Vegas on TV

October 15-21

Vegas ER (Oct. 15, 6-10 a.m., Oct. 18, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., FITTV): Docs treat Vegas patients. Hopefully, you’re not among them.

Vegas Rat Rods (Oct. 15, noon-5 p.m., 10 p.m., Oct. 16, 2 a.m., 2-10 p.m., Oct. 17, 1 a.m., DSC): Think of this as a “Rat” infestation — those “rats” being Steve Darnell and his “band of oddballs and misfits” who are also more charitably described as “the Picassos of automotive fabricators.” What happens during these seemingly endless marathons? Well … Oh, heck — just pick an episode. Any episode.

Rain Man (Oct. 15, 2:45 p.m., Oct. 16, 2:50 a.m., SHO; Oct. 19, 12:45 p.m., SHO2): With the possible exception of employees of a certain department store chain that was famously dissed (“Kmart sucks!”), 1988’s Rain Man remains a universally popular comedy-drama road flick. Exceptional performances by Tom Cruise as a callow wheeler-dealer, and Dustin Hoffman as his autistic savant brother light up this gem. As the pair hit Vegas and win big at the blackjack table, look for scenes filmed at Caesars Palace, including the Emperor’s Suite in the Forum Tower, which is still known as “Rain Main Suite.” Other Caesars scenes include those filmed at men’s shopping store Cuzzens, and Cleopatra’s Salon. And for the record: We’re very fond of Kmart.

The Real Housewives of Orange County — Vegas, baby (Oct. 15, 4 p.m., BRAVO): The O.C. gaggle make their way to our town for an overnight stay of “diva fun and drama.” If you’re not a fan of this show, one might reasonably ask: Isn’t “diva fun” an oxymoron? Oh, and using the tired “Vegas baby” as an episode title? The creativity flows like molasses.

Leaving Las Vegas (Oct. 16, 1 a.m., TMC; Oct. 18, 3 a.m., SHO; Oct. 19, 3:30 a.m., SHO2): Downbeat but poignant — and featuring an Oscar-winning performance from Nicolas Cage — this 1995 drama finds Ben Sanderson (Cage), an alcoholic Hollywood screenwriter, arriving in town for an intentionally fatal bender. Along his drunken path, he connects with Sera (Elisabeth Shue), a sympathetic prostitute, forming a sad but unique bond. Famously intense in his acting approach, Cage reportedly prepared for his role by filming himself drunk to study his inebriated speech patterns. Whether that constitutes method acting or a weird way to pick up bar hookups is up for debate.

The Cooler (Oct. 16, 3:55 a.m., HBO): Though set at a fictional casino just off Fremont Street (the Shangri La), this touching 2003 tale about a sad-sack loser (William H. Macy) whose mere presence brings bad luck to gamblers, and his romance with a waitress (Maria Bello) was primarily filmed in Reno. (The producer reportedly got a great deal to film and house the cast and crew at Reno’s Golden Phoenix Hotel.) Yet atmospherically, this one is Vegas-centric all the way, plus there are scattered aerial shots of Las Vegas. Oh, and for implosion fans, the demolitions of the Aladdin, Sands, Landmark and Dunes unspool over the closing credits.

Godzilla (Oct. 17, 5:30 p.m., TNT): What did we ever do to tick off Hollywood? In this 2014 reinvention of the monster classic, we get stomped by an eight-legged creature called a MUTO (“Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism”). Hey Hollywood, go pick on someone else — Washington, D.C. perhaps. They haven’t had a good movie wipeout since Independence Day. (And goodness knows, they deserve it.)

Malcolm in the Middle (Oct. 17, 7:30 p.m., FUSE): Pay tribute to the late David Cassidy by catching him as a flashy Vegas singer (typecasting?) that Lois (Jane Kaczmarek) flips for, while Hal (Bryan Cranston) dreams about a slot jackpot (which doesn’t break badly at all).

Lucky You (Oct. 18, 5:45 a.m., HBO): Aspiring lounge warbler (Drew Barrymore) meets poker stud (Eric Bana) with a problematic relationship with his World Series of Poker-winning papa (Robert Duvall) in this 2007 drama, in which Robert Downey Jr., Debra Messing and a slew of poker pros also pop up. Where was it filmed here? Where wasn’t it? A sampling: Dino’s Lounge, the Bellagio fountains, Binion’s Horseshoe, the Jockey Club, Summerlin’s Bear’s Best Golf Club, Tiffany’s Cafe inside the White Cross Drugs and the then-under-construction Cosmopolitan. Oh — and the Silverton Casino Lodge’s 117,000-gallon aquatic tank. That’s where Messing spent 16 hours filming a scene dressed as a mermaid — for a scene that was cut. No wonder she went back to Will & Grace.

Flipping Vegas (Oct. 18, 1 p.m., Oct. 19, 1 a.m., FYI; Oct. 20, 7-9 a.m., A&E): In the FYI episodes, catch Scott Yancey and his Flipped-out crew try to solve their headaches over a pesky condo in a low-income neighborhood, and then enter alien territory (literally, if you believe the true believers) when they deal with an Area 51 house. On the A&E entries, the team tackles a home with fire damage, then tries to dodge legal landmines after purchasing a house at auction. Aliens or attorneys — which are more frightening?

