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Herc Crashes Into NBC's LAX!!

I am – Hercules!!

It’s a drama set behind the scenes at Los Angeles International Airport, from screenwriter Nick Thiel, a “Magnum P.I.” vet who wrote five studio films between 1989 and 1996: “The Experts,” “Fire Birds,” “White Fang,” “V.I. Warshawski,” “The Associate.” It stars Heather Locklear (“Spin City”), Blair Underwood (“Full Frontal”), Paul Leyden (“As The World Turns”), David Paetkau (“Candy From Strangers”), Frank John Hughes (“Catch Me If You Can”), and Wendy Hoopes (who voiced Jane, Quinn and Helen on “Daria”).

It’s also another shitty NBC clone of “Las Vegas,” the only new show NBC brought back from last season. Feh!

But what matters Herc’s opinion?

TV Guide says:

… feeble drama, which appears grounded from the get-go. … We’ve spent more enjoyable hours in baggage claim. …

USA Today gives it two stars (out of four) and says:

When was the last time you had fun just hanging around at the airport? Well, you won't Monday night, either. A mishmash of clichéd characters and clashing tones, NBC's airport drama LAX would be a bad show in any season. Given the travel climate these days, you can add "clueless" to its list of failings. This is a series that needs to find itself quickly, because tonight's premiere is simply, completely, lost. ...

The Hollywood Reporter says:

… Even an appealing cast and superb cinematography can't eliminate the impression that this series was outdated before the first scene was lensed. … the runway for "LAX" would seem to be strewn with obstacles. …

Variety says:

… has yet to pick a proper tonal flight pattern … rather than get into anything too personal, slapstick scenes and emotional heart-tuggers break up the dramatic flow. … the pilot episode overall is confused … The confrontations make for far more compelling viewing than the slapstick, though piling on emergencies can be too much. …

The Los Angeles Times says:

For most of us, LAX, or Los Angeles International Airport, is a place to stay out of — that's why God made Burbank — or get through as quickly as possible. … the series' fundamental cheesiness indemnifies it against its failure to be anything better. Having nothing much on its mind makes ample room for the hackneyed and preposterous. … It feels like a waste of time, but not a vile waste of time. It is not mean, which is a kind of accomplishment nowadays, and if that is the best you can say of it, it's also the worst. …

10 p.m. Monday. NBC.

I am – Hercules!!

Looking for bumper stickers, plush toys and girls’ underwear covered with cartoon double-amputees? Visit The Herc Store!

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 13, 2004, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Then again, Herc also hated Hawaii

    by jim

    which although is not great, has not been as bad as I thought it would be (based on the reviews posted here). So I think I'll give LAX a look.

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 11:03 a.m. CST

    "USA Today gives it stars"

    by chrth

    That's great ... any idea as to how many? ... Who else is glad this isn't another anti-WB post?

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 2:33 p.m. CST

    Based on the pilot, I didn't think LAX was bad, but it wasn't gr

    by Jim Jam Bongs

    It goes for a more light-hearted approach, and I found this attitude refreshing considering how so many dramas nowadays are ultra serious crime procedurals (the CSI franchise) or ultra sentimental and self-important (Jack & Bobby). I hope they don't "serious up" LAX after the pilot. I found Heather Lochlear and Blair Underwood, criminally handsome the both of them are, to actually be quite pleasant to watch in this.

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 3:11 p.m. CST

    it got stars?

    by ChickenGeorgeVII


  • Sept. 13, 2004, 6:03 p.m. CST

    LAX, huh?

    by Spike Fett

    This site is now officially irrelevant.

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 8:10 p.m. CST

    The Sacramento Bee gave me two reasons to avoid LAX (spoilerish)

    by Eternal Watcher

    First, the reviewer says Heather and Blair's characters spend their time sabotaging each other so one of them can run the entire airport. Heather Locklear...head of LAX? It would make more sense if she was the mayor on Spin City. I mean, what if there was a real emergency, and the airport's ruined because of their mutual sabotage (the fact they had drunken sex once, and are still trying to live it down, doesn't help) But Heather trying to stop a plane...on the facing it down? Sorry, the WWE sounds closer to reality to me.

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 11:11 p.m. CST

    It was okay. I'll check out the next two episodes and see how it

    by Prof. Pop-Cult

    I'm tired of all the crime, legal and medical dramas. LAX, and Lost, are at least different, and that makes them refreshing. Based on its pilot, it looks like there could be several arcs to explore across this season.

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 11:24 p.m. CST

    Chicken George is rapidly becoming the main reason I come to thi

    by Jimmy Jazz

    Keep up the good work.

  • Sept. 14, 2004, 12:03 a.m. CST

    For this the WB cancels Angel??

    by Almost Sexy

    There is no justice. But me, Herc and J-dog are gonna make it through this, no matter what!! This show sounds worse than Mighty Orbots....

