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:


    Sitcoms Airing Tonight

    Friday, April 10

    none scheduled

    Complete TV Listings


    Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 6)

    Friday, April 10

    • Jennifer Aniston (Friends/Muddling Through/Ferris Bueller/Molloy) - Watch Jennifer on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 12:05am on ABC.
    • Andrew Rannells (Girls/The New Normal) - Andrew appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
    • Casey Wilson (Marry Me/The Hotwives/Happy Endings) - Casey is a guest on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
    • Kal Penn (Sunnyside/We Are Men) - Kal appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
    • Joseph Gordon-Levitt (3rd Rock from the Sun) - Joseph is a guest on a repeat of A Little Late with Lilly Singh at 1:35am on NBC.
    • Ty Burrell (Modern Family/Back to You/Out of Practice) - Ty chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
    • Patricia Heaton (Carol's Second Act/The Middle/Back to You/Everybody Loves Raymond) - Patricia appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
    • John Leguizamo (The Brothers Garcia) - John is a guest on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
    • Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs/Rules of Engagement/Reno 911!) - Wendi will be on a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
    • Paul Scheer (Black Monday/The League/Fresh Off the Boat) - Paul talks about Black Monday on Couch Surfing at 8am.
    • Josh Hutcherson (Future Man) - Josh talks about Future Man on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
    • Zach Woods (Avenue 5/Silicon Valley/The Office) - Zach is a guest on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.


    New on DVD/Blu-ray (January/February/March/April)

    My Three Sons - The Fifth Season - Volume One Martin - The Complete Series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - The Complete Series Step by Step - The Complete Sixth Season Step by Step - The Complete Seventh and Final Season

    01/02 - My Three Sons - The Fifth Season - Volume One
    01/02 - My Three Sons - The Fifth Season - Volume Two
    01/14 - Veep - The Final (Seventh) Season (Blu-ray)
    01/14 - Veep - The Complete Series (DVD)
    01/21 - Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Third Season (WBShop.com)
    01/21 - The Mindy Project - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
    01/28 - Ballers - The Complete Fifth and Final Season
    01/28 - Ballers - The Complete Series
    01/28 - The Mindy Project - The Complete Series (DVD)
    02/04 - Martin - The Complete Series (WBShop.com)
    02/11 - Step by Step - The Complete Sixth Season (WBShop.com)
    02/18 - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
    02/25 - Better Things - The Complete Third Season
    03/17 - Crashing - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
    04/07 - Cheers - The Complete Series (2020 Release)
    04/14 - Police Squad! - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
    04/14 - The Righteous Gemstones - The Complete First Season
    04/21 - Step by Step - The Complete Seventh and Final Season (WBShop.com)
    More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


    Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

    04/10 - Fri-Yay: End of Modern Family is End of an Era; COZI TV Celebrates Will & Grace Finale with Marathon
    04/09 - May is The Month of Mayberry on MeTV; The Happy Days of Garry Marshall Special Airing May 12 on ABC
    04/08 - TBS Has Your Misery Covered in Pandemic; CBS Producing Episode of Series Virtually
    04/07 - Fox Renews Duncanville for Second Season; Remembering Forrest Compton of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.
    04/06 - Quibi Launching Today, Brings on Will Smith Hosted Series; NBC Calls on Blindspot Earlier Than Planned
    04/05 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of April 6, 2020)
    04/04 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Executive Producers of The Office Considering New Work-at-Home Comedy; Lights Out with David Spade Gets Lights Turned Out Permanently
    04/03 - Fri-Yay: Community Moving to Netflix Next Week; NBC Announces Final Episodes of Season List
    04/02 - American Dad! Celebrates 15th Anniversary; The Official Robin Williams YouTube Channel Launches
    04/01 - CBS All Access Is Tooning Out the News in This Pandemic Crisis; The CW Summer 2020 Schedule
    03/31 - The CW Announces Returns of Series Affected; Adult Swim Orders YOLO: Crystal Fantasy
    03/30 - Schedule Changes on ABC, CW Due to COVID-19; Insecure: The Game
    03/29 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of March 30, 2020)
    03/28 - SitcomsOnline Digest: One Day at a Time a Hit in Ratings; Late Night Talk Set to Return Next Week
    03/27 - Fri-Yay: Review of One Day at a Time Season 4 Premiere; NBC Sets Will & Grace Finale Night and Special I Love Lucy Episode
    03/26 - CBS Slates Primetime Special from Home with James Corden; Fox Announces Living Room Concert for America
    03/25 - Antenna TV Schedule Change on March 30, Doubling Up Comedies; Millionaire 20th Anniversary Premiere Celebs
    03/24 - ABC Giving A Modern Farewell to Series; Samantha Bee Returns from Home on Wednesday
    03/23 - Bounce Sitcom Returns April 1, No Foolin'; Never Have I Ever Gets Netflix Premiere Date
    03/22 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of March 23, 2020)
    03/21 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Netflix and Hulu to Share Rights to Community; Preview of New Netflix Series Never Have I Ever
    03/20 - Fri-Yay: Best Sitcom Episodes for Coronavirus Isolation; Antenna TV Weekend Binge Marathons for Tough Times
    03/19 - Conan Returns March 30 via iPhone Video; Showtime Alters Schedule for Black Monday
    03/18 - Billboard Music Awards Postponed on NBC; Acorn TV Extends Free 30-Day Trial
    03/17 - Network Upfronts Canceled But Will Go on Digitally
    03/16 - Hallmark Slots More Golden Girls, Frasier; Primetime Schedule Changes Due to Coronavirus
    03/15 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of March 16, 2020)
    03/14 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Shout! Factory Acquires Broadcasting and Streaming Rights to Stephen J. Cannell Library; Schitt's Creek Plans for Series Finale
    03/13 - Fri-Yay: One Day at a Time Moves to Pop TV and Takes Jab at Former Home; Best Wishes, Warmest Regards: A Schitt's Creek Farewell
    03/12 - Quibi Announces Fire Island Sitcom; ABC Picks Up 4th Season of Red Hot Drama
    03/11 - Apple TV+ Animated Comedy Premieres May 29; Brooke Burns Returns to GSN to Host Game Show
    03/10 - Netflix's Lost in Space Gets Final Season; Remembering Sitcom Writer Earl Pomerantz