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LA to Vegas
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that LA to Vegas is a comedy about airline staff who fly from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back again. Parents' prime concern with this show will probably be the maturity level of the humor: There are jokes about sex, drugs, religion, and other ticklish topics. A captain asks for a drink "for the road" before flying and jokes about the possibility of mistiming "edibles" and "getting high." A flight attendant jokes about passengers "butt-smuggling Molly" and drinks multiple miniature bottles of liquor. A dancer jokes about customers asking her for "oral," and trapping other women into sex work. Passengers make out in an airplane bathroom while someone outside asks if they're "banging." A woman is seen in her lacy bra when she changes in the middle of an airline terminal. Language is infrequent but includes "hell," "damn," "ass," "d--k," "piss off," and "bitch," meaning both "a rude woman" and "a weak man." A woman is called a "ho" and invited to have sex in a cockpit mid-flight. One character is an unrepentant gambler who bets on everything from the possibility of a marriage failing to when a man will get out of jail. Characters mock each other but also treat each other with affection and are emotionally supportive when the chips are down.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Every weekend of the year, passengers fly from LA TO VEGAS hoping to strike it rich, and Jackpot Airlines takes them there. Captain Dave (Dylan McDermott) is the guy who flies the plane -- by hook or by crook -- while dissatisfied flight attendant Ronnie (Kim Matula) and quippy Bernard (Nathan Lee Graham) get the passengers into their seats with warm beers in hand. Nobody really likes flying -- especially not the people working the flights -- and nobody's really a winner in the group of miscreants and goofballs who frequent the Vegas run. But once the cabin doors are shut, it's just the Jackpot crew and passengers against the world, so the least they can do is enjoy the ride.
Is it any good?
Sharp, zesty, and lots of fun, this workplace comedy takes flight on the strength of great writing, a kicky premise, and appealing characters. The person who had the idea to set a comedy on an airline that makes a weekend Los Angeles to Las Vegas run was a bonafide genius: We've grown used to comedies set in hospitals, backstage on TV shows, or in offices, but an airline setting, where quirky new characters can breeze in and out while regulars endure, has plenty of juice. The (typically) miserable experience of flying also offers a lot of comic possibilities, which LA to Vegas ably milks: warm drinks, delayed departures, tray tables that won't stay put, seatmates who won't shut up.
Viewers will also quickly develop an affection for the show's characters: feisty flight attendant Ronnie, louche pilot Captain Dave, Ronnie's fellow flight attendant Bernard, who has a distinctly Titus Andromedon vibe (viewers probably won't be surprised to learn that one of the behind-the-scenes powers that be on this show is connected to Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt). In the show's pilot, Bernard attempts to explain to Ronnie why she doesn't want a new job working the "JFK route" on a major airline: "The only reason people go to New York is to work, or ugh, to see plays. Las Vegas is a place where tigers are liberated from their dirty jungles, and acrobats can make a living." With jokes like that, we'll be checking in to LA to Vegas on time, every time.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why workplace comedies like LA to Vegas are such a staple on television. What is it that's funny about a group of people who must be together for hours a day but wouldn't otherwise be friends?
Is the viewer supposed to feel the same way about all the characters on LA to Vegas? Are some characters supposed to be relatable and some absurd? Which characters are which, and how can you tell?
What is appealing about a TV show setup in which we see some of the same characters on each episode but are also introduced to new characters? What other types of setups offer this opportunity? Think about shows set in stores, offices, hospitals -- how are they like this show, or different?
For kids who love comedy
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