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Hercules Bets Hugh Jackman’s VIVA LAUGHLIN Is The Worst New Show Of The Year!!

I am – Hercules!!
A musical mystery about an aspiring Nevada casino owner from “Huff” creator Bob Lowry (adapting the acclaimed British series “Viva Blackpool”), “Viva Laughlin” exceeds even “Big Shots,” “K-Ville,” “Private Practice,” “Cane,” “Moonlight” and “Carpoolers” in terms of awful. It is easily the worst new show of autumn and I am consumed with embarrassment for all involved. The drama, what there is of it, cliché-ridden. The mystery is laughably predictable. The musical numbers are banal and limp, karaoke scuttling about dolly track and steadicams. The lead character is unpleasant and personality-challenged. (As required by some strange law for new shows this season, it stars a Britisher -- Lloyd Owen in this case -- playing an American.) It’s hard to believe this pilot would ever have made it to series had Hugh Jackman not been involved. The offer of a TV show overseen and starring (in a recurring role) a bona fide movie star must have proven too juicy to turn down. Entertainment Weekly says:
… reminiscent of the early '90s series Cop Rock. And just as awesomely bad. …
USA Today says:
… If Elvis isn't already dead, Viva Laughlin just might kill him. The King, of course, survived more than his share of bad musicals, but none so horrid as this totally botched expansion of the British miniseries Viva Blackpool. …
The New York Times says:
… “Viva Laughlin” on CBS may well be the worst new show of the season, but is it the worst show in the history of television? It certainly comes close …
The Los Angeles Times says:
… No one involved seems to be able to get a grip on the material, to have vetted the script for sense, or to have studied how to shoot a musical number. … You can't blame the creative team for what the publicity department writes, but these are words used in a CBS press release to describe Ripley's character: "eternal optimist," "freewheeling," "fearless and tenacious," "outgoing and passionate" "infectious personality," "dry wit." But Owen's Ripley is none of these. He is hard to credit as either a hero, anti-hero, husband, father, businessman or even a man with a dream. Instead, Owen -- a British actor who seems to have modeled his American accent on Billy Crystal's -- comes off as merely brash, annoying and self-righteous.
The Chicago Tribune says:
… At least "Showgirls" has had some lasting value, in that fans of camp derive pleasure from mocking it. In that spirit, you should tune into "Viva Laughlin" knowing that the only fun to be had is laughing at its most painful lines. Lord knows there are enough of them. I felt sorry for the actors in this dreadful show. …
The Washington Post says:
… mawkish mush with a thump-and-bump beat -- a rinky-tinky hybrid of "Dallas," "Dynasty" and "Bye Bye Birdie." And, oh yes, "American Idol." There's a temptation to compare the show to Steven Bochco's colosso-fiasco "Cop Rock," but at least "Cop Rock," the musical crime show, had an original score. The geniuses behind "Laughlin," which is based on the British series "Blackpool," just interpolate numbers from other sources. … omething that keeps you guessing as it clunks along, asking the musical question: "What will they try next?" Unfortunately it toys with other questions -- chief among them the rhetorical refrain, "How corny can you get?" Few seem likely to stay tuned for the answer.
The San Francisco Chronicle says:
… Having CBS reinterpret something daring from the BBC is a little like having Bill Moyers do a Chris Rock stand-up set. "Viva Laughlin" loses in translation all the quirky good and weird song stylings of the British import. In fact, "Viva Laughlin" looks as if it's trying mighty hard not to be a musical. … it's a procedural that's not up to CBS' normal standards. Do you think that's what the programmers wanted way back when they first eyed "Viva Blackpool"? Do you think they said, "Wouldn't it be great if we could suck all the originality and spirit and joy out of this thing and make it a procedural?" …
The Portland Oregonian says:
… bad in a wild array of new and unexpected ways. … The bottom line on "Viva Laughlin"? Snake eyes!
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:
… Fans of BBC America's "Viva Blackpool," on which "Viva Laughlin" is based, will be especially disappointed. Where characters in the British original sang and danced along with famous songs with gusto, in "Laughlin," the characters sing little and dance even less. … "Viva Laughlin" is such a half-hearted effort, it's not substantial enough to become the punchline "Cop Rock" still is in TV circles today. …
The Boston Herald says:
… “Viva Laughlin” is lip syncing to the beat of another drama, and not well at that. Don’t bet on this turkey surviving to Thanksgiving. …
Variety says:
… Credit CBS for finally attempting something more ambitious than "CSI: Laughlin," but alas, the applause ends there. … Hugh Jackman is among the project's exec producers, and while his cameo in the revised pilot (a recurring role) provides a jolt of star power, the net effect helps underscore only how charisma-challenged the show's regular leading man, Lloyd Owen, turns out to be. …
The Hollywood Reporter says:
… based solely on the premiere, "Laughlin" is fun to watch. … refreshing and entertaining. …
10 p.m. Thursday. CBS.

