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Jackpot Airlines is the worst people carrier on the face of the Earth. And that also makes them the perfect main character in 15-episode comedy show LA To Vegas (2018), first and only on Showmax.
“I didn’t take this job to fly the same stupid route for the rest of my life. I want to travel and explore the world and have fun!” rants lead character and flight attendant Ronnie Messing (Kim Matula). Instead, she’s stuck on the Friday-Sunday flight between LA and Vegas and it’s exactly as bad as she makes out, explains Kim. “Ronnie is such a fun and relatable character because she doesn’t have her life together. She’s the glue that holds this plane together. She’s always making sure that everyone is doing what they’re supposed to do. Everyone comes to her to solve their problems.”
And boy, are there problems on the flight, which in reality is only 75 minutes – about the same time as Joburg to Durban.
This is your captain speaking
Captain Dave (Dylan McDermott) is polished on the outside with one of the most magnificent moustaches to grace the skies (it’s a pilot thing). But it’s a very different story on the inside. His love life has missed the boarding call. He’s a nervous flyer – no, really… he does “special edibles” to get through the short trips. And the only thing bigger than his ego is his rivalry with Captain Jasser (Dermot Mulroney). The only thing going for him is that despite his eccentricities, “Captain Dave is the man. And this is Captain Dave time, so buckle in!” laughs Dylan.
Too close for comfort
No matter how bad your personal co-passenger experiences, nothing tops the people flying Jackpot. And it’s not because they’re encroaching on your arm-rest space.
“Artem flies week in and week out,” explains Peter Stormare. “He knows everyone and everyone knows him.” That’s because the Russian dentist is also a bookie and he’ll gamble on anything and everything you can imagine during the flight. He’s probably even running a betting scheme on when they’ll crash and die, “But that’s what makes him fun,” adds the Swedish actor.
Artem isn’t the only crazy co-flier on the trip in each episode. Nichole Hayes (Olivia Macklin) is an exotic dancer who splits dollars in her thong between the two cities, offering Vegas punters a little extra for their investment, if you know what we mean. And well-to-do divorced British professor Colin McCormack (Ed Weeks) makes the weekly trip to visit his son in Vegas while he teaches economics at an LA college during the week. While he may be prim and proper on the outside, Colin somehow walks head-first into drama in each episode… and not just because he’s trying to impress Ronnie.
If you thought that regular airline foot was bad, calm yourselves – not a single meal actually gets served on Jackpot Airlines. That’s not because it’s a quick flight and you won’t need something to line your stomach before hitting the Vegas strip for a drink or three. Instead, it’s because Ronnie and her co-attendant bestie Bernard (Nathan Lee Graham) are too busy gossiping about the passengers, their love lives, job prospects and keeping Captain Dave in the cockpit to dish out the prepacked food that they’re actually warming up. And if you’re lucky enough to get your coffee or cocktail, you’re going to be disappointed – it’ll be as cold and weak as the crew who’re taking you 40 000ft in the sky.
And that makes LA To Vegas the perfect weekend binge if you’re looking for something light-hearted, entertaining and so bad that it’ll make you feel great about your next flight.
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