  • Sept. 14, 2004, 3:58 a.m. CST

    lacking nothing

    by Napoleon Park

    I didn't plan to like it. I never followed any of Ms. Locklear's previous series. And I don't expect to be seeing this again once the new CSI: Miami season starts.----- The reviews have not been great; one mag jibed "just what you need at the end of a long hard day, an hour at a busy airport", while another site critiqued "The reason the "Airport" movies were popular was because they weren't actually set at an airport.----- To inject a somber note, debuting a series about airport security two days after the anniversary of 9/11 might have been in dubious taste. ----- So I did not expect to enjoy it. Things did not look promising for a minute there. We open with a cliche arial view of the city at night and the ominous droning electronic music with multicultural drums that seems to be on every action show these days. And what's this, a man walking out on a runway, shouting to the oncoming plane like a madman. Must be some test of faith. The plane is bound to miss hi...Oh My God, did you see that! Well, that was sort of unexpected. And then they cut to the theme song. Right on top of a man getting wiped away by a huge airplane, cut to a happy, perky, upbeat (though perhaps slightly ironic?) ditty about blue skies. What the? Where's the awful crap music I was all set to complain about? ----- Okay, the dead guy was the head of this airport. I guess we can assume he had a pretty high stress job. And Heather Locklear and Blair Underwood both want it. So "Head of Airport" is a political post appointed by the mayor? I have no idea if that's true or not, but that's our premise. ----- We meet a bunch of characters. A cute brunette with a drug sniffing dog in the role of the plain looking woman (think Penny from Quintuplets). A nice new guy and his world weary boss. Two heavy set gals.A bungling pair of baggage handlers in orange jumpsuits who spent the rest of the episode chasing a loose dog, complete with wacky Scooby cartoon scenes of them running in opposite directions while the dog runs in a third. ----- Plots? We got plots. An immigrant girl from the Phillipines with a one way ticket may get stood up by the guy she came to meet. The Governors's coming. The dog's loose, a little girl is missing a mommy, The mayor has to decide who gets the job, a team of pilots are missing, then show up - drunk. And, oh yeah, did you think there wouldn't be a bomb? There's a bomb. Of course at one point an air traffic controller throws his arms up and yells "That's it, shut everything down!" Can they do that? ----- So how's it turn out? Less predicatbly than I expected. New young guy from Immigration wants to take in the Phillipine girl. Twist one, his grizzled world weary boss went through the same thing, sent his girl back, and has always regretted it. But (twist two) her friend does show up - late. And (twist three) she gives nice guy her number and says "call me" and turns out not to be so nice herself. A cute bit of pretzel logic I'll admit I didn't see coming. ----- Yhat bomb does go off; full of confetti from a group making a point about poor airport security. This is not a big relief; after all, someone got a bomb into the airport past security, the bomb squad failed to prevent it from exploding, and the bomber got away. ----- They never catch the dog, though the baggage handlers start setting out dog food for the stray; apparently the facility's unofficial mascot until a plane lands on it. ----- Oh, and Underwood and Locklear don't get the job; no one does. They stay in the jobs they have because they make a good team. And they do: the chemistry between them is fine, the cast of supporting characters actors is great. And the show is, wildly inappropriately in places, full of wonderful music. Hey, anytime I can see a montage of people chasing a dog, a bomb-defusing robot and a bunch of drunk pilots all set to "Mystic Eyes" by Them, that's a couple minutes of fun television. Yhat's it. No cutting edge, no shocks (except for that opening suicide - unlike the guy standing there facing the plane, I didn't see that coming either), no high drama or deep statements. Just a bunch of interesting characters (including a fair share of attractive ones) and a bunch of hectic, slightly underdeveloped plots all going on at once, and a half dozen or so way cool songs, and an hour or so of fun, nothing more, but what all do you expect for an hour of free network entertainment? It's light-weight, it's fluff. And unlike all the grim, teeth-gritting histrionics and edge of the seat tension of the major networks wall-to-wall crime and medical shows, it's just plane fun.

  • Sept. 14, 2004, 5:11 a.m. CST

    Banal, thy name is LAX

    by JT Kirk

    This show most certainly feels lost at the airport. Oftentimes, it does feel like the plain cousin of NBC's "Las Vegas" while others it seems like an incredibly watered-down "Melrose Place". With Locklear getting a producer credit, one has to wonder how much of this trite mess is actually her fault. I think the worst part though is that it IS watchable in a mindlessly-hollow sort of manner. Possibly its biggest crime though is that, aside from Locklear, this show attempts to spin the network's "Las Vegas" series into an airport but forgets the eye-candy women. Ultimately, LAX is lost at the airport, they're not sure what direction they want to take with the series and it ends up thinly-stretched. What is it with NBC and these expensive-looking shallow prime-time-soap pseudo-dramas this year? Did "Las Vegas" turn the peacock's crank last year and they're hungry for more? Meanwhile, they piss all the new-season money away on Hawaii, Medical Investigation, and LAX with virtually nothing in the way of other new series - drama or sitcom - to fill the gap when these series inevitably fail.

