Following up on what was one of the best debut seasons of 2003-2004 TV season would normally be a tricky endeavor, however for the back to basics Las Vegas, it was an easy task to avoid the sophomore slump. The reason it was so easy is that like TV shows of past, it followed a tried and true formula and essentially ended the same every week. Now sure it was a predicable show, with the good guys always coming out on top, but the way in which it's presented to the view is what makes Las Vegas a hit.
Returning to Sin City are Josh Duhamel as Danny McCoy, an ex-Marine who was called back into active duty in the finale of season one; James Caan in a great role as the boss, Ed Deline; Molly Sims as his ditsy with a genius IQ daughter, Delinda; the beautiful in her curly hair Marsha Thomason as pit boss Nessa; Nikki Cox as Mary, long time friend and love interest to Danny; Vanessa Marcil, the dream of all whales in Vegas as one of the top casino hosts in Vegas, Same Marquez; and rounding out the main cast of season two, James Lesure as the jack of all trades engineer who moonlights as a valet, Mike Cannon.
The story for each episode sets up the same, there's a problem of sorts be it card counters, security systems being breached or even money being laundered through the fictional Montecito Casino. Have no fear however, as the fearless group of co-workers and friends eventually band together to solve whatever mystery unfolds before the final commercial break, ending with the group all together having a last laugh at the events of the day, like a modern day Love Boat or Scooby Doo mystery.
Season Two consists of twenty four episodes spread across three double sided DVDs, with obviously no artwork on the DVD itself. Each side contains four episodes, each with their own little sub menu that has a brief summary of the episode you're about to watch, which is a nice feature to help you remember if you've seen an episode previously. One thing that this series does not have a shortage of, well aside from gratuitous cleavage, is guest stars whose appearance sometimes takes on more than a short cameo. The list of guest stars this season is: Michael Buble, George Hamilton, The Black Eyed Peas, Jill Hennessy and Jerry O'Connell in their crossover episode with Crossing Jordan, Alec Baldwin, The Polyphonic Spree, Michael Lowry, Duran Duran, Jay Mohr, Dean Cain, The Pussycat Dolls, Dale Foley, Jon Lovitz, Snoop Dogg, even Gladys Knight and Jon Bon Jovi make appearances.
I've only got two nitpicks with this DVD season set the first being the Universal Logo that is played before every single episode you watch. Is it not enough that we see the logo during the initial boot up of the DVD? The second nitpick which really would have been nice was the first half of the crossover episode that Crossing Jordan and Las Vegas did one third of the way through the season, instead we only get the episode we have here, and lose out on half the story like why the characters are in Vegas. Seems minor, but would have really helped out with continuity.
1. Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
2. The Count of Montecito
3. Blood Is Thicker
4. Catch of the Day
5. Good Run of Bad Luck
6. Games People Play
7. Montecito Lancers
8. Two of a Kind (Crossing Jordan crossover)
9. Degas Away with It
10. Silver Star
11. My Beautiful Launderette
12. When You Gotta Go...
13. Sperm Whales and Spearmint Rhinos
14. The Lie Is Cast
15. Whale of a Time
16. Can You See What I See?
17. Tainted Love
18. To Protect and Serve Manicotti
19. One Nation, Under Surveillance
20. Hit Me!
21. Hide And Sneak
22. Letters, Lawyers and Loose Women
23. Magic Carpet Fred
How's it look:
The transfer and print on Las Vegas: Season Two is a pristine anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1) presentation that didn't fail to impress me throughout the season. But this should be expected being only months since the finale to the season was mere months ago. Colors were as sharp as they were in the initial broadcast, and I did not notice any type of pixelation or edge enhancement.
How's the Sound:
The episodes themselves sound great in the 5.1 Dolby Digital option offered, with the surrounds used quite well especially in the casino, with ambient noise coming from them helping to immerse the viewer into the casino.
One huge disappointment on this release which was carried over from the first DVD set is the opening song that plays during the credits was altered. The new song just doesn't have the same punch and beat that the broadcast opening had, so that removes some of the enjoyment from viewing.
A fairly weak package of extras on this release with only two features to watch. First up is a nearly fifteen blooper and gag reel that encompasses both season one and two. I'm assuming that this is where NBC decided that they could add the Uncut & Uncensored, because all the flubs that involve colorful language are in here, uncensored. Sure some other in episode footage might linger on cleavage a little longer, but after watching most episodes in their original run and then again here, I was hard pressed to see any major differences.
The other feature is a guided walk through of the Palms casino, which is featured quite prominently throughout the show. The interesting part about this is the ability to see into some of the high roller suites that the likes of us normal people would never get to see into.
For fans of the series, this is a good collection, but not exactly a great one, thanks to the exclusion of the originally aired title music. That coupled with the fact that it's quite light in the extras department detract from the DVD, but not enough to take away an excellent second season of a very fun, entertaining and mindless TV series that still has me tuning in every Monday night. Recommended.