Everyone who has been to Las Vegas has a story to tell. And the new FOX comedy “LA to Vegas” proposes that those stories start on the flight to the Entertainment Capital of the World.
So, if you want to be entertained, more importantly, if you just want to put all the troubles in the world on hold for a little while, tune in LA to Vegas to escape and laugh. Just put your tray tables in their upright positions and fasten your seatbelts!
LA to Vegas is described as a workplace sitcom about an airline crew and the eccentric passengers who, every weekend, take a no-frills roundtrip flight from Los Angeles to Las Vegas with one goal in mind – to come back a winner. They also come back with a lot of funny stories.
The show features Dylan McDermott (The Practice, American Horror Story) as the hotshot pilot of the fictitious regional Jackpot Airlines. His flights carry a variety of crewmembers and regular passengers which include Kim Matula (UnREAL), Ed Weeks (The Mindy Project), Nathan Lee Graham (The Comeback), Olivia Macklin (The Young Pope), and Peter Stormare (The Big Lebowski). The creative team behind the production is also a stellar comedic group, among them executive producer Will Farrell (Anchorman, Elf), executive producer/director Steve Levitan (Modern Family), and executive producer/writer/creator Lon Zimmet (Men At Work).
At the recent Television Critics Association’s winter press tour, McDermott talked about feeling like a different person after making the extreme switch from dramas to a comedy where he gets to be goofy. McDermott’s last several series were dark and intense—Stalker, Dark Blue and Hostages. But now things have changed. He said, “I think it’s infectious. I noticed when we’re all laughing, the crew is laughing. Everybody’s having a better time. This is a great way to go to work after doing so much dark stuff for so long. We get to laugh all day long. I’m so happy. They feed me. They pay me. I get to laugh. This is the best. My life has changed because I’m happier.”
McDermott’s cast mate Nathan Lee Graham also revealed that Dylan plays music between takes, acting like a deejay to get everyone energized.
The story behind Dylan’s character, cockpit jockey Captain Dave, is interesting. The show’s creator Lon Zimmet explained, “There are few jobs that speak more to Americana and the all-American boy than a pilot, since going back to the ‘60s. I knew it should be almost a throwback to those days, a guy whose prime was probably years ago and is still holding onto a part of it. I wanted there to be a tragic element to him also. The first thought was bravado and cocky, and kind of a bro. Then the more interesting element of the character was—what’s underneath that? Where’s the vulnerability? Dylan plays that perfectly. He can nail the jokes and the big bravado of it, but also get to the humanity behind a guy who, at the end of the day, is sort of lonely and searching and aspiring to something more.”
McDermott added the macho mustache to the character. Dylan said, “I think that no one really thought of me for this role because no one ever thinks of me as funny. So that was the beginning of this. Luckily, I had worked with Will Ferrell on Saturday Night Live, and I had done The Campaign with him, so he knew I was funny, but nobody else did. So I knew I had to prove myself as having a sense of humor, and I thought the mustache was such a great idea because mustaches are so out, and they’ve been out for so long. So I thought that was a great beginning for Captain Dave.”
LA to Vegas premiered in January to 5.6 million viewers, making it FOX’s most watched Tuesday comedy since 2015. The network is embracing the show and just ordered three more episodes for its freshman season, bringing the total to 15.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight—LA to Vegas airs Tuesdays on FOX.
Margie Barron is a member of the Television Critics Association and has written for a variety of top publications for more than 35 years, and was proud to be half of the husband and wife writing team of Margie and Frank Barron.