Kubrick in HD!!
A Clockwork Orange [HD-DVD] A Clockwork Orange [Blu-ray] Eyes Wide Shut [HD-DVD] Eyes Wide Shut [Blu-ray] Full Metal Jacket [HD-DVD] Full Metal Jacket [Blu-ray] The Shining [HD-DVD] The Shining [Blu-ray] Spartacus [HD-DVD] 2001: A Space Odyssey [Blu-ray] 2001: A Space Odyssey [HD-DVD]

That works out to $33 Per Season!! The extras-crammed Definitive Editions!! Individual seasons cost $69.99 New; $50 used!! They were going for close to $100/season not too long ago!
(The discount presumably celebrates the release of the “Twilight Zone” movie in HD, so don’t expect it to last ...)

Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 18, 2007, 2:38 a.m. CST

    Blackpool was great...

    by Bungion Boy

    but it was also only six hours long. It was a self contained story and had some great actors in the roles. Then again, this new show might not last more than six episodes. Sigh.

  • Oct. 18, 2007, 2:52 a.m. CST

    so who bought off the Hollywood Reporter?

    by charon

    just sayin

  • Oct. 18, 2007, 3:25 a.m. CST

    finally, a respectful remake of a British show

    by drave117

    All of these reviews of Viva Laughlin sound exactly like my reaction to Blackpool.

  • Oct. 18, 2007, 3:29 a.m. CST

    by SirFlibble

    Anyone really suprised? It's more common than not for shows from other countries to bomb in the US. The US culture is different to the UK and something that works there usually doesn't translate to US screens very well. Personally I'm still interested how they'll translate Kath and Kim for the US when the entire thing is so Australian.

  • Oct. 18, 2007, 4:51 a.m. CST

    by k0natus

    I don't really understand why all these British shows are getting an American re-make, but I don't understand a lot. Also, what is it with all these shows having British actors playing Americans? (Battlestar Galactica, The Wire (McNulty & Stringer), House, Bionic Woman, etc.) Is there some sort of shortage of good American thesps?

  • Oct. 18, 2007, 6:03 a.m. CST

    Even odds that it becomes a cult classic...

    by tonagan

    Meaning that in a few years, all the cool people will complain that it's not on DVD. Or HD-DVD. Or Blu-Ray. Or whatever format people will use in future times.

  • Oct. 18, 2007, 6:19 a.m. CST

    And what about those elections on Kid Nation last night?

    by tonagan

    Talk about edge-of-your-seat television.

  • Oct. 18, 2007, 7:25 a.m. CST

    Election madness

    by WhiteyFord

    I totally agree. But who thought Anjay was going to stay, I thought the big lipped white girl was going to take it. Thank God she didn't.

  • Oct. 18, 2007, 8:29 a.m. CST

    I wasn't sure about Anjay either...

    by tonagan

    I was a little shocked by Olivia's animosity - where the hell did that come from? This, after they gave her little moppet of a sister the gold star.

  • Oct. 18, 2007, 8:33 a.m. CST

    I'm giving it a shot

    by Purgatori

    for two reasons. 1. I loved Blackpool. Yes I'm sick of American TV ripping off the BBC, but out of the slew of new shows I'm only really enjoying two of them, Pushing Daises and Moonlight (and Moonlight needs to have less commercials and more neck biting). And 2. Hugh Jackman. Yes I know he's only in a few episodes but he's awesome when he's singing and performing. So...I'll give it a shot before I slam it.

  • Oct. 18, 2007, 8:34 a.m. CST


    by -guyinthebackrow

    Because you can PAY for good press at the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

  • Oct. 18, 2007, 8:52 a.m. CST

    I 2nd Purgatori...

    by C00L DUD3

    1. Heard GREAT things about Blackpool, and 2. I'm a HUGE fan of Jackman...I am interested in seeing Griffith as 'Bunny', also...definitely going to check it out tonight!!

