Monday, January 01, 2018

Fox Mid-Season Pilot Review: LA to Vegas - Premieres Tuesday (Jan. 2)

LA to Vegas

LA to Vegas - Tuesdays at 9:00PM ET/PT on Fox
Premieres Tuesday, January 2, 2018 at 9:00PM ET/PT


by Skees

Los Angeles to Vegas: it's a weekend flight that you can take from the first city to the second city every weekend to escape everything and let what happens in Vegas stay in Vegas. Fox's newest sitcom, LA to Vegas, follows a flight crew that makes that trip every weekend, along with some of the familiar passengers who make that trek every weekend and a few guests who come along.

Cast Details:

Kim Matula as Ronnie Messing
Ed Weeks as Colin
Nathan Lee Graham as Bernard
Olivia Macklin as Nichole
Peter Stormare as Artem
Dylan McDermott as Captain Dave Pratman

Kim Matula (Ronnie) is best known for her long-running role in the CBS soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful, and aside from a single episode of How I Met Your Mother, she makes her sitcom debut with this series.

Ed Weeks (Colin) is known for his role of Jeremy Reed on The Mindy Project. He has also appeared in episodes of Royal Pains, House of Lies, and other series in the UK.

Nathan Lee Graham (Bernard) appears in the web series Hug-O-Gram and has also appeared in the series The Comeback, as well as episodes of Scrubs and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Olivia Macklin (Nichole) is a relative newcomer to acting who has appeared in HBO's The Young Pope

Peter Stormare (Artem) is a Swedish born actor who has had roles in Sweden and still lives there part-time, and in the United States, he has been seen in series such as Watching Ellie, Prison Break, Weeds, The Blacklist, Arrow, Manhattan, and Longmire, among others.

Dylan McDermott (Captain Dave Pratman) is best known for his role on the ABC series, The Practice. He has also appeared in American Horror Story, Hostages, and Stalker.


Pilot Plot:

"Pilot" (Airs January 2 at 9:00PM ET)

In the pilot, we meet Ronnie Messing (Kim Matula), the airline stewardess who isn't happy with where she is in her professional life. No, she doesn't want to leave behind the life of a stewardess, she wants to leave her job at her current airline on the Los Angeles to Las Vegas flight and get that job with Delta on the Los Angeles to New York flight. When she learns she didn't get it, she takes drastic action, including quitting her job (at least temporarily) and getting involved in a fling with one of the regular passengers, Colin (Ed Weeks) on the flight. Meanwhile, a young couple on the flight is headed to Vegas to elope to escape the big wedding their family has in mind, and that should all go as planned, right?


Analysis:

When I'm watching/reviewing a pilot, I try to look for the good parts of it and focus on those. And I definitely did that with this one as well, but it was hard to find anything good to say about this, as it sort of stinks.

Before getting into what's wrong with it, maybe it is worth pointing out the positives of the series. The individual cast members of the series make up a great are decent actors who could do well on a good TV series with good casting. But that long list of qualifiers already brings up the first problem with the series: it has a cast that doesn't seem to fit in with one another. In watching the first episode, you couldn't really see how they all fit together. So what we've got here is a case of a good cast that seems to be poorly matched.

I also couldn't really tell where the stories are going to go on this series. In the pilot, we got to see Ronnie losing out on a job opportunity and (possibly) opening a new door with a new relationship and the young couple who went to Las Vegas to get hitched. The possibilities with the main cast seem limited, though, as long as they're in the air, so this series will definitely need good guest stars with good stories, and the one in this pilot wasn't all that compelling of a story.

I had trouble finding the laughs in the pilot as well. I've always felt that not all sitcoms need a laugh every minute. In fact, some of the best sitcoms of all time won't necessarily make you laugh out loud at all. But they make up for that with solid storylines, which this series is lacking in what I've seen.

It is worth pointing out that one cast member that I sort of enjoyed that seemed to be underutilized in the pilot was Nathan Lee Graham. I had never really heard of him (although I've seen every episode of Scrubs, which he appeared in one episode, so I've undoubtedly seen him before), but some of the better scenes and somewhat funny (the comedy was still limited by the series itself) scenes came from him. Assuming this series doesn't work out, it would be nice to see him elsewhere, as he seems to have a lot of potential.


Conclusion:

I wish that I could say that I have a glimmer of hope for this series, but I honestly don't. This strikes me as one of those "fly by night" (pun intended) sitcoms that Fox likes to bring out midseason that vanishes within a few weeks and is subsequently completely forgotten about. I'll give it a fair shake and watch it as long as Fox continues to give it a chance, and it's only fair for everybody to do that, but this series came in with low expectations and it seems to have met that standard. Perhaps if the series doesn't stay as "grounded" as the pilot, there is hope for it.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 2/5
Funniness: 2/5
Overall: 2/5

Discuss the show after you watch it on Wednesday, January 2, 2018 at 9:00PM on our message board.

Related Links:


  • Fox.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • LA to Vegas Photo Gallery


  • Preview:


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    Complete TV Listings


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    • Kristen Bell (The Good Place) - Catch Kristen on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
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    • Mike Epps (Survivor's Remorse/Uncle Buck) - Mike talks about the BET Social Awards on Steve, so check your local listings.
    • Jackée Harry (The Paynes/The First Family/The Game/227) - Jackée talks about OWN's The Paynes on Steve, so check your local listings.
    • Jamie Lee (Crashing) - Jamie is a guest on Harry, so check your local listings.
    • John Lithgow (Trial & Error/Twenty Good Years/3rd Rock from the Sun) - John talks about Broadway's Stories By Heart on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am.
    • Laura Benanti (The Detour/Go On) - Clinton Kelly cooks with Laura on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
    • Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie/Malibu Country) and Jane Fonda (Grace and Frankie) - Lily and Jane talk about Grace and Frankie on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.


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