I love the Elvis song Viva Las Vegas in this show. I just remembered that this show will feature musical numbers. This is not my style. From the initial reports on the ratings, I read that they dropped off during the last 30 minutes of this show. No surprise, since there are more musical numbers as time wore on.
I’m not really a fan of musicals so this will be the only episode of Viva Laughlin that I will watch. Top that with very dry acting from Hugh Jackman and a few other actors… This is a recipe for disaster. I don’t understand how studio execs can think such a show will work with the American public.
Viva Laughlin is an American television musical-dramedy adapted by Bob Lowry and Peter Bowker (creator of the original series) from the popular BBC British serial, Blackpool. They also serve as executive producers alongside Hugh Jackman, John Palermo, Paul Telegdy and Gabriele Muccino. The latter also directed the pilot.
Produced by BBC Worldwide, CBS Paramount Network Television, Sony Pictures Television and Seed Productions, the series was greenlit and given a thirteen-episode order on May 14, 2007.  Excerpts from the series were aired in subsequent previews throughout the CBS telecast of the 61st Annual Tony Awards on June 10, 2007. CBS aired a preview of the pilot on October 18, 2007 following an episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation before broadcasting its official season premiere on October 21, 2007 in its regular timeslot on Sunday nights at 8:00/7:00c, following 60 Minutes. It is filmed on location in part at the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa in Cabazon, Ca. for most of the inside casino shots.
I honestly disliked this show a lot. I won’t be watching another minute of it. It was pretty bad. The acting mixed with the musical numbers wasn’t that hot either. I don’t like musicals and I don’t like Viva Laughlin. I mean, I’ve enjoyed watching Chicago but there are limits to my tolerance really.
Warning: Spoilers ahead.
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Our story starts with a casino developer talking with his family. He bought a new car for his son’s birthday. It’s a red Corvette convertible.
Holden goes to work to see his casino in progress. Buddy an investor wants out of Ripley Holden’s casino.
He meets his daughter’s boyfriend. He is 42. His daughter is 18. He isn’t happy.
His accountant Jonesy thinks about Nicky Fontana, who is operating a rival casino. Jonesy thinks that it will hedge his profits and their risk.
Nicky Fontana is played by Hugh Jackman. I can’t decide if his acting is just poor in this role or bad. Maybe a bit of both. The lip-syncing in this show sucks. I’m pretty sure that the original BBC show Blackpool was a lot better. American versions of British shows tend to be poorer watered down versions.
What’s the rationale behind these musical numbers?
Dialogue between Ripley and Nicky.
Fontana is aware of Ripley’s cash flow problems. He isn’t about to give Nicky a stake in his casino. Nicky orchestrated the whole Buddy affair by working on his wife Bunny.
Ripley has a talk with his daughter’s new boyfriend. He punches him after he says that his daughter is chasing him. Holden pays a visit to Bunny. Bunny is out to screw him. Bunny wants to have an affair with him. He says he can’t.
Holden’s wife was looking for him. A cop questions her anonymously, but he just looks sleazy. He makes up for it by talking to her again in the grocery store.
Buddy is found murdered in Holden’s casino. They question Holden. His daughter Cheyenne tells him that Steve dumped her. Jack wants to help out at the casino, but his dad dismisses him. Later his son comes by with money that he got from his selling his car.
Holden takes the 50K and the 200K from the cage to place a bet on Fontana’s roulette. He wins twice. It’s enough money to bail him out for now.