I was drawn to LA to Vegas because, back in my college days in southern California, I took a couple of weekend LAX to LAS flights and wanted to see if the show accurately portrayed my experience. I'm also a Dylan McDermott from way back in his days on The Practice, and was hoping this show might be more interesting than some of the other TV he's done since then. After watching the first two episodes, I was not disappointed, and pleasantly surprised on both counts. First, the show's portrayal of the return Vegas to LA flight is consistent with my memory of planes full of hung-over, overtired, passengers just begging to be back in their own homes. Second, not only is McDermott great -- who knew he could do comedy -- but he is supported by a highly entertaining, and hilarious, supporting cast of Kim Matula as Ronnie, Nathan Lee Graham as Bernard, and Peter Stomare at Artem. Indeed, there is no need to have ever taken an LA tot Vegas flight to enjoy the humor and laughs generated by the show.
The premise to the show is pretty straightforward, McDermott plays Captain Dave, the pilot for Jackpot Airway's weekly Friday night flight from Los Angeles to Las Vegas with a return flight on Sunday. Captain Dave is assisted in his duties by flight attendants Ronnie and Bernard. Ronnie, who dreams of working international routes on a real airline, is looking to escape anyway she can. Bernard, on the other hand is a veteran flight attendant whose seen it all, and knows a safe route when he sees one. The plane is, naturally, filled with an assortment of passengers who are going to Vegas for all the usual reasons, namely to get married, to party and, of course, to gamble. Put such a group of eccentric people together, even for as short a flight as this route is, and you have the making of instant comedy which is not far from the reality.
The genius of the first two episodes has not been the obvious funny points such as when Ronnie decides to quit her job in the middle of the flight or when Captain Dave forgets how to land a plane. But rather the indirect banter, expressions of the characters, and inside jokes. For instance, (spoiler alert!) in the second episode, while regular passenger Colin, played by Ed Weeks is waiting board the flight, he is seen intensely reading the book Oh no, you Dadn't to get advice on how to be a better parent. There is also a scene in the first episode where Captain Dave, sitting at an airport bar, asks the bartender for another round just before he is due to take off. Others in the bar are shocked that a pilot is getting drunk before flying. But Captain Dave assures them that he only ordered soda water. Of course, we the audience know that he ordered something a little stronger.
The key point of the show, so far, is that it does not take itself seriously. As such the cast seems free to bring whatever special strength or skill that they have to the characters they are portraying. While some may find the "over-the-top" style of the show boring or, even worse, an example of why the show will not last for long, I would disagree with such a characterization. The show is taking a page from the comedy genre that Larry David perfected, namely a show about nothing which relies on the individual and group comedic talent of the cast to deliver. Based on the laughs I've gotten from the show so far -- it's a keeper.
Have you watched LA to Vegas? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.
Written by lao.san on Jan 11, 2018