I don’t usually write about current TV shows but there is one that caught my interest when I first read about it, because its subject matter looked perfect for nostalgia-loving geezers — the Las Vegas of fifty years ago. After watching a few episodes, I’m happy to report that it’s very well done, with clever storylines, snappy dialogue, and a lot of deep, fully-drawn characters.
If I had a criticism of the show, it would be that I wish it would incorporate more of the music from the era. After all, Vegas has a long history of hosting some of the best and biggest musical acts around. But in all fairness, the show does occasionally weave some music-related themes into things. In one episode, the second lead — a rancher turned deputy sheriff — gives his sophisticated casino girlfriend a record album filled with honky-tonk music. (And her mobster father throws it in the trash.)
For a while there was also a sub-plot involving a ‘famous’ female torch singer who was mixed up with the gangsters, and we get to see and hear her perform. But I keep hoping an actor pretending to be Sinatra or Dean Martin will make an appearance. Of course, the writers might think that would be too predictable, or they might think that portraying a real person would open them up to liability.
The TV show is a little reminiscent of the original Oceans Eleven movie, which was filmed in 1960 and portrayed Sinatra, Dino, and the guys in Vegas. But ironically, that film didn’t have a lot of music in it either. The nominal theme song was the strange “EEE-O Eleven” performed by Sammy Davis, Jr., and there was also a night club scene with Dino singing “Ain’t That A Kick In The Head,” but that was about it. Maybe the TV show isn’t doing so badly after all.