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Featured TV on DVD Review: Vegas: Season One: Volume Two

February 11th, 2010

Vega$: The First Season: Volume 2 - Buy from Amazon

In the late 1970s, Michael Mann and Aaron Spelling helped create Vega$, part of a wave of P.I. shows from the era. I previously reviewed Volume One and found it more style than substance. Did the show improve as the first season progressed?

Robert Urich stars as Dan Tanna, a private eye working in Las Vegas. He is regularly employed by casino owner Phil Roth (who can call on him day and night) but he also works cases on his own. A showgirl, Beatrice, serves as his assistant. She's a single mom and the most capable of his 'staff'. Less capable is Binzer, Dan's legman, who gathers information, tails suspects, etc. Mostly he's there for comic relief. The same can be said of Angie, Dan's ditzy blonde secretary. Other allies include Lt. David Nelson (played by Greg Morris of Mission: Impossible) and Harlon Two-Leaf.

There are some good episodes on this three-disc set, including Ghost of Ripper which involves a serial killer who thinks he's Jack the Ripper. Speaking of Jack the Ripper, John Fiedler has a bit part in Demand and Supply, an episode about underage prostitution, one of the darkest subjects they deal with on the show (if you don't get the connection, then you don't watch enough Star Trek). Touch of Death has one of the more inventive storylines: a young newlywed searches for her husband, but no one else can remember ever seeing either of them. There are some fun aspects to the show and some of the episodes work, but overall there are some pacing problems. Too many episodes use the same basic set up (the quickest way to get killed in Las Vegas is to be friends with Dan Tanna). Also, some of the action scenes seemed a little... tame. This is especially true compared to shows today, but even by the standards of the time period they were weak.

I already talked about John Fiedler having a bit part in an episode... so does George Takei, while Leslie Nielsen, Kim Cattrall, and Wilfrid Hyde-White also make guest appearances. A good opportunity for star spotting.

There are no extras on this three-disc, nor are there subtitles or "play all" buttons. There are proper chapter placements, but that's not much of a consolation. Also, there's no reason That Season One couldn't have been released as one six-disc set.

The Verdict

Vega$ is part of a plethora of private eye TV shows that came out during the same period; shows like Rockford Files, Cannon, Kojak, Columbo, etc. This series is not as strong as those I've just mentioned. Additionally, The First Season: Volume 2 has no added value features and the price per minute is too high for this type of release.

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