  • Oct. 18, 2007, 9:03 a.m. CST

    American TV ripping off British TV

    by skimn

    Um hello? Not exactly a new practice. A little show called All In The Family was based on a British series as was Sanford And Son.

  • Oct. 18, 2007, 9:24 a.m. CST

    Sir Flibble, look at moiye

    by Mr_Sinister

    Yeah I'm interested to see how the Kath & Kim US version will turn out... I just can't see it working at all. What happened to the US copy of Absolutely Fabulous? Anyway, are you actually Australian, and if so, did you watch the latest series of Kath & Kim? I really liked the previous seasons, and now that they're on channel 7 they've had their highest ratings ever but... I dunno. There were some good to great jokes each episode but it was kind of annoying this time.

  • Oct. 18, 2007, 9:27 a.m. CST

    To: tonagan

    by WhiteyFord

    Exactly right on the moppet sister. I think the gold star system wasn't working right because Mike was blocking Greg. Maybe now the new council members with be smarter than mike and taylor. The one thing i was worried about was these kids didnt like there leaders, exception being laurel. I thought more kids would run and everyone on the council would change, mainly for change sake, bc these kids didnt know how good there council members may have been. I am glad Laurel and Anjay stayed, and i am very happy that mike and taylor got demoted.

  • Oct. 18, 2007, 10:18 a.m. CST

    This sounds like it will be so bad I will have no choice

    by jim

    but to watch. Truly awful, utterly totally over-the-top terrible TV is something I have to see.

  • Oct. 18, 2007, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Buried in the credits

    by ConcreteParakeet

    Steve DeKnight who wrote some great episodes of Buffy and Angel is involved with this show.It gives me the same sense of false hope that seeing Darin Morgan's name in conjunction with Bionic Woman delivers.That maybe one episode will at least be decent.

  • Oct. 18, 2007, 10:40 a.m. CST


    by SirFlibble

    Yeah I'm an Aussie. I don't really watch it. I don't find it painstakingly hilarious but will watch it if nothing better is on. Haven't seen any of the new series yet.

  • Oct. 18, 2007, 10:46 a.m. CST

    stars a "Britisher"?

    by crayon

    Exactly what is that, anyway? Some bastardization of the englisher language?

  • Oct. 18, 2007, 10:54 a.m. CST

    Wait, I thought Cavemen was supposed to be the worst show in his

    by slone13

    As I've been saying for the last few weeks now, there's tons of shit on television way worse than Cavemen.

  • Oct. 18, 2007, 11 a.m. CST


    by Don Lockwood

    Okay, first of all, I kinda like Big Shots and KVille. Haven't seen the others yet. Secondly, yeah, I too saw most of Blackpool (renamed Viva Blackpool for BBCA) and really enjoyed and hope beyond hope that the US version can have some kind of sparkle to it. Third, again, yes, Hugh Jackman is quite the showman and deserves our vote. Last, we hear all the bitching and moaning about transferring UK shows to the US (although in the past several have worked out), but how many US shows are adapted to the UK and bomb?

  • Oct. 18, 2007, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Don Lockwood

    by Purgatori

    I remember the biarre that was seeing them refilm Who's The Boss with a Brit cast. It was really strange, so I can only imagine how it is for them. Coupling was thankfully short lived over here. And THANK GOD the Red Dwarf US version died on the vine. All In The Family was based off of a UK show? Wow, I never knew that.

  • Oct. 18, 2007, 3:40 p.m. CST

    Guess we just found out what show Jericho will replace

    by DarkhawkPrime

    This one or Moonwhatever. You mean to tell me that some CBS exec last May said "Hey, this show is better than Jericho!!!" Just hurry up and bring back Jericho, and order more episodes while you still can.

  • Oct. 18, 2007, 4:26 p.m. CST

    How much longer...

    by Mosquito March

    ...are we going to pretend that Hugh Jackman isn't playing for the home team?

  • Oct. 18, 2007, 4:26 p.m. CST

    How much longer...

    by Mosquito March

    ...are we going to pretend that Hugh Jackman isn't playing for the home team?

  • Oct. 18, 2007, 4:28 p.m. CST

    Dennis Potter is scratching in his grave

    by Dr Lizardo

    Reading about this turkey just makes me want to watch the TV versions of The Singing Detective and Pennies from Heaven again.

  • Oct. 18, 2007, 5:36 p.m. CST

    So Reba and Full House are better shows?

    by Uncle Stan

    Hard. To. Swallow.

