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Not every US TV import is ‘The Wire’. In fact, not every US TV import is even ‘Pan Am’ or ‘CSI: Miami’. Take ‘Vegas’, for example. This new CBS drama serial feels like a throwback to a dumber, more predictable era of telly, when robbers wore stripey tops and every punch was a knockout blow. On the face of it, it’s not unpromising. Michael Chiklis is the gangster looking to move in on Sin City; Dennis Quaid is the cowboy-turned-lawman trying to stop him.
Potential for a clash between urban and rural, modern and traditional, fedora and stetson? Probably, but this just feels like a leaden procedural with a case a week (we suspect a murdered girl will become standard). Quaid’s Sheriff Ralph Lamb has a dozy son – essentially Dougal to his Father Ted – who exists purely for expositionary purposes; to point out to slow-witted viewers that yes, that means the bikers didn’t do it. And the dialogue manages the neat trick of being simultaneously overblown and flatter than Norfolk. Not good.