Tuesday, September 14, 2004


As a Las Vegas resident, I am ethically bound to watch this show and to talk about it. When it started out a year ago it was, in my humble opinion, not that great, but quickly found its legs. By 1/3 of the way through its first season, it had become compulsively watchable. This show is about FUN, which is why I am a little disturbed by this season’s premier, even though it was, in isolation, a good episode.

Danny, the young male lead who’s sex seeking antics and father-son relationship with James Caan acted as the main axle for season one’s narrative rotation, returns from somewhere top secret, with that Rambo from first blood look in his eyes (except he wears a shirt… well, most of the time). By the end of the episode (several twitchy PTSD interludes later), he is sitting by a window in a Treasure Island Casino room with an assault rifle, presumably ready to kill himself and/or take a bunch of people with him.

The episode was good, but how can they get back to the fun without a) dragging everything down with an egregious drawn out after school special-like healing sequence (which would have to take at least 8 arduous episodes) or b) conveniently restoring Danny back to normal next episode, because, you know, he was bonked on the head by the catharsis fairy. Dumb an unbelievable (b) beats overwrought and tedious (a) in my book.

I don’t think getting Danny engaged is a bad idea (even though it does seem a bit early in the show’s development) because virtually every regular on the show besides James Caan is young, unattached, and promiscuous, so we don’t really loose anything. But I’ll bet they shit-can the engagement to go for a long-winded will-they-or-won’t-they romance (screw that – the characters belong together, and this is not a novel plot anymore).

So – a good but worrying start, and here’s hoping they get back to the fun. Incidentally, the show has the best opening credits of any show on TV with the remix of Elvis’ “A Little Less Conversation” against an exciting Strip montage. LAX (see OH GOD, NO below) in comparison, pairs a great opening song (ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky”) with a good airport montage, but by just playing the song’s opening (you don’t even get to hear the words “Mr. Blue Sky”), it gives you that didn’t-reach-the-climax feeling (like auditory blue-balls). Maybe they’ll do a better opening song edit for the series (this was, after all, just the pilot, and sometimes pilots don’t even have the opening credits).


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