Sunday, January 7, 2018

Pilot Review: LA to Vegas

LA to Vegas (FOX)
Premiered January 2 at 9pm

Oh boy. I saw ads for this show in the airport when I was boarding a flight to JFK and chuckled – just once – when they talked about how even the name JFK is so tragic (unfortunately, my flight didn’t get there and was diverted to Atlanta because of the bomb cyclone). This show is a disaster, though I don’t think anyone believes that it’s much cleverer or smarter than it is. I’m not sure what’s worse, Dylan McDermott’s accent or the lines that come out of his mouth, like “Gentlemen, it’s time to get high!” His Captain Dave was disappointed when one of his flight attendants stopped him from putting a sock on the cockpit door during a flight, and then he got that same sock taken by another airman who didn’t have to face any moral objections from his peers. So much of this show feels dated, as if it’s a poor sitcom from the 1980s or 1990s, and jokes about sex slavery definitely don’t land well these days. There were a handful of recognizable faces, like Ed Weeks from “The Mindy Project” as the British hunk who people literally pay to get lectured by, Kether Donohue from “You’re the Worst” as him angry, dim-witted wife, and of course Peter Stormare from “Fargo” and “Swedish Dicks” – and so much more – as the eccentric passenger who wants his lucky seat even though Jackpot Airlines, much like Southwest or Ryanair, doesn’t assign seats ahead of time. Actress Kim Matula, who it seems previously starred in season two of “UnREAL,” could have potential, but starring in this show is a near-guaranteed way to tank a career.

How will it work as a series? This show thrives on stupidity, and that should make it easy to come up with basic plots like drunken pilots and midair flirtations. I wouldn’t expect much character growth, just increased depravity from all aboard the plane, passengers and crew members included. There could be a laugh every few episodes, but I think groans and eye rolls are the best this show can expect.
How long will it last? It looks like the ratings weren’t actually bad, although there wasn’t much first-run competition at the very beginning of the year when this show premiered before other series returned. The reviews aren’t good, but they’re not as dismal as I would have liked to have seen. I don’t think this show will last long, but it’s probably going to stick around for a bit until it gets pummeled by other series when they begin their runs again.

Pilot grade: F

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