The Third Season
Las Vegas is a television series about the daily lives of the people behind the operations of the Montecito Hotel and Casino. The elite group manages daily casino operations to special events to hotel management. The series gives a sexy spin to the Las Vegas life and shows what it is like for the guys and girls who work behind the scenes to make sure your stay at the fictional Montecito Hotel and Casino is as pleasant as possible, and that means stopping criminals, would-be scam artists, and fowl customers. The storylines deal with identifying card-counting cheaters, stopping armed robberies, foiling diabolical plans to steal money from the casino, dealing with the casino's competition, and so on. For the most part, the stories are episodic, where the plotlines are contained within a single episode. You can watch an episode here or there and not miss much in the big picture. Overall, Las Vegas makes for a flashy fun drama that sometimes is a little cheesy and fake, but the characters are likeable and the stories are engaging. For more details about Las Vegas, refer to DVD Talk's reviews of season one and season two.
The season three characters consist of Ed Deline (James Caan), a former CIA operative and president of operations, Danny McCoy (Josh Duhamel), a former military man and Deline's number two, Mike Cannon (James Lesure), a former valet with a degree in engineering from M.I.T. and a vital asset to the Montecito's security and surveillance operations, Mary Connell (Nikki Cox), the manager of the Montecito Hotel and longtime friend and former lover of Danny, Sam Marquez (Vanessa Marcil), the hottest Las Vegas host in town, and Delinda Deline (Molly Sims), Ed's daughter and the manager of Mystique, the hotel's club and restaurant.
Season three opens with the Montecito Hotel and Casino under new management. Lara Flynn Boyle joins the cast as Monica Mancuso, a young power-hungry woman who at the age of 25 married an 83 year old billionaire. She's rich and looking to prove herself. She believes opening a successful casino is the only way to prove to the world she is more than a young girl who married a rich old man. I found her to be an annoying character whose personality was unlikable and naive and I'm pretty sure the writers intended her to be like that. She does not remain on the cast for the entire season. In the beginning of the season, the cast getting re-accustomed with each other and back into their positions (and a couple promotions) is a storyline at the fore. Monica's push to be the best also plays a pertinent role in the storylines, which ends with her untimely death. Dean Cain joins as Casey Manning to take over for her.
With the new ownership and management of the Montecito, Monica put the cast into disordered at the end of season two. The Montecito was shut down and underwent major remodeling, as well Ed's staff took a beating and he lost most of them. For reasons briefly explained, Nessa Holt (Marsha Thomason) is no longer around. Her father's connections to Ed's past in the CIA led to her to life in a witness protection program. Everyone else also left the Montecito and Ed is eager to get them back. Danny is running his father's construction company, Mike is a valet again, Sam has set up shop in another hotel/casino, and Delinda is running the club Pure at the Caesar. In the season premiere "Viva Las Vegas", Ed works diligently to get everyone back at the Montecito, except for his daughter, who takes charge of Mystique in episode "Whatever Happened to Seymour Magoon?", and Mary who becomes the hotel manager in "The Real McCoy". Once (most of) Ed's team is back together, it is business as usual for this elite crew.
The season begins with the episode "Viva Las Vegas", and besides the storyline of getting the crew back together and Ed trying to get accustomed to Monica's overly abrasive personality, he fears when the Montecito is going to be robbed. When the hotel opens its doors for the first time since the remodel, the casino is going to be victim of a smash and grab. Two other casinos, the Indian and the Riverboat casinos were both recent victims of an armed robbery. Ed's gut tells him they are next and he wants to delay the grand re-opening to work out a few additional details. Despite his reservations, Monica wants to proceed as planned. Her entire reputation is on the line. In the next episode "Fake the Money and Run", Ed and Mike have their hands full when Mike finds a counterfeit chip during a random inspection. It leads to an unbelievable story that is still fun to watch. Meanwhile, Danny deals with two problems. He is still dealing with the loss of his father and he is not quite sure what to do with the house he inherited. His accountant suggested he sell the property, as the taxes are going to bleed him dry. At this point, Rachel Leigh Cook joins the cast as a reoccurring character named Penny Posin. Penny is a sexy, young real estate agent and she becomes Danny's new love interest.
