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April 24, 2014

Las Vegas: a midseason analysis

by Isabelle Carreau, posted Dec 16th 2007 5:03PM
Las VegasNow that about half of the season of NBC's Las Vegas has aired, it is probably time to analyze if the series still works, especially since James Caan and Niki Cox have departed after the September 2007 season premiere.

Back when I reported the news that both actors wouldn't report, I was pretty sure the show would do fine without Cox but I wasn't sure it could survive Caan's departure, not only because his character was a pivotal one that brought a unique flavor but also because of Caan's presence on screen. Would they do the show without replacing Caan's role? If so, who had enough small screen star power and on-screen presence to fill in those shows? Well, that person turned out to me Magnum, P.I.'s Tom Selleck.

I must say I was glad to hear Tom Selleck signed on to join Las Vegas because he is an actor I appreciate and thought he could actually bring in some freshness to the sometimes repetitive format of the show. Now that we've watched 11 episodes featuring Selleck's A.J. Cooper, I think the transition worked. Cooper is somewhat enigmatic and does control the stage when he is in a room, all things that Caan's Ed was. However, Cooper's background is less interesting than Ed's was (CIA agent) and I sometimes wonder why he does some of the things he does (that bowling alley is a tad cheesy even for Las Vegas).

As for Niki Cox, I actually welcomed her departure. I was getting tired of Mary moping and whining all the time. Plus, I wanted the show to make a decision as to which woman, between Mary and Delinda, Danny would choose once and for all and it was getting difficult for him to commit when both were still around (okay, he did choose Delinda episodes before Cox left the show but having Mary still there kept the hope of the Mary/Danny hookup alive).

What I'm not sure about though is about Cox's replacement. Don't get me wrong, I like Camille Guaty and she fits in with the Las Vegas cast. What I'm not sure about is the character of Piper. She's supposed to be the casino's concierge, yet, it seems that all she does is walk around the casino and take part in the other characters' conversations or help Sam out with her whales and their kids. Piper doesn't act much like a casino staff member and I think that's what bothering me. Her storylines need to be beefed up and we need to see her do more concierge stuff.

Otherwise, Las Vegas is pretty much the same: a drama that doesn't take itself seriously. The episodes all have pretty much the same format (except those themed episodes like the comic book one): a few bad players, Danny and Mike teaming up to save the day, Sam trying to help her whales, Delinda having to put out fires while trying to learn about life, etc. In short, it's exactly the type of show I like to watch during the weekend (I tape and watch on Saturday) because it's bubbly and doesn't require me to think much while I get entertained.

Las Vegas fans will be happy to know that 19 scripts out of the 22 ordered were completed before the writers' strike began. This means that if production completed all those episodes, we have eight episodes left to see this winter.

Las Vegas with Selleck and Guaty...
better than with Caan and Cox.154 (29.7%)
worse than with Caan and Cox.133 (25.6%)
about the same as with Caan and Cox.232 (44.7%)

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14 Comments

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Beth

I looked forward to watching Las Vegas. Why is it cancalled? Maybe the ratings would not have gone down if the show was on a different night. To have followed a show for all these years and not to have at least an ending that was livable with, how stupid. So glad I have cable so I don't have to watch NBC, CBS, Etc.

February 22 2008 at 1:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Geoff

Why is a bowling alley room too cheesy for Vegas??? It's one of the big suites at the Palms:

http://www.palms.com/suites_villas_7_4.php

December 17 2007 at 11:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Geoff's comment
Isabelle Carreau

I haven't explained myself fully enough on this topic it seems. Putting a bowling alley in a room in LV is great. It's how it's used in the show that makes it cheesy. Cooper uses the room almost like a conference room! lol

December 17 2007 at 11:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tammy

In the past, we were amazed at what they got away with in the 9 pm time slot.... now that it has moved to 10 pm.... have you noticed that the show got racier! I didn't think it was possible but it was. How about the lap dances the lingerie models did for Danny or how many times a woman bends over in a low cut dress and they zoom in on the cleavage. I'm not a prude and this doesn't offend me, I actually laugh alot of times when they do this stuff. It almost makes me want to rent the DVD's that claim to be even 'hotter' in content. I'm just surprised at how each year they are able to get away with more and more.

This show is meant to be campy and over the top and with that in mind, it does what it's supposed to do.... mindless entertainment on a Friday night (or whenever you finally get around to watching it!) It's nice to have shows like this to counter balance shows like Lost. For a while there we had so many serialized shows with complex storylines that it was exhausting to watch tv. I like mindless stuff that you can have on, clean, check email, etc and still follow the story line. Shows like Las Vegas entertain and you know you will giggle at something and smile at times and it's one of the few shows that I watch the opening credits because I love the song.

Anyway..... I don't miss Mary, I agree that Piper is worthless and Tom Selleck is a good replacement for Caan even if they haven't really fleshed out his character much. I do miss James Caan sometimes though.

December 17 2007 at 10:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brent McKee

I do miss Mary (and Nikki Cox's most obvious talents) but the character was really hurt by the decision to move away from Mary being Danny's love interest to Mary being pretty much on the outside of everything. I was really frustrated that the character development took of in the direction that it did. Piper annoys the crap out of me though. I really miss James Caan if for no other reason than Ed Deline was so over the top. I never get the feeling of imminent violence with Cooper that I did with Big Ed.

December 17 2007 at 4:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
anne

Loved Caan, but Tom is great and is still such a hottie. I agree-he has brought a new freshness to the show. I really like Cooper.

I agree with you about Piper. She just doesn't add much to the show for me.

December 16 2007 at 11:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
M

Although this show is not "quality" like Lost or BSG, I really like it... like Isabelle mentioned, it's a perfect weekend show to watch that is just for fun because there is no thinking required.... beautiful people wearing beautiful clothes in beautiful places, with a special musical guest every week... what's wrong with that?

I hope that it gets the full 22 and renewed for next season!

December 16 2007 at 11:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jaerisk

I like this show it's fun and Vanessa Marcil is hot.

December 16 2007 at 7:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jake

I think the show is great with the new cast members. I think it could get better if, like you said, they explore the new cast members more. The piper character is a blank canvas for the writers and right now they aren't doing anything with it. I still think there's more to Cooper than what we have seen also.

December 16 2007 at 7:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Artie B

JIMMY Cooper? I didn't think we had ever heard Cooper's first name on the show (other than A.J.).

And wasn't Jimmy Cooper a character on "The O.C."?

December 16 2007 at 5:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Artie B's comment
Isabelle Carreau

Looks like I had Jimmy Cooper on my mind yesterday (I was watching reruns of The OC while typing this!) I corrected Cooper's name; it's "A.J." not "Jimmy."

December 17 2007 at 8:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Argus

Improving on the previous Las Vegas is like improving on a steaming piece of poo... What an awful show. Suspension of belief is doable when the story changes, but not when its the same story every single week.

December 16 2007 at 5:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Argus's comment
Argus

I don't even know how Los Vegas is affected by the writers strike, I just assumed they were still using the same scripts from the first season.

December 16 2007 at 5:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michael

You mean suspension of disbelief. Uh, other than that, I agree with you 100%!

December 16 2007 at 11:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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