Sunday, November 11, 2007
Ironically enough, what could have been one of the better (or at least more adventurous) TV shows of the year, Viva Laughlin, was among the downright worst. CBS's attempt at innovation was just that, a feeble attempt, a warmed over, watered down Americanized version of BBC’s Viva, Blackpool, a family drama juiced up with a murder mystery subplot and semi-musical set in Laughlin, Nevada. Even having Hugh Jackman serve as executive producer and reoccurring character didn’t lift this out it’s creative sandpit. The show looked forced, felt used, and rolled out meekly. Leading man Lloyd Owen had all the charisma of a used car salesman clicking his teeth together on some dusty Nevada car lot, and it was he who had to do the bulk of the show’s strange and strangled karaoke-like singing and dancing. (Can anyone tell me what at least four new shows-This one, Journeyman, Life, and Bionic Women, have Brits masquerading as Americans? What hath Hugh Laurie wrought?) The show also featured a potential camp-classic-in-waiting with Melanie Griffith pursing her worked-on lips and scrunching up her plasticized features in attempt to go full tilt sexy as a rich guy’s widow, but alas, it’s been canceled after a mere two episodes. D.O.A. and gone, baby, gone.