Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Belly Flop

Being a huge fan of the casino-musical genre, I'm deeply sorry that I hadn't even heard of the new television series Viva Laughlin until after its abrupt cancellation this week. I did track down a brief clip of Hugh Jackman's big number, as it were, karaoke-ing to "Sympathy for the Devil" just to get an idea of what all the critical caterwauling was about. Yes indeedy, it sucks; but amid your hearty chuckling consider this: How rare is it these days, with test-audience filters and media slavishness and polished production values and spin from the actor-publicist-studio axis and millions-in-marketing campaigns, for a show with a completely lunatic concept to slip unfettered through the cracks of mediocrity? So rare that I understand the eagerness of the Ken Levines and Alan Sepinwalls to pounce like jackals on Hugh et al, but at the least let's give the poor bastards credit for trying. And failing. Miserably.

To put it more formally: A toast, to unmitigated disasters.

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