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With: Pamela Anderson, Molly Culver, Natalie Raitano, Shaun Baker, Leah Lail, Angelle Brooks, Pauly Shore, Udo Kier, John Cho, Marie Osmond, Ian Ziering, Bill Maher, Jay Leno, Charles Barkley, C. Thomas Howell, Coolio, Nikki Schieler Ziering, Jerry Springer, Robin Leach, Shannon Tweed, Erik Estrada, Sheila E., Gilbert Gottfried, Morgan Fairchild, Ice-T, Penn Jillette, Teller
Written by: J.F. Lawton, Charles Holland, Steven Kriozere, etc.
Directed by: J.