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One-note singing dramas

One-note singing dramas — We compare CBS’ new musical series ”Viva Laughlin” to its unsuccessful predecessor, ABC’s ”Cop Rock”

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One-note singing dramas

When the going gets tough, the tough get…singing? That was the premise of ABC’s short-lived 1990 musical drama Cop Rock, which showcased police and perps breaking into song. After 17 years of blissful silence, the TV musical drama — telemusirama? dramicalvision? — is back with CBS’ Viva Laughlin (debuting Oct. 18, 10 p.m.), the story of a crooning casino magnate (Miss Potter‘s Lloyd Owen).
How does Viva measure up to the boys in blue on the surreal-o-meter? Well, Laughlin does have Hugh Jackman performing a Rolling Stones number on top of a roulette table, as well as Melanie Griffith belting out Blondie in her lingerie. (Why, CBS, why?) However, the show’s classic-rock sing-alongs fail to match the bizarreness of the original Cop Rock soundtack, featuring a crackhead serenading her baby before selling her for $200 (which, incidentally, is just bad business), a jury magically morphing into a gospel choir, and a criminal rapping ”He calls you son/He’s not your dad/He’s just a dumb white cop/You made him mad.” (Watch your back, Kanye!) Laughlin may be bad — but for pure unintentional entertainment, we’re still singing Rock‘s praises.