show past the end of this post? What is it? Vegas?
Don’t bet on it.