Welcome to the underbelly of Nevada’s shimmering desert oasis. Between call girl murders, land disputes, business fallouts, and celebrity protection, private eye Dan Tanna (Robert Urich) has his work cut out for him. Helping him along the way is a close circle of allies including Beatrice (Phyllis Davis), Angie (Judy Landers), “Binzer” (Bart Braverman), and Lt. David Nelson (Greg Morris). Also guest starring Tony Curtis as Philip “Slick” Roth, a landlord and casino owner who always has a case that needs solving. So climb aboard Danna’s red 1957 Ford Thunderbird, and buckle up! It’s going to be a wild ride. Includes all three seasons of 67 episodes.
What We Thought:
For my money Robert Urich was one of the best TV actors of all time. I immediately think of Spenser: For Hire when it comes to him, but Vegas shows just how great he was before that show. He was charismatic, smooth, good-looking and had that proverbial “it” factor. I don’t think he gets the credit he deserved for his career.
I remember seeing reruns of Vegas when I was younger so it was cool to sit down and watch this set. Watching it now you see how the city of Las Vegas was changing as the show was airing. You get the “Old Vegas” feel as it was transitioning into what we consider Las Vegas today, that tourist destination.
I think that’s what made the show work. You get a little bit of that gangster vibe with the glitz and glamour we think of today. Bad guys and showgirls. Fancy cars, fancy women and fancy clothes.
Plus the cameos. You got Las Vegas staples like Dean Martin, Wayne Newton and more. I didn’t realize that Michael Mann had created the show. It makes sense looking at his career afterwards like Miami Vice and his slew of hit films. Plus Aaron Spelling produced the show. Spelling is on the Mt. Rushmore of TV show dramas.
Watching Vegas today it’s easy to compare the show to television program that would eventually follow it. CSI comes to mind because of the Las Vegas setting. Urich’s Dan Tanna could easily replace Tom Selleck’s Magnum P.I. It has cameos like The Love Boat. My only complaint is that it could have used Tony Curtis more after the first season. It is your classic wrapped up storylines by the end of the episode programming and some people might not be used to that because of how television is today. If you are a Robert Urich fan this is a must own though.