Looking for a fun way to spend an evening? Grab a disk or two of Las Vegas and settle in for the evening. It is anything but a serious show, but it isn't dumb. I would call it a guilty pleasure. It is a show that isn't easily categorized: it combines elements of comedy, crime, drama, and action all in one easy to swallow package.
Season two ended with the destruction of the Montecito Hotel & Casino, scattering the cast to the winds. The third season opens with the finishing touches being placed on a new building as they prepare to reopen. We are introduced to the new owner, Monica Mancuso (Lara Flynn Boyle), as she tries to convince Ed Deline (James Caan) to come back and to put the band back together.
The conflict between Monica and the returning staff sets up much of the conflict over the first third of the season, before the reigns get handed over to Dean Cain, playing Sam's (Vanessa Marcil) rich estranged husband. He comes in to take over the casino following the shocking exit of one Monica Mancuso. This brings in a whole different management style to the hotel.
You know, trying to describe what goes on during the season is hard. There is no one story arc covering the season, more often they have some mini-arcs that wind their way through more stand alone stories. The fun thing about the show is watching how everything ties together as they flow through each other. It is a show that doesn't require you to pay attention to every single word, you won't be left on the edge of your seat waiting for the next episode, and you won't become terribly invested in the character's lives.
I can here you know, "Why bother?"
Do you ever want to just put something on that is a little bit fun, a little bit serious, and just flat out entertaining? Perhaps something where you don't have to think too hard about, but don't want to be treated like an idiot? Las Vegas fits the bill. The series takes a light look into the city of sin, what happens there, stays there.
Video. The set presents all of the episodes in a beautifully transferred 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The colors are sharp and vibrant and just makes the technicolor setting pop off the screen.
Audio. The audio also does a good job of representing the series. It is a Dolby Digital 5.1 track, and does a good job replicating the noises you hear around the casino, the occasional pop song, and the all important dialogue.
Extras. This is the area where there is a need for some improvement.
- Gag Reel. There is a short collection of line flubs and such from the season.
- Time Lapse Montecito. This shows the building of the new Montecito in time lapse photography.
- That's it. I am sure they could have come up with some featurettes covering the production, or commentaries with the cast or crew. Something, please.
The series is billed as "Uncut & Uncensored." The only difference I found in terms of what you see is a brief walkthrough of the topless pool area in the first episode.
Also, something that was changed that I did not like, nor expect, was the removal of the opening Elvis remix of "A Little Less Conversation" in favor of some generic techno-pop. How could they have structured the contracts to not include home video? That is really inexcusable in this day and age.
Bottomline. Despite my disappointment in not having the real opening track, this is a nice set. So long as you only want the episodes. The series is fun fluff with a little bit of substance. The cast is attractive, and has some ability. This is a set that I can easily recommend for some light-hearted viewing.
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