  • The clone was "Cybil." This forced the official US version to shut down production and give up.<p>As for why no US actors getting leads, it because yes, most cannot act. They either don't know how to perform, or are weak in genre shows. RADA trained actors, since they do so much stage work, are better at selling the outlandish nature in genre stuff. They are trained for years in the notion of if you are doing Henry V, you better make me believe there are 2000-3000 soldiers just offstage.-----later-----m

  • Oct. 18, 2007, 9:41 p.m. CST

    Uh huh. Yet another piece of crap.

    by kabong

    That's Hollyweird.

  • Oct. 18, 2007, 9:58 p.m. CST

    On the plus side, this will free him for X-4

    by Yeti

    Now what about Halle Barry, Patrick Stewart, James Marsden and Famke Jamsen (oh come on! no one stays dead in these things)

  • Oct. 18, 2007, 10:38 p.m. CST

    oh the humanity...

    by down75

    I have watched alot of Full House in my day, but have never seen Reba but think Im familiar enough with the premise to say that yes both are better then this shit. I had to go once Griffith started Blondie. Frankly I was shocked I made it through Jackman's sing-a-long with the Stones, I blame it on the whole "what will they do next" thing.

  • Oct. 18, 2007, 11:29 p.m. CST

    really? people like Blackpool?

    by drave117

    It's unwatchable. And I say that as someone who adores bad movies and television, and as a heterosexual man who is nevertheless totally gay for David Tennant after Doctor Who. Just because something is experimental and unique doesn't make it good. That having been said, I am about to watch the premiere of this show, because now I have to see which version is worse.

  • Oct. 19, 2007, 3:34 a.m. CST

    I know I'm the only one.....

    by Latenighter

    but I loved Cop Rock. It was awesome. Viva Laughlin should only be that good.

  • Oct. 19, 2007, 8:20 a.m. CST

    So much potential...and they messed it up

    by Purgatori

    Well, I watched part of it. 2 problems I have with it: 1. They aren't using the entire song. The are using very short versions of them and the fast inserts are annoying. 2. The editing (which I believe Herc pointed out or someone did) is WAY choppy and far too fast for the song numbers. The reason Blackpool was so cool was they actually put some work into their dance routines and the song choices. They used the whole song and you could actually HEAR the actors singing along. You can't here. I'm going to watch the rest of the premiere and then the show on Sunday. Hopefully it'll mesh and they'll figure it out. But my gut tells me that this isn't going to last very long.

  • Oct. 19, 2007, 9:06 a.m. CST

    Viva Wolverine

    by D_T

    Right in the middle of the big Sabertooth fight "A little less conversation, a little more action please All this aggravation aint satisfactioning me A little more bite and a little less bark A little less fight and a little more spark Close your mouth and open up your heart and baby satisfy me Satisfy me baby" Hell, you don't even have to change the lyrics.

  • Oct. 19, 2007, 9:29 a.m. CST

    No potential - original was embarrasing to watch

    by elab49

    This sounds little different. It could hardly be improved - if an excellent actor like David Morrisey could stuff this up so badly, how does someone ex-the dreary soaps expect to do better?

  • Oct. 19, 2007, 9:46 a.m. CST

    the gays will like it

    by phast freddy

    so it will end up on some crappy cable channel and run for 10 seasons

  • Oct. 19, 2007, 2:58 p.m. CST


    by drave117

    The pilot of Viva Laughlin really gave me new appreciation for Blackpool, and I didn't actually like Blackpool. Unfortunately, it's not even an entertaining sort of terrible. It's just terrible. Like, "gone before Thanksgiving" levels of terrible.

  • Oct. 19, 2007, 3:23 p.m. CST

    I caught part of the pilot, truly terrible

    by Jack Burton

    I was somewhat interested in it based on the potential for a total train-wreck. I wasn't disappointed. I watched about 6 minutes of it. The dialogue was cliched, as were the characters but the musical bits were just odd. The only song I saw was Hugh Jackman singing "Sympathy for the Devil" while entering the casino. But the weird part is it's more like he's singing along because you could still hear Mick Jagger's vocals. Really ridiculous and lame.