"Double Down, Triple Threat" is a somewhat fun episode. It is a cross-over episode with television series Crossing Jordan. Jill Hennessy and Jerry O'Connell guest star as Jordan Cavanaugh and Woody Hoyt. I was never a huge fan of Hennessy in Law & Order, but I love her in Crossing Jordan. On the flipside, O'Connell annoys the hell out of me. Regardless, the story is enjoyable with Hennessy teaming up with Ed's crew to solve a case of kidnapping and extortion, while Woody recounts the previous evening to Sam and explains why they woke up in bed together. "The Real McCoy" continues a storyline about Danny's father. In his dad's bedroom, he found pictures of dad with a woman he had never met before. He continues to investigate the matter to find out who she is and what her relationship with his father entailed. The story itself is not too interesting, but when Penny gets involved the drama spices up a notch and it becomes much more appealing. This is the last episode Cook appears in. The episode's other major storyline has Sam dealing with her brother and hotel owner Monica and their love affair. Sarah Clarke also guest stars as Olivia Duchey the new hotel manager who steps on too many toes. Ed fires her and Mary takes her place. It is eerie to see Clarke in this role, I am too used to her Nina Meyers role from 24.
In the episode "Everything Old Is You Again", Las Vegas gets a face lift. Danny attends a collectable show being hosted at the hotel and purchases sign for the Jubilee Hotel and Casino, which existed in the 60s. The Montecito was built on the same spot as the Jubilee. In this episode, Danny and Mike ponder how running the operations of a casino and hotel in that era would have been. Everybody's roles are different and how they deal with "problems" is rougher and dirtier. It is a somewhat fun episode and change of pace for the show. "For Sail By Owner" is Monica's last as a living, breathing person. Monica has been basically running the Montecito into the ground with one bad decision after another. Ed quit because of her and Danny is concerned. Danny phones Casey that the hotel and casino is in trouble and probably ripe for purchase. Monica finds out about the phone call and confronts him about the matter on the hotel's rooftop. Unfortunately, a gust of wind blew her over the side and ended her life. Danny is the prime suspect in Monica's death, which is investigated by a green detective. Casey comes to Las Vegas and buys the Montecito. Mike is also found in the stairwell beaten and unconscious.
In "Urban Legends", the Montecito is hosting a car show and they want NASCAR celebrity Jimmie Johnson to be a judge. Mary goes to Jimmie to talk him into doing the show, which he agrees to. Mary is all kinds of sexy and what guy could say no to her? Jimmie surely couldn't. The day's events are complicated when Danny and Mike enter a patron's room to find him in a bathtub covered with ice. His kidney was removed. Ed also deals with Sam, who now owns half of the Montecito (her ex-husband is Casey), and she does not know exactly what she is doing. "Lyle & Substance" presents the cast with a big explosive problem. While monitoring the camera feeds, Danny notices a guy swipe a chip from someone else's stash. When he and Mike apprehend him, the thief offers a tip in exchange for immunity. He claims he knows about a plot to blow up the hotel. The investigation leads Mike undercover working at Bronco Burger. Mike's interview for the job is a tad on the silly side.
