Vegas on TV

September 24-30

Food Paradise: Viva Las Vegas (Sept. 24, 9 a.m., TRAVEL): Our town’s most “over-the-top” eat treats are explored, including a sushi-stacked burger on fried rice buns, and a “spiked” milkshake topped with a white blizzard of s’mores. Tell your tummy to tune in.

Courtesy Discovery

Vegas Rat Rods (Sept. 24, 10 p.m.; Sept. 25, midnight-3 a.m. and 2 p.m.-midnight; Sept. 26, midnight-3 a.m.; Sept. 29, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., DSC): Whaddaya think? Will you have enough opportunities to watch Steve Darnell and his “band of oddballs and misfits” — also known as “the Picassos of automotive fabricators” — do their thing? Because if this still isn’t enough for you, perhaps you need to switch off the TV, get into an actual car and take a nice long drive somewhere.

Friends: The One in Vegas (Sept. 25, 7:30 p.m., PARAMOUNT; Sept. 29, 3 p.m., TBS): In the opener of this two-parter, the gang goes to Vegas to visit Joey, while Chandler and Monica celebrate their first anniversary as a couple and literally roll the dice on whether to get married. Quippy one-liners spew out like the Bellagio fountains. Now everybody sing: “So no one told you life was gonna be this way …”

Rush Hour 2 (Sept. 25, 8 p.m., MAX): 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.

Con Air (Sept. 26, 8 p.m. and Sept. 27, 5:30 p.m., AMC): You’ll wait for the grand finale set piece, but this 1997 actioner is worth it when homebound con Nicolas Cage and his not-so-merry band of airborne miscreants (including John Malkovich, Dave Chappelle and a comically creepy Steve Buscemi) crash their plane on the Vegas Strip, shearing off the famed guitar atop the Hard Rock sign. As con/pilot Swamp Thing (M.C. Gainey) declares during their uncontrolled vertical dive: “Buckle up, ladies, we’re going for a night out in Vegas!”

Leaving Las Vegas (Sept. 27, 3:45 a.m., SHO; Sept. 30, 9:05 p.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.

Flipping Vegas (Sept. 27, 1-3 p.m., FYI; Sept. 29, 7-10 a.m., A&E):  In the FYI episodes, catch Scott Yancey and his Flipped-out crew help repair a dilapidated house for charity and — this is their description, not ours — “buy a house that is deteriorating as much as the people that were once living in it.” (Well that’s rather rude, isn’t it?) Then on the A&E entries, they turn their attention to a former plastic surgery clinic; a 1970s home; and a former frat house (no doubt haunted by the frat boys’ drunken ghosts).

Ocean’s Eleven (Sept. 28, 2 p.m., E!): George Clooney and Brad Pitt (and cronies) inherit the casino-heist business from Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin (and cronies) in what could easily be subtitled “Rat Pack: The Next Generation.” Catch scenes for this 2001 caper reprise filmed at the Bellagio, the Palazzo and McCarran International Airport.

Bar Rescue — Down and Out in Las Vegas (Sept. 29, 9 a.m., PARAMOUNT): No one is EVER down and out in Las Vegas. That being said, this episode focuses on a longtime bar owner who spends less time serving drinks than he does guzzling them. Not exactly a world-class business model.

 Paranormal State — Vegas (Sept. 29, 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.

Resident Evil: Extinction (Sept. 29, 11:15 a.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.

2018 Barrett Jackson Live — Las Vegas (Sept. 29, 3 p.m., DSC): There are car collections. Then there’s THIS car collection. For auto aficionados, heaven is right inside Mandalay Bay.

The Hangover (Sept. 30, 9 p.m., MOMAX): 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.

— 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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