  • Oct. 19, 2007, 4:26 p.m. CST

    I liked Cop Rock.

    by Napoleon Park

    I liked "Cop Rock". Especially the Randy Newman songs and the deadpan way the actors would just go back to what they were doing after the musical interludes and pretend like nothing weird had just happened. <p> I like "Las Vegas" (though the point of doing a Nikki Cox series without Nikki Cox eludes me.) I like John Laughlin (Crimes of Passion) John McLaughlin (Mahavishnu Orchestra, Tom Laughlin (Billy Jack) and Sarah MacLachlan (Lilith Fair). I liked Laugh-In, which looks similar to Laughlin. I liked the Andy Warhol superstar known as Viva and Penthouse's spin-off feminist publication Viva. <p> As for the conventional wisdom that English shows don't translate into American, I liked Cybill, All In The Family, Max Headroom. I enjoyed the American Red Dwarf pilot. Of the two attempts to do Fawlty Towers, I never saw the Bea Arthur one but the John Larroquette version, "Payne", was quite enjoyable. (As Larroquette always is.)<p>As for Viva Laughlin, I think it's on opposite something else I'll be watching instead or something.

  • Oct. 19, 2007, 6:17 p.m. CST

    One....two...three.....IT'S SHIT!

    by Pixelsmack


  • Oct. 19, 2007, 11:45 p.m. CST

    (Wolverine + Cop Rock) X Suck = Viva Laughter, er, Laughlin

    by MrMysteryGuest

  • Oct. 20, 2007, 3:14 a.m. CST

    Now THIS sounds like must-see TV

    by Mullah Omar the sense that you MUST see the worst show of all time while it's actually on the air. Talk about your television history! I still feel bad for never having tuned in for "Cop Rock." Well I won't make that mistake with this show. Bring it on (for a few weeks)!

  • Oct. 20, 2007, 7:46 a.m. CST

    Has anyone commenting on the show seen it. It was not bad but

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    I'm reserving judgment. Two things I can do without: Melanie Griffith's whining role, and the two detectives investigating the murder. Uh duh, I'm a detective barely out of the academy and instead of bringing the owner of the casino to the police station for questioning, since he argued with the man who is now dead in his office I'll go to his neighborhood, pretend to be buying a house, and ask his wife some dumb questions about if she is happy. You know what,the more I think about this it was crap. The montages were great, and I can suspend belief, but c'mon. Jackman was great of course.

  • Oct. 20, 2007, 12:27 p.m. CST

    Yeah, I Saw It. Wish I Hadn't.

    by El Fuego

    Here's why: The lead character is an unrepentant douchebag. Not an anti-hero or someone striving for redemption, just a total asshole who's got the odds stacked against him. The only difference between him and his nemesis seems to be that Jackman was successful first. The musical numbers are drowned out by the original vocals which means they should've either tinkered with the sound mix better or picked songs that better highlighted the distinction with the actor's vocals. On top of that, the choreography and editing during the numbers is fucking pathetic. It's jumpy and feels like a music video without the time and care that usually gets put into a music video. Oh, and the writing is terrible and predictable save for one or two good lines. This can't be cancelled quickly enough.

  • Oct. 20, 2007, 9 p.m. CST

    Biggest problem with the show was Jackman

    by Big Dumb Ape

    Seriously, the show was essentially "eh" relatively speaking -- which is truly lackluster praise given how much shit is on TV these days anyway. Then again the whole concept of the show is fucked up: I mean, why do I care that an old arrogant asshole is dead and that he left an equally arrogant (but younger) asshole in a lurch? Hell, the old geezer is s probably HAPPY to be dead and away from a shrew, bitch, cheating wife like Griffith -- who was truly awful in this as well. Talk about sleepwalking through a project to collect your latest car payment or something.<p>So the show sucks for the most basic of reasons: why do I want to tune in each week and waste an hour of my life to see totally unlikeable characters trying to solve a murder that I don't give a shit about in the first place?<p>Which brings us to Jackman and the fact that he then becomes the biggest problem of all. Simply because by playing a snaky, active, sexually charged businessman he STILL exudes more charm and "oomph" than everyone else on the show COMBINED. Seriously, any minute he was on screen there was at least some energy...some true star power shining through...and the minute he was gone it just vanished in a heartbeat, and the show was instantly back in the toilet.<p>So it's really bad news when your guest star outshines everyone else THAT much including your so-called "star" -- though I guess now CBS and NBC (with the BIONIC WOMAN) now have a similar problem that they can commiserate over...

