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Airline sitcom ‘LA to Vegas’ delivers a rough ride

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Kim Matula and Dylan McDermott fly the friendly skies on LA to Vegas.
Photo: Fox / Courtesy

Two and a half stars

LA to Vegas Tuesdays, 9 p.m., Fox. Premieres January 2.

Anyone who’s made the flight between LA and Las Vegas, especially on a particularly busy holiday weekend, knows that it’s full of colorful, sometimes obnoxious characters, and the new sitcom LA to Vegas attempts to mine that for laughs, with mixed results. The show’s regular cast is split between employees of the fictional Jackpot Airlines and passengers who make frequent trips on the bargain flights between the two title cities, and its humor is equally broad whether addressing air travel or life in Las Vegas.

Main character Ronnie (Kim Matula) is a likable flight attendant with typical sitcom problems (unlucky in love, stuck in a dead-end job), and she provides a solid, grounded contrast to the broader supporting characters, including recognizable faces Dylan McDermott as a smarmy, overconfident pilot and Peter Stormare as a sleazy but well-meaning gambler. Ronnie’s will-they-or-won’t-they dynamic with a handsome divorced professor (Ed Weeks) who travels to see his son every week is pretty tired, and the character relationships haven’t quite come together in the three episodes available for review.

With jokes about strippers, quickie weddings and niche conventions, the show certainly doesn’t have a sophisticated or original take on Vegas. Its take on air travel is slightly fresher, but for the most part it occupies the same sitcom level as the budget airline for which its characters work.

Tags: Television
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