"All Quite on the Montecito Front" revisits the almost-taboo relationship between Danny and Delinda. In the past the two have seen some heat, most notably in the series' pilot when Ed caught them in bed together. In this episode, romance brews again and they are definitely headed places together. But as their relationship is on the taboo side, they keep it hush-hush. Unfortunately, Jillian (Cheryl Ladd), Delinda's mother, unknowingly complicates matters when she invites Delinda's old boyfriend Derek Stephenson (Shawn Christian) to visit. Delinda and Derek hit it off and it leaves Danny out in the cold. Casey also sends the cast on a team building exercise, paint balling. In the final two episodes of the season, the biggest story is about Delinda, Derek, and wedding vows. In "Fidelity, Security, Delivery", she agrees to marry him. Sam and Woody also go away for a romantic weekend while Danny and Mike spy on some guests' wives. In the season finale, "Father of the Bride" there is a lot going on. First off, Delinda's wedding is in the works with the wedding planning, a wild bachelorette party and twelve male strippers, a dull bachelor party and no strippers, choosing the maid of honor and best man, and dealing with past romances, e.g. Danny and Delinda. The fun part about the wedding is Danny and Sam's competition to be the firsts to get a date. However, the real meat of the episode is about Ed and his CIA past. Two spooks come to Vegas to try to get Ed to work on an operation that he thought was over twenty years ago.
Overall, the season three episodes of Las Vegas are both entertaining and engaging. The characters are all animated and lively, which is partly what makes this show so enjoyable. In addition to the main cast, there are lots fun guest stars and supporting roles (some celebrities and some not), and their antics give the show a comical edge in addition to the show's racy, sexy appeal. The stories are the weak link in the show. The stories tend to be somewhat narrow, as a lot of material is fit into a single episode and it is repetitive in nature. Regardless, the season three episodes are entertaining and should keep you coming back for more.
1. Viva Las Vegas
2. Fake the Money and Run
3. Double Down, Triple Threat
4. Whatever Happened to Seymour Magoon?
5. Big Ed De-Cline
6. The Real McCoy
7. Everything Old Is You Again
8. Bold, Beautiful and Blue
10. For Sail by Owner
11. Down and Dirty
12. Bait and Switch
13. The Bitch Is Back
14. And Here's Mike with the Weather
15. Urban Legends
16. Coyote Ugly
17. Lyle & Substance
18. Like a Virgin
19. Cash Springs Eternal
20. All Quit on the Montecito Front
21. Chaos Theory
22. Fidelity, Security, Delivery
23. Father of the Bride
The video in this release is given in an anamorphic 1.78:1 ratio widescreen color format. The picture quality is quite good. It suffers from a slight grain, but detail remains to be sharp and clear. However, there are moments when the picture suffers noticeable compression artifacts. Overall, the picture is relatively clean and should look good on big screen televisions.
The audio track in this release is in English 5.1 Dolby digital surround. In general, the sound quality is very good and it provides an audible and clean track. The dialogue is usually a little flat while music and sound effects come off rich and vibrant. Additionally the 5.1 track is dynamic and makes good use of the surround sound capability.
There are subtitles included in English and Spanish, as well as support for closed captioning.
For extras, there is not much. There is a gag reel, a featurette, and some trailers. The "Gag Reel" is approximately seven minutes of filming goofs, some shots of bare female chests, and the cast acting all-around silly. It is a pretty fun clip to watch. "In With the New" is a pretty worthless extra. It is two and a half minutes of footage of the new hotel set being built (not in real-time). It is uneventful and I am shocked I watched the entire thing. The trailers include Amazing Stories, The Incredible Hulk, Fear Factor, Saturday Night Live, Magnum P.I./The A-Team/Knight Rider, Battlestar Galatica, and Coach. The trailers can be watched individually or all at once via the play all option.
Las Vegas is a fun and engaging television series about the sexy, racy Vegas lifestyle, or at least the lifestyle from the perspective of the people who operate behind the scenes at hotels and casinos. The stories typically have a dramatic tone with a dash of action and several comical moments to keep you laughing. The material is written in a way to be engaging and leave you wanting more. And while some of the stories (and characters) are fluffy and unrealistic, it is done is a way you can enjoy. However while I praise the show, I was disappointed to not see more complex story arcs. There were story arcs, but they tended not to be very big. In the end, Las Vegas: Season Three - Uncut & Uncensored is worth the money. You will like the characters, enjoy the storylines, and finish wanting more.
Note these DVDs are uncut and uncensored. While watching the season episodes, I did not notice any foul language you won't already find on network television, but there were a few of scenes with topless girls scattered throughout the episodes.