  • Sept. 14, 2004, 9:31 a.m. CST

    This show blew

    by Harrys Man Boobs

    I saw show last night. I want to sue Heather Locklear's plastic surgeon. She is starting to look like Joan Rivers. Ooof-fa! Did anyone notice that there are not other women as regular characters on the show, except for the dykey dog handler (played by Jane from Daria) and the fat, black comic relief chicks?

  • It's either that or more episodes of "Who wants to makeover my wife-swapping millionaire bachelor big brother named Joe?". I have to admit, Las Vegas followed by LAX was a bit much. Too much of the same thing. NBC has to split these up. Oh, and Play D'oh, I think NBC already did the "ragtag team of bus depot employees". Didn't John Larroquette have a sitcom in the early '90s set in a bus terminal? Or is that just another fales memory due to my delusional madness?

  • Sept. 14, 2004, 10:42 a.m. CST

    at it's not...

    by JackDonkey

    another lawyer, cop, or reality show, those are lame

  • Sept. 14, 2004, 10:59 a.m. CST

    No good new shows it seems!

    by CyberBeavis1326

    I turned this trite boring drivel off after hearing Underwood and Locklear get into a pissing contest about them having drunk sex with a kid present. This show really looked almost like the tragedy that was "Fastlane." I just can't wait to see if "Lost" is as good as it seems next week. Oh By the way, why hasn't there been any news on the fact that McG (the asshole to decent cinema he is) is developing a new show called "Supernatural." It would take a moron not to guess what it'll be about. I'll spoil it for those who haven;t heard. It'll be kinda like "The X-Files", but let's hope he doesn't add his dose of nauseation into it as well.

  • Sept. 14, 2004, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Having been to the real LAX

    by Drath

    why the hell would I or anyone want to watch a show about it? Don't you just know some network executive was forced to travel through LAX and thought "gee, this chaos is like ER, we should make a show about this!" That reality show about life in real airports actually sounds less inane, and I HATE reality TV. Networks executives have shit between their ears. What them get George Kennedy to do a walk-on if they survive long enough.

  • Sept. 14, 2004, 2:04 p.m. CST


    by jesuschrist

    No, really.

  • Sept. 14, 2004, 4:07 p.m. CST

    The year of ELO

    by Jack Burton

    First "Eternal Sunshine", now LAX, "Mr Blue Skies" is the trailer song/theme music of choice! Not really, but it's a cool song and I guess qualifies as counter-programming to the usual stuff. LAX was mostly entertaining, but moved too quickly to get a bead on any of the characters yet. The Customs subplot was lame and I have a hard time thinking baggage workers have the run of the airport, including the ventilation systems, but whatever. I'll give it a couple more weeks. It took Vegas a few to hit it's stride and that's the one show I hate to admit I like.

  • Sept. 14, 2004, 8:57 p.m. CST

    I enjoyed this...

    by Randy Giles

    am I crazy? Almost Sexy, what does an NBC show have to do with the WB cancelling Angel?

  • Sept. 15, 2004, 12:31 a.m. CST

    Dear Randy Giles:

    by Almost Sexy

    I would say you've brought up a most salient point; that is, I would if I didn't have such a profound disinclination towards the disingenuous. Perhaps a better question would be "What doesn't NBC have to do with the cancellation of Angel/Wonderfalls/G vs E?" You're probably expecting me to proffer some sort of Charles Manson like answer: "Everythin and nothing, jack. That's what is the difference." But I won't let you maneuver me into that box.

  • Sept. 15, 2004, 11:33 a.m. CST

    Fucking Heather Locklear is in it... not to mention, the whole c

    by Judge Briggs

  • Sept. 15, 2004, 3:58 p.m. CST

    one word review

    by RenoNevada2000


  • Sept. 17, 2004, 12:59 a.m. CST

    Napoleon Park is obviously Jeff Zucker

    by Cheif Brody

    "Just plane fun"? Ack!! Has anyone been on a trip lately? Did anyone ever think, while standing endlessly in lines, getting pulled aside for security checks, or waiting for delayed or cancelled flights..."Wow, what a neat place...I wonder what goes on here behind the scenes?". If you have, you are a fine candidate for a lobotomy. You are also a fine candidate for this uninspired drivel. LAX will end up cancelled...just like my last flight to Dayton.