1:29pm PT by Daniel Fienberg
Take Me to the Pilots '17: Fox's 'LA to Vegas'
[I'll remind you at the top of every single one of these: These entries are not reviews. They're gut reactions to not-for-air pilots that could change in big and small ways between now and September or October or midseason. Full reviews will come then. They'll be longer. And more carefully considered. The opinions may even change. Who knows?]
Show: LA to Vegas (Fox) [Midseason]
The Pitch: "It's The Love Boat on a Crappy Regional Airline"
Quick Response: I'm skipping ahead to midseason here for two reasons: 1) Fox hasn't made its other new fall show (The Gifted) available to critics, and 2) I'm tired of only writing about stuff that isn't very good. Typographical nightmares aside — is it L.A. to Vegas? LA > Vegas? L.A. to Las Vegas? — LA to Vegas is a really good comedy pilot, with a handful of actual laughs, which can't be said for any other 2017-18 network pilot I've watched so far. My predisposition to laughing at Dylan McDermott for his terrific mustache and against-type drawl is one thing, but this is actually a great comic performance complete with an amusing and well-executed physical comedy capper. McDermott is the expected breakout here, but all of the supporting work is good as well, including Nathan Lee Graham and especially Peter Stormare, whose rogue's gallery of ambiguously accented mystery men gets a very fine addition here. Kim Matula is actually probably the lead here, and the UnReal veteran is funny in her own right, rather than just being the frazzled straight-woman surrounded by craziness. The pilot is sharply written by Lon Zimmet and shows how this very basic premise — customers and employees on a Friday/Sunday airline circuit to Las Vegas — could be surprisingly repeatable. Given the nightmare that is plane flight for so many people, LA to Vegas nicely straddles the line between empathy for both passengers and also employees, all trapped in overpriced, uncomfortable metallic fart tubes together. I assume Jackpot Airlines has evil corporate overlords, and I look forward to seeing them as well.
Desire to Watch Again: High. Of course, I also really liked Pan Am. Maybe I'm just a sucker for TV shows about airlines?
Take Me to the Pilots '17: CBS' 'SEAL Team'
Take Me to the Pilots '17: The CW's 'Dynasty'
Take Me to the Pilots '17: ABC's 'The Good Doctor'
Take Me to the Pilots '17: CBS' 'Wisdom of the Crowd'
Take Me to the Pilots '17: The CW's 'Valor'
Take Me to the Pilots '17: ABC's 'The Mayor'
Take Me to the Pilots '17: Fox's 'Ghosted'
Take Me to the Pilots '17: NBC's 'The Brave'
Take Me to the Pilots '17: CBS' 'Young Sheldon'
All of My 2016 Take Me to the Pilots Entries