Viva Laughlin
Pilot

Episode Report Card
Jeff Long: D | Grade It Now!
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Drop The Pilot

We open in a swimming pool. We're in Laughlin, Nevada, which is 129 miles south of Las Vegas. A fit guy dives into the pool and immediately makes his way to the stairs, which takes him all of seven seconds. Pretty quick morning constitutional for a guy with a bod like his. Elvis Presley's "Viva Las Vegas" is playing in the background. The fit guy's house is beautiful.

Inside, the song's still playing, and the guy chooses his outfit from a closet full of suits. With a self-satisfied grin, the guy sings to himself as he dresses in the mirror. In a really low register. I've heard about this show. There's supposed to be singing, right? Hopefully, he's just warming up. I enjoy a nice basso profundo as much as the next person, but I'm pretty sure this guy is the lead and I was expecting more of a lyric baritone. I think I'm kidding.

Anyway, the guy heads downstairs dressed and with some car keys and rolled-up papers. He's strides, nay gallops, into the kitchen, where his all-American family awaits. It's one of those clich├ęd rush-y morning family "Gotta go, Mom!" scenes. Elvis is still playing. The blonde teenaged daughter is on the phone and the dark and shaggy teenaged son is staring at his laptop. He wishes his son a happy birthday and the kid reminds him that his birthday was two weeks earlier. "Tick tock, tick tock. All things come to he who waits." How tantalizing, Father! This guy is not American. He sounds British or Australian. He unrolls the paper he was holding to reveal an ad that's going to be in Casino Journal. It's his head superimposed over his casino, and it's next to another ad with Hugh Jackman's head on another casino. My experience placing ads in magazines is limited -- as in, I don't have any -- but do they really provide other people's ads on glossy paper for you? Or was that just a really dull way for us to see Hugh Jackman's face in the first two minutes of this show, and to let us know that he and not-from-America guy are rivals? The insanely pretty Madchen Amick is playing the wife, and points out that his casino looks nothing like what's in the picture. He says it will once it has carpet and other essentials, but he's just joking. He reminds Madchen that he's a rags-to-riches story and Jack, his son, could be successful too. Even though he's a C student. He sounds like he's having a manic phase.

He says, "Let me show you what believing can achieve." Then he tells the girl, Cheyenne, to get off the phone. She says she's talking to a friend. Madchen says, "More than just a friend from that sound in your voice." This is stupid. Papa asks, "Is this one human or is he like all the others?" Hating this. Yeah. So, I'm already having a lot of problems with this load of crap. This dude has ripped a page from the "Flawed Hero Go-Getter Sociopath Traveling Salesman Acting Archetype Handbook" and he's on autopilot. He's locked into his "rhythm" and, human connections be damned, he's gonna go with it.

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Viva Laughlin

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