Only Caan can make this thin gam­ble work

Las Ve­gas 8.30pm, Seven

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv - Ian Cuth­bert­son

‘‘ A HEART at­tack? Nah, you gotta own one of those things for that to hap­pen.’’ So says James Caan as the ever mod­est, any­thing but heart­less Big Ed Deline in tonight’s sea­son re­turn. Sure, in the cliffhanger from last sea­son Ed was shot at point blank range as he opened his front door and could right­fully be ex­pected to be toast right now.

But this is an ex­pen­sive se­ries and Caan is as vi­tal to it as the cap­tain of any ship. You didn’t re­ally think they were go­ing to bump him off, did you? Sec­ond, this is Ve­gas, where ev­ery gam­bler gets a sec­ond chance. So the bul­let missed ( natch) and we are sup­posed to be dis­tracted by a non­heart at­tack. Go fig­ure.

Las Ve­gas is a curious mix­ture of things. There’s a splash of Des­per­ate House­wives tonight, as Big Ed’s beau­ti­ful daugh­ter Delinda ( Molly Sims) re­alises at her wed­ding ( in­ter­rupted by the afore­men­tioned shoot­ing/ heart at­tack) that she doesn’t re­ally love her fi­ance Derek and is still in love with her dad’s pro­tege Danny ( Josh Duhamel).

In ev­ery other episode, Ed gets to reprise his most fa­mous role as au­thor Paul Shel­don in Mis­ery , pre­sum­ably be­cause he’s re­ally good at pre­tend­ing to be tor­tured.

There’s also a hint of hospi­tal drama when Ed is vis­ited by ul­tra ma­cho mob­sters in his hospi­tal bed as he waits for the blood work on his pos­si­ble heart at­tack.

Then there’s the non­stop whirl­wind of crim­i­nal­ity in Ve­gas, and the sur­veil­lance tech­nol­ogy de­ployed by Ed and his team ( he’s the head of se­cu­rity at a casino) that makes the NASA stuff in Apollo 13 look like Du­plo.

Caan is ter­rific as the long- suf­fer­ing Ed, mak­ing the most of puerile plots and di­a­logue that, in lesser hands, would be cringe- in­duc­ing.

When it comes to the de­pic­tions of rich bitch wil­ful­ness, Sam ( Vanessa Mar­cil) takes the bis­cuit: ‘‘ I’m go­ing to Hawaii — now. Tell Woody I’ll be back to­mor­row night at the latest. Have Mary watch my clients but if there’s any prob­lems you call me. And I’m tak­ing the jet.’’ When she ar­rives at the Hawai­ian ho­tel, she barks at two lei- bear­ing na­tives: ‘‘ Aloha my ass. Who the hell puts a ho­tel in the mid­dle of the jun­gle?’’ I think we’re sup­posed to swoon at her author­ity, but she sounds like a spoiled brat at a frat party.

Fast cars, gor­geous homes, pretty peo­ple, sump­tu­ous casi­nos, clever crims, ro­mance and law- break­ing, but not much in the way of char­ac­ter de­vel­op­ment. Then, money has al­ways been the ma­jor draw in Ve­gas.

Ques­tion of char­ac­ter: It’s all fast cars and pretty peo­ple in Las Ve­gas

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