  • Oct. 21, 2007, 4:41 p.m. CST

    I just checked the listings

    by Napoleon Park

    I just checked the listings and The Simpsons and Family Guy are reruns. Like Fox is just laying to to make it easy for people who want to check out Viva Laughlin just once. Like they're pointing and laughing.. And by the way, both of the above named shows havefeatures many episodes showing how to do a musical episode right.

  • Oct. 21, 2007, 7:46 p.m. CST

    Carpoolers is the worst...

    by lynxpro

    How the hell did that show get on the air? At least *Laughlin* tries to be a little different. Carpoolers is so bad it makes community access television programming look stellar. Come to think of it, Carpoolers has about the same production values as some of the community access programs I've seen over the years. And I've seen some terrible community access programming, like Naked Preacher Lady, UFO Connection, and that high school drama a/v club that "tried" to do their own version of Charlie's Angels (the worst). Maybe McG produced that too. But I have a soft spot in my heart for the TWF, which is far more entertaining than "real" wrestling.

  • Oct. 21, 2007, 8:34 p.m. CST

    Now that the second episode has aired...

    by tonagan

    I wish the show would stick to its guns. I'd be happy to see musical interludes, but they seem almost embarrassed to have them in there (songs edited down to two minutes before fading out, and only one or two songs per show). I also think they should either just lip-synch to the original song (like the various Dennis Potter series) or have new arrangements with only the leads singing (like Moulin Rouge). Having an Elton John song being sung simultaneously by Elton John and someone with a significantly lower voice is particularly jarring. I doubt it'll have enough time to work the kinks out, though. Ah well...

  • Oct. 21, 2007, 9:03 p.m. CST

    Napoleon Park, the reason why Fox has reruns

    by jim

    scheduled and not new shows is in case the World Series went to a 7th game, which it did.

  • Oct. 21, 2007, 9:17 p.m. CST

    The show is not "Cop Rock" bad, it's just

    by jim

    mediocre. And that's not bad enough to be good enough to watch. <p>I don't get why the musical numbers are done they way they are. The actors aren't singing the songs, they are singing ALONG with the songs. And their vocals don't exactly match the song's lead vocals which makes it look like they are lip-synching. Plus, some of the songs are very forced in a very clumsy way - working the diaglogue so it can segue into the lyrics; sometimes it works, more often it does not.<p>Why did they sing "Viva Las Vegas" in the opener? It's Laughlin, not Vegas. Another example of forcing a song that does not belong. I think "My Way" would have been a better song to use in that situation.<p>Someone above mentioned the cop. Is what he is doing legal? He's questioning the wife of a suspect without identifying himself as a cop. In fact, he's lying to her about who he is and why he is talking to her. He's not an undercover agent, he's not a PI, he's a police detective. But I guess it would be less probable for them to have the affair that is so obviously coming if she knew he was the cop investigating her husband.<p>Hugh Jackman returns next week. I may watch again to see him, because he is the only character worth watching.

  • Oct. 22, 2007, 1:37 a.m. CST

    My usual anti-sports geek nerd rant.

