Skip Nav

Pilot Watch: "Viva Laughlin"

Pilot Watch: "Viva Laughlin"

The networks have announced their fall schedules, but which of the series will actually be worth watching? Throughout the summer, as I watch the pilots, I'll be posting my first impressions. A lot can change before a show makes it to air, so these aren't comprehensive reviews, just quick thoughts on how the shows look now. Today's installment: "Viva Laughlin," a musical drama — yes, you read that right — from CBS.

What's it about? A Nevada casino owner battles rivals and tries to support his family, all while spontaneously breaking into song.

Who's in it? Lloyd Owen, Madchen Amick, DB Woodside, Eric Winter, Melanie Griffith, Hugh Jackman (guest star)

The good: The show is based on the British series "Viva Blackpool," and while I've never seen it, I've heard mostly positive things about it — so the concept, at least, is a good one. Jackman has a nice touch with the bizarre singing bits, even though his screen time is limited.

The bad: This show is seriously confused. Is it a campy, fun musical, or is it a murder mystery? The song-and-dance numbers seem half-hearted and poorly placed, but the parts of the show that aren't set to music are even worse. Owen plays off Jackman just fine, but he doesn't command attention on his own — and that's bad, because it's not known how much Jackman will actually be on the show going forward.

Will I watch? I really, really wanted to, but in the end, this isn't even "so bad it's good." It's just "eh." And I'm not sure there's room for "eh" on my schedule this fall.

To watch a couple of preview clips and see a gallery of photos, read more

Photos courtesy of CBS


Download our new Selfie app!