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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Las Vegas: Season Five
Las Vegas: Season Five
National Geographic // Unrated // July 22, 2008
List Price: $59.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted August 7, 2008 | E-mail the Author
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The Fifth 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. 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 enjoyable enough. For more details about Las Vegas, refer to DVD Talk's reviews of season one, season two, season three, and season four.

The fifth season of Las Vegas is the last of the series. Initially, it received high ratings, but they gradually dropped. In season five, some changes were made, but to no avail NBC's sinfully fun show did not increase its viewer base. After season five finished airing, NBC cancelled the series. Personally, Las Vegas is not a show I would consider great or even good. However, I have always enjoyed its entertaining, action-packed, over-the-top storylines. To that end, I was sorry to see the series cancelled, especially with how season five ends. Season five concludes with a cliffhanger and no resolution. It is disappointing when a show is cancelled and no resolution to the season finale cliffhanger is provided. Having said that, season five is still full of juicy, racy drama and action -- just be prepared to left hanging.

In the season four finale, a lot of things were left up in the air. (No recap to prevent spoilers.) Season five opens with an exciting two-part episode to wrap things up. The end result is Mary not returning to Las Vegas. Ed appears in the season five premiere, but moves on to bigger and better things. In place of Ed and Mary are two new characters. Tom Selleck joins the cast as A.J. Cooper. Cooper is the new owner of the Montecito. He is a wealthy cattle rancher/businessman. He has a cool and mysterious personality similar to Ed. The other new character is Piper Nielsen (Camille Guaty). She is a new concierge and wild at heart. Her character is wilder than Mary and makes for a decent addition. Overall, the cast changes do not make the show any better. Selleck is a good character, but he doesn't have the same appeal Caan did as the hotel's lead. Guaty has a few good moments, but really is nothing special.

As for the season five content, there are good and bad episodes. Unfortunately, there is more of the latter. The quality is not quite like earlier seasons, which is partly due to the change in cast dynamic and not enough popcorn fun episodes. There are some good ones with Danny and Mike unraveling some complex situations. "Run, Cooper, Run!" is a good example. Cooper wakes up in his room with a dead woman and no memory of what happened; Danny and Mike work against the odds to exonerate him.

The not so exciting episodes diverge from the series' original format with too much drama. "Adventures In The Skin Trade" is a prime example. Delinda befriends a stripper, who is a single mother. She coordinates a strike for Las Vegas strippers and makes Danny the poster boy for the cause. It is a slow going episode with little real content. Another rather lackluster episode is "A Cannon Carol". It is the Las Vegas version of A Christmas Carol; Mike plays Scrooge.

Overall, season five could have been better. The season episodes focus a little too much on drama and characters. There is some decent character development, but these plotlines (such as Danny and Delinda's pregnancy, Mike looking for Mrs. Right, Sam coming to terms with her personal demons, Cooper getting to know the cast) do not give the show enough kick to be great. The fact of the matter is that the show's original appeal set in the early seasons is minimal. The fast-paced, action-packed, over-the-top storylines are (for the most part) missing in action. While there are a few, there is clearly not enough. In the end, Las Vegas has a decent final season with the exception of how it ends. Fans will want to check it out.

Episode Guide

1. A Hero Ain't Nothing But a Sandwich/Shrink Rap: As everyone investigates the murder of Mary's father, Ed also begins to wonder if a recent robbery at the casino was an inside job, and Delinda tells Danny a difficult secret. Even more scandals surface on the casino floor, as Sam deals with the aftermath of her escape from a helicopter and the staff prepares to meet the new owner, A.J. Cooper.
2. The Glass Is Always Cheaper: Women flock to the casino for a glimpse of some super-hot window washers, but the staff have other things on their minds as Cooper opens up the applicant pool for the new president to external candidates.
3. Head Games: New changes are afoot at the Montecito as Mike becomes distracted by the beautiful contestants for the recently launched Pacific Tropic Spokesmodel Search.
4. Run, Cooper, Run: Perception is not everything when Danny and Mike discover a crime scene in Cooper's suite and Delinda takes an unconventional approach to parenting.
5. When Life Gives You Lemon Bars: Halloween is full of tricks and treats as Cooper shadows Sam while she tries to lure in a new "whale" and Delinda hires a pastry chef who is not as sweet as she seems.
6. Adventures in the Skin Trade: Things get hot and heavy as Danny and Mike find themselves at a strip club when things get too physical and Delinda begins an advocacy campaign for exotic dancers.
7. It's Not Easy Being Green: There's more than one way to be "green" in Las Vegas as Delinda tries to push more environmental awareness on the staffers and Sam capitalizes on her high-roller clients looking for love.
8. My Uncle's a Gas: Danny's got the odds stacked against him when he gets a surprise visit from the fire marshal and his alcoholic uncle in the midst of a robbery by an organized team of thieves.
9. The High Price of Gas: Sin City deals with the effects of the Montecito attack, and Danny works to fend off the accusations against his uncle, who remains the prime suspect.
10. A Cannon Carol: As the holidays approach, everyone focuses on vacation plans--except Mike, who struggles with his place in Las Vegas and in the lives of his friends.
11. I Could Eat a Horse: Mike and Danny gallop to Wyoming to buy a horse for Cooper's ranch and find the job to be more difficult than they planned.
12. 3 Babes, 100 Guns and a Fat Chick: Everyone seems to be packing heat when FBI agents and bounty hunters swoop in to capture a fugitive, but pregnant Delinda only notices that she has been packing on the pounds.
13. Secrets, Lies and Lamaze: When Piper faces trouble from the gaming commission, Cooper helps her out and rises the suspicions of the staff.
14. Guess Who's Coming to Breakfast: Sam calls in "The Cleaner" to help after her "whales" check out a strip club, and Mike and Piper try to hire a sexy new bartender but find themselves partaking in one of Vegas's oldest cliches.
15. 2 on 2: It's not all fun and games when the stakes in a 2-on-2 basketball tournament become higher than Danny and Mike anticipated, and Piper hopes for some team help when she's evaluated for the "Concierge of the Year" award.
16. Win, Place, Bingo: Cooper, Danny and Mike become suspicious when a man betting on horses appears to have a perfect winning streak.
17. Three Weddings and a Funeral (2-hour special): With a little help from three hot streakers, thieves take the surveillance team hostage as part of their plan to steal a stamp worth seven million dollars.

The DVD

Video:
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.

Audio:
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 English subtitles and support for closed captioning.

Extras:

  • Gag Reel (10:07): opens with a monologue of Mike and Danny in a forbidden love. Afterwards, it is a standard bloopers reel with the cast acting goofy and messing up their lines.
  • VFX Featurette (3:48): is about some of the visual effects in the show. For instance, some of the filming in the Las Vegas strip is really green screen.
  • Hot Stuff (4:31): is a montage of clips from the entire series featuring guns, babes, fisticuffs, dramatic moments, dancing, and other "hot stuff".
  • NBC.com Webcasts (15:27): is a collection of behind the scenes clips with cast and crew that were made during the filming of season five. These clips were made available on NBC.com.

Final Thoughts:
Las Vegas is a television series I would not rate as great or even good. However, it is a show that I have always enjoyed. From the start, it delivered non-stop action with juicy, over-the-top plotlines. The episodes focused on the Montecito team stopping bad guys, uncovering murderous plots, and other racy, fun sex-filled cases. It was exciting. Gradually, the series went downhill. In season five, it is at its worst. While not awful, there are few too many moments when the entertainment factor is lacking. Needless to say, season five is decent and will be good for fans of the show.

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