The Hangover (Oct. 18, 2:50 p.m., MAX): Cinematically speaking, our city is still hung over from The Hangover, the raucous 2009 comedy about a missing groom and a bachelor party gone off the rails that is a veritable Vegas smorgasbord. Bradley Cooper, Zack Galifanakis and Heather Graham (as a stripper/escort, of course) topline this Vegas joyride that gives us such sights as a tiger in a bathroom, a chicken in a living room, a baby in a closet, a mattress impaled on a Caesars Palace statue and a naked man in the trunk of a Mercedes. … Oh, and Mike Tyson.

Resident Evil: Extinction (Oct. 18, 3 p.m., SYFY): OMG! Post-apocalyptic ruins of Las Vegas! We suffer a rather dire fate in this 2007 installment of the horror franchise, in which Milla Jovovich and company cross the Mojave desert while fleeing a zombie apocalypse. What survives? The Luxor stands. So does New York-New York, though the Statue of Liberty takes a substantial hit, as does the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas, while the Tropicana is still standing, shakily. Others? Excalibur? Wynn Las Vegas? Bally’s? Bye, bye and bye. Perhaps when these undead invaders finish unleashing mayhem, they can do double duty at Planet Hollywood’s Zombie Burlesque.

Rush Hour 2 (Oct. 19, 1:55 a.m., MOMAX): Cop cutups Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker somehow wind up in our town (don’t ask how) at the “Red Dragon” hotel-casino to solve a counterfeit money laundering scam in this 2001 martial arts laugher-sequel. Guess who played the Red Dragon? The now-defunct Desert Inn, which had already closed before filming began, but was all dressed up in a Chinese-palace theme.

Queer Eye — Max C (Oct. 19, 7 a.m., BRAVO): Those five fab dudes make their way here to weave their tasteful magic on magician/fire-eater Max Clever, whose ramshackle man-cave of a house includes an Elvis-impersonating pooch, 109 doves, two parrots and a rabbit. And as long as they’re in town, they also help him sharpen his act.  Wait … 109 doves? Hope they bring a few miniature pooper scoopers.

What Happens in Vegas (Oct. 20, 1 a.m., VH1): Take a bow, Vegas — this one, obviously, is based on our famous catchphrase. (Technically, though, it’s: “What Happens Here, Stays Here.”) Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher star in this 2008 comedy as a pair of Vegas partyers who get over-lubricated, then sober up to realize they’ve gotten — uh-oh! — hitched. Plus a huge jackpot plays into the plot. Well, of course it does. Vegas, baby!

The New Adventures of Old Christine: What Happens in Vegas Is Disgusting in Vegas (Oct. 20, 3:30 a.m., TVLAND): Well that title is rather rude, don’cha think? In this installment of the series starring the relentlessly delightful Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “new” Christine (Emily Rutherfurd) gets a Vegas bachelorette blowout that unlocks a wild side she didn’t know she had. Again, we ask: Isn’t that what Vegas is for?

Roseanne (Oct. 20, 4:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., noon, TVLAND): No, this isn’t the now-infamous rebooted Roseanne of last season, whose star self-destructed in a Twitter implosion. Nor is it the Roseanne-less reincarnation, The Conners (debuting on ABC Oct. 16). This is the original, classic series. In these three episodes — titled Vegas Interruptus, Vegas and Vegas, Vegas, respectively — the brassy matriarch and hubby Dan (John Goodman) take a Vegas getaway to see Wayne Newton; and then, in a two-parter, join Nancy and Arnie (Sandra Bernhard and Tom Arnold) when they get hitched. Of course, The Wayner makes an appearance, and, as a poignant reminder of his talent and Vegas stardom, keep an eye out for a cameo by the late Danny Gans — who impersonates The Wayner!   

Paranormal State — Vegas (Oct. 20, 9:30 a.m., FYI): Those intrepid members of the famous Penn State Paranormal Research Society investigate a “supposed teen medium,” claiming to communicate with the spirit of a dead girl in our town. Just another paranormal good time in Vegas.

Bar Rescue — Beer and Loathing in Las Vegas (Oct. 21, 11:44 a.m., PARAMOUNT): Host Jon Taffer plays referee between two classically trained chefs at each other’s throats (hopefully with no kitchen utensils any sharper than a spatula).

Beach Volleyball: Las Vegas Open (Oct. 21, 1 p.m., ESPN2): We’ve only got one word for them … S-P-I-K-E!

UFC 222: Cyborg vs. Kunitskaya: From Las Vegas (Oct. 21, 2:30 p.m., FS1): Flash back to last March at the T-Mobile Arena, when women’s featherweight champ Cris Cyborg took on Yana Kunitskaya in the main event, while the undercard matches included Frankie Edgar vs. Brian Ortega, Sean O’Malley vs. Andre Soukhamthath, Stefan Struve vs. Andrei Arlovski and Cat Zingano vs. Ketlen Vieira. But keep your eye on that main event —an estrogen showdown laced with a whole lotta testosterone.  

— Steve Bornfeld

Dates, times and channels provided by All times are Pacific, check your local listings for your time zone and channel guide.



























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