I wanted to like Viva Laughlin. I really did. I had heard great things about its forefather, the BBC's Viva Blackpool, and I wasn't about to say no to anything that had Hugh Jackman spontaneously breaking into song. So the idea of cops and corrupt casino owners occasionally singing instead of talking sounded a little weird (or a little Cop Rock). So what? I thought this would be a risk sure to pay off for CBS.
And then I saw the first episode.
There are a couple of great minutes in the episode, which airs tonight after CSI (the series will air another new episode this week in the show's regular Sunday night time slot). They're the ones when Jackman is singing. Everything else varies from thoroughly "meh" (the majority of the plot) to kind of painful (the majority of the scenes with Melanie Griffith). One critic even went so far as to compare it to Showgirls — though I still think Showgirls is way funnier.
I'm glad CBS is trying to break out of its victim-of-the-week procedural box this year; I just wish this show could have been more fun. Are you game for giving it a shot? I'll still check out Sunday's episode, just in case. You can check out a couple of preview clips for tonight's episode if you read more