    by Napoleon Park

    Oopsie, turns out Viva Laughlin actually already debuted - CBS totally flew under my radar by slipping the first episode on the air not on the shows schedules time slot or night. That's a good way to make excuses in advance if a questionable purchase fails to pan out, arrange so everyone misses the first episode and comes in late on a bunch of complicated ongoing plot lines. Also Huge Ackman wasn't on this one. He was on the other one and he'll be on the next one, but not this one. Most importantly, this really is as bad as you expect it to be. No, it's worse. At least in a movie based on a musical you can tell when a scene is leading up to a musical number and you can recognize the cue. Here, they just start and stop rather abruptly. The choise of songs would be hilarious if they weren't so mind-nimbingly bad. I mean, bad in a way that goes beyond "so bad it's good" and all the way around again to bad. <p> I still refuse to think of Cop Rock as bad TV. But at least that show had style and humor and likable characters and comprehensible plots and, most importantly, original songs, many of them by top pro tunesmith Randy Newman. Viva Laughlin is just karaoke, with the characters suddenly breaking into singing along with pre-existing songs. And does two guys in a car singling along with the radio even count as a musical? <p> I mean... gahhh. No, I'm not being ineloquent. that's exactly what I mean. that's my review of Viva laughlin. "Gahhh." <p> That's not even the point of this post. <p> As I have may have alluded to in the past, it is a fact that I am not a sports afficianado. I realize that in spite of my status as a fat white male American baby-boomer cause of all the worlds problems, not everything is targeted directly at my own specific demographic market segment. I realize that a chunk of every daily paper and a third of every nightly local news report is dedicated to covering activities I have no interest in. I know that many people - a significant market share - apparently DO contribute the hindquarters of a verminous rodent about grown men becoming wealthy engaging in chilldhood playground activities. (Yes, we played loosely organized sports during recess - my grade school had a large lot.) But no vermin patootie giver, I. <p> Although this sometimes interferes with my own television viewing activities in intrusive fashions, I try to be open minded. Other people like sportball shows and I can't watch everything at once, so that's fine. <p> NBC had the one with the men in snug knickers and crash helmets with cages over their faces carrying an object made from a dead pig through a giant "H". As if Quidditch and 43-Man Squamish weren't weird enough. At least it was schedules. <p> Fox had cartoons scheduled, but that wasn't what they showed. Okay, it would be nice if all TV listings were accurate and up to date, but sometimes MeeVee and Yahoo! get things wrong. They said Simpsons and Family Guy but Fox had that other game with the caps and the wooden sticks. <p> But CBS had Viva Laughlin scheduled for 8:00 pm and apparently for some reason (and I'm just theorizing here, but I suspect it might have been sports related) the show actually aired at 8:15. Haven't VCR's been around for a couple of decades and even DVR's for nearly ten years? Aren't TiVo watchers now folded into the ratings? Can't the networks grasp that delaying the start of a show (and more importantly, arranging so that people who tape it miss the last fifteen minutes) is a BAD thing? I know, different market segments have different tasts. but is catering to the sports fans really worth flipping the bird to everyone who actually wants to watch the regularly scheduled program enough to record it? Or here's a radical idea... Since 60 Minutes is a new program made up of short component segments, and since they've already demonstrated that the name of the show is meaningless by repeatedly airing 90 minute episodes, if a sporting event throughs the evening schedule off by a quarter hour, why not just edit on the fly, trim a section off of 60 Minutes, air a 45 minute long episode, and then show the 8:00 show at 8:00 (and ditto the 9:00 and 10:00 shows)? <p> Call me Mr. Puntuality, but if you set a schedule, why not make some attempt to stick to it. After over half a century of airing sports on television, the sport people still can't corretly schedule a sport show and allow enough time for it to be over when pkanned. I think this contributes to those negative stereotypes about jock intelligence being an oxymoron. <p> I really suspect CBS doesn't want anyone to see Viva Laughlin. There was nothing on NBC, nothing on Fox, and that ABC worse than nothing thing with the annoying carpenters. They have 8:00 all to themselves to give people a chance to check out Viva Laughlin, and what do they do? show up a quarter of an hour late - already losing anyone in the audience with plans to watch something else at nine. <p> We've had TV for what, 50-60 years now? They cleared up the snow, worked out color and stereo, high-def and Dolby 5.1, we have VCRS and DVRs and DVDs of old shows. We 9and by we I mean sombebody else, not me) have two0inch thick giant wide screen TVs hanging on the wall like something out of "The Jetsons" or "1984". Heck, they have these things called computers that can automatically ping Grenwich or the Atomic Clock or something and keep themselves synchronized to the second. But network executives still can't grasp that a sportsball event might run a little long and schedule enough time so that it will be over before the next show is supposed to start. <p> Man, that Heidi thing happens one time and they act like sports owns the airwaves from then on...

  • Oct. 22, 2007, 3:16 p.m. CST

    Now it'sfirst show of the season to be

    by Yeti

    CANCELLED. Boo Hoo!

  • Oct. 22, 2007, 3:52 p.m. CST

    Viva McLaughlin is now Hasta La Vista!

    by JaySmack

    OK, hands up, who didn't see this coming. Other than Wolverine Mr Hugh "Thunder from Down Under" Jackamn hasn't really had a hit. Just a slew of really bad movies, a stage play with blah-reviews, notable only because the guy who plays Wolverine made a damned fool of himself singing Oklahoma, and now he has what's probably the fastest cancelled new show of any season. Let's hear it for the Jackman!

  • Oct. 22, 2007, 4:45 p.m. CST

    Napoleon Park: Delaying 15 min. has boosted ratings

    by MGTHEDJ

    I'm not kidding. Over the past 30 years CBS would rule in the ratings because people would stay with 60 Minutes and then continue to watch their shows the rest of the night.-----later----m