Viva Laughlin

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

The next day, Ripley and Jonesy are heatedly discussing ways to raise the money to finish the casino. He says expositionally that some "yahoo" in Salt Lake City was "scammed" into buying his convenience stores. Why isn't that enough? Jonesy lists the different projects that still need to be finished, including mounting the marquee. Dialect coach to the Viva Laughlin set! I think Jonesy just said "core-peting" instead of "carpeting." It may sound minor, but have you ever heard "core-peting" before? It's chilling. Ripley suggests setting the marquee on fire and collecting the insurance, which Jonesy pooh-poohs. However, he offers a legal way of getting the million dollars they need: Nicky Fontana. Ripley hates him. "Then you won't mind hurting him," replies Jonesy. Okay, stick with me, a logic clusterfuck is approaching. You see, by helping Ripley, Nicky will ultimately be hurting himself, because Ripley's casino is "gonna be huge." Hmm, I guess some guy who has a million dollars to throw around wouldn't have the business acumen to look at, I don't know, TWO angles of a potential deal. Ripley is amazed and says that inside Jonesy's alcohol-pickled head is the brain of a Nobel Prize winner. Did Jonesy eat one?

"Sympathy For the Devil" by the Rolling Stones is playing as Ripley and Jonesy drive by Nicky Fontana's casino, which smartly uses Hugh Jackman's face as advertising on its marquee. On top of the casino, a helicopter lands. Hugh Jackman, as Nicky Fontana, gets out and starts lip-synching to the song. I guess he's the devil. He walks through his casino surrounded by choreographed showgirls and kind of snaps and ta-das with his arms in an oddly non-rhythmic way. I'm going to take this moment to say that I saw Hugh Jackman's performance in The Boy From Oz and he was seriously brilliant. One of the top five performances I've witnessed. The material wasn't even that great, but with the shear force of his charisma, he CARRIED that show. It was really great. With that in mind -- fine, you've got this concept where people sing songs from the pop-rock canon which are somehow metaphors for their own feelings and experiences, but what is actually happening is you are having people lip synch to songs that we all know. There are so many problems with that, not the least of which is that the producers seem embarrassed by their own concept. It's like they've just put songs at the beginning of acts like you would have in any episode of Grey's Anatomy, but people are kinda singing along to these songs. Like, maybe we won't notice that they're singing. Frankly, I'd much rather see Sandra Oh singing along to Tegan and Sara anyway.

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Viva Laughlin




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