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Early review of ‘Vegas’ doesn’t thrill

I don’t know if former Clark County Sheriff Ralph Lamb is keeping a scrapbook of all the stories that have been generated by the approach of “Vegas,” the CBS cops-and-gangsters drama loosely based on his life, but he might want to leave out Sarah Rodman’s review this week in the Boston Globe.

“Vegas,” which stars Dennis Quaid as Lamb and Michael Chiklis as a mobster composite, premieres tonight. Rodman lauds the caliber of the cast and the potential of the story line, but then reveals the bad news.

She writes, “So with so many exciting elements — top-notch cast, setting, and writer, not to mention a fantastic-looking re-creation of the old strip — why does “Vegas” feel so dull? (And make me slightly nostalgic for the late great Robert Urich, or more specifically private eye Dan Tanna and “Vega$”?).

“Because in the debut episode, at least, it’s just a lot of set dressing built around what looks like will be a standard police procedural.

“There is a crime of the week, complete with dead ends and red herrings, that just isn’t very interesting. There are cartoonishly corrupt politicians. There is Lamb’s well-meaning playboy of a son.

And no matter how gifted the actors — even the supporting cast is stacked with familiar names and faces — some of the dialogue sounds stilted and even goofy at times. “Everybody’s here: Joey, Skins, Fat Frankie from New York,” says one of the gangsters, sounding like a parody at one point.”

“Vegas” isn’t a lost cause, but “Given the talent in front of and behind the camera — and the chemistry between Quaid and Chiklis and Quaid and (Carrie-Ann) Moss — this is a benefit-of-the-doubt situation. The debut isn’t disastrous by any means, it just doesn’t crackle. “

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