Nothing much changes in the second season of Las Vegas. Of course, Danny comes home from his secret and apparently tragic tour of duty. Mike is a full fledged member of the security team. Otherwise it’s business as usual for the workers at the Montecito. The show works well as an ensemble piece, but the relationship between Danny and Big Ed is more fully developed here and is beginning to dominate the series. James Caan continues to impress with work most of his peers would consider beneath him. The flashy fast paced camera work continues to offer a dizzying ride through the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas. All in all the show probably improved in year two, if for nothing else the characters have been fleshed out more in season two. Sometimes the interrelationships get a little too complicated and I could certainly do with less of the cliché of everyone hooking up with everyone else. All in all, this is a unique series with plenty of laughs, glitter, action, and hormones to please almost anyone.
The Montecito Hotel and Casino is the setting for action and play. Former CIA operative Ed Deline (Caan) and his CIA buddy Danny McCoy (Duhamel) run one of the world’s most sophisticated surveillance systems. With the help of a very young and attractive staff, the crew encounters everything from cheaters to mob hit men.
Each episode contains an impressive Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track. I found this mix to be quite aggressive for a television series. Surrounds are used to wonderful effect and place you perfectly in the action. Dialogue is always well centered. Even the subs often provide a startling level of activity. This is one of the best TV audio tracks I’ve heard to date.
Each episode of Las Vegas is presented in a nice 1.78:1 aspect ratio, perfectly matted for your 16×9 monitor. Colors are vibrant and as flashy as you would expect from a Vegas setting. The show’s trademark “zoom through space” camera effects look just great. Desert scenes display a bit more grain and washed out color that is not really out of place in the bright Vegas sunlight. Contrast is sharp, as are blacks. You won’t find any significant digital artifact or edge enhancement problems here.
The episodes are presented on three double-sided discs. The extras are found throughout the set. “VIP Access Only” is really nothing more than a promo for The Palms Casino and Hotel in Vegas. “Gag Reel” Is quite lengthy for this kind of feature at just under 15 minutes. It’s a ton of fun and the only extra worth watching.
Again the box promises uncut and uncensored, but if you’re looking for HBO style nudity and such you’re out of luck. The “extra” footage, if it exists at all, is insignificant and acts only as a promo fluff. Looking at the running times there just doesn’t seem to be extra time added on any of the episodes.
Many shows use their second year to tweak what the producers might consider flaws. Fortunately the crew behind Las Vegas has avoided such often disastrous tinkering. There are no cast changes, yet. (The now airing third season has had changes). So this is the last year to enjoy the original Las Vegas, the way it was intended to be seen. So “check it out”.