Las Vegas is famous for its glitz, glamour, gambling, and sex ("what happens in Vegas..."), so it was the perfect setting for a prime-time pseudo-soap. Las Vegas aired on NBC for five seasons, following the action and sexual escapades of the employees of the fictional Montecito Casino and Hotel.

Las Vegas centered around Danny McCoy (Josh Duhamel, most famous for his role in the Transformers movies), ex-marine and protege of Ed Deline (James Cann), former CIA agent and head of security at the Montecito. Danny also had a fling with Ed's daughter, the flightly Delinda (Molly Sims). Danny's buddy Mike Cannon (James Leisure) is a valet at the Montecito who's also a computer genius. (The show later eliminated the valet job.) Danny's childhood sweetheart Mary Connell (Nikki Cox) also works at the hotel as a special events director. The whole cast didn't revolve around Danny: there's also hot African-American-with-an-English-accent pit boss Nessa (Marsha Thomason) and Sam Marquez (Vanessa Marcil), casino hostess. The final season eliminated characters Ed, Mary, and Nessa and brought in new Montecity owner A.J. Cooper (Tom Selleck) and Piper Nielsen (Camille Guaty).

Remember the elaborate casino security in the Ocean's movies? You won't see much of that here, as the people in charge of security run around after crooks and cheats. Then again, Las Vegas is as much about the sexual comings and goings of the staff, quirky people and childhood sweethearts finding love, lots of celebrity appearances (hey, at least the show "killed" Jean-Claude Van Damme!), and lots and lots of beautiful people in expensive suits or skimpy outfits.

Las Vegas is, simply, shiny fluff. While there are occasional attempts to make the show "serious" (like Danny being sent off to war briefly), the show is all about seeing how the beautiful people play. I strongly suspect Caan and Selleck did the show for the paycheck alone -- and none of the other cast members really stand out. If you want a show that's silly and a soap with a big budget and less intrigue, you may enjoy Las Vegas. Me, I'll pass.

Overall grade: C-
Reviewed by James Lynch

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