Chips with everything at Tom’s casino hotel
IS it just me or has Las Vegas been around longer than the titular city? This is only the show’s fifth season but, thanks to erratic programming, it appears on the schedule in short bursts, which makes it feels like more.
But that won’t be the case much longer. When filming was disrupted by the US screenwriters’ strike earlier this year, the series was axed and, cruelly, the blade fell in the middle of a two-part episode. Unless the show gets picked up elsewhere, what happens in the end will stay in the screenwriters’ heads.
Not that this matters to me, because while this pleasantly cheesy drama about the life of security staff and employees at the Montecito casino hotel is fun to watch and I had seen it often enough to know the characters, it is hardly must-see television. I felt a pang of regret that I wasn’t more involved after Lara Flynn Boyle’s casino owner Monica Mancuso was killed when a freak wind blew her off a roof and into a shoe store a few years back. But overall I was happy to leave the show alone, especially when it was announced that James Caan was leaving at the end of season four.
And then the show found my one weakness, Tom Selleck. Not only is Selleck the greatest man to rock a Hawaiian shirt and pair of short shorts ( in Magnum, PI ), but he proved surprisingly adorable as Monica’s boyfriend who is old enough to be her father in Friends .
Selleck has the right mix of gravitas and tongue-in-cheek humour to succeed in a show that knows exactly how far to push the stupid button. A show in which there is a cliched cop character who likes to menace people he can’t prove guilty, but which will
Gravitas and humour: Tom Selleck stars in also have Danny McCoy ( Josh Duhamel) ask him: ‘‘ Did you just step out of a pulp novel or something?’’
So given all my Selleck love, it’s a little disappointing that in this episode, when he joins the show as the new owner of the Montecito, he appears only in a couple of brief scenes and utters a total of two words. Luckily, he utters them pretty well.
And the rest of the episode is also worth catching. True, I don’t have a good idea of what’s going on — it seems there were explosions and a heist not long ago, and a character’s father was murdered — but all you really need to know is that a lot happens at the Montecito all the time.
And like any good casino, it gives you enough of a win to keep you coming back for more. So I’ll stick around long enough to at least hear Selleck’s third and fourth words, assuming the show is on the air that long.
Christmas is just around the corner, says Jamie Oliver, pictured. Pssst, mate, it’s tomorrow. His somewhat belated advice: keep things simple, don’t get too punchy and start fart-arsing around, get great produce for great flavour; and if you get organised you can have your Christmas back so the preparations don’t overtake the whole thing and drive you bonkers. This would have been terrific to watch last week, but it’d be a mad old cow that would try to shop, chop and sizzle along with Oliver before the shops shut tonight just an hour after the show finishes. This is a gorgeous program about those who go absolutely mental with their Christmas lights every year. What drives them to spend up to 11 months of the year, and a small fortune, on Christmas lights? Meet Peter and Lynne Greenway, who began stringing Christmas lights 18 years ago. Now 52,000 lights adorn their gingerbread house and nearby trees. For those who don’t do digital, will be shown tomorrow at 10.05pm on ABC1. If you are finding it hard to settle the little ones tonight, this Hallmark greeting card of a telemovie is guaranteed to do them no harm, except possibly bore them to sleep. Heartwarming gloop about a boy who enters and wins an essay competition. His title:
All together now: awwwww . . .