Sunday, March 22, 2015

FIRST LOOK: Yahoo Screen's "Sin City Saints" is a Slam Dunk

A rollicking comedy of errors set in Las Vegas, Sin City Saints tells the story of a basketball team (of the same name) and the flawed people who run it. The owner, megalomaniac Jake Tullus (played as a Mark Cuban and Donald Sterling hybrid by Andrew Santino from Mixology), gets into and out of various scrapes with the help of his trustworthy sidekick, Kevin Freeman (Tom Arnold: Gardens Of The Night, Hit And Run, Sons Of Anarchy). Dusty Halford (Malin Akerman: Trophy Wife, The Comeback) plays a lawyer who assists the league commissioner, sent specifically to bring Jake and the Sin City Saints under control.

The first two episodes present a well-crafted arc, operating as bookends. As soon as Jake appears, it's obvious that he will get in trouble, repeatedly. It's not clear at first how Kevin could help him, since his mischievous grin is a signifier for personal travails, but his connections as a casino host in Las Vegas give him amazing power. The jokes fly fast, especially when Dusty Halford shows up:

The tradition of sports comedies follows the loose trajectory of "underdog that defeats a stronger opponent". There is such a wealth of riches in this cast that the story rounds out to the buddy trope, the wealthy scamp, and protagonists helpless in a world of sin (Las Vegas could be Dante's Inferno or the ice house in the desert from Chaucer's House of Fame).

Las Vegas insinuates itself as an extra character in the proceedings, impeding the progress of a chase through the desert, sending out a siren call of blackjack and hookers, and creating a curated stream of stripper nuns, beautiful people, and sin.  

Rounding out the (amazingly talented and funny) cast are: B.K. Cannon (Switched At Birth), Justin Chon (Twilight), Keith Powers (Pretty Little Liars) and former NBA stars Rick Fox (One Tree Hill) and Baron Davis. 

The production staff includes executive producers Mike Tollin (Arli$$, Smallville, Varsity Blues, One Tree Hill) and Chris Case (Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher, Spin City, Titus, FX's Legit) and director Bryan Gordon (Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Office, Portlandia, Party Down).

Sin City Saints premieres on Yahoo Screen this Monday, March 23rd. That means you can watch all eight episodes at once for free at, or by downloading the Yahoo Screen app. Please bookmark the Yahoo Screen website or download the app now to watch original programming, including Sin City Saints, Community, and Other Space (launching April 14th). COST: FREE. (Well, maybe there will be an ad or two. But other online platforms do that, and you also have to pay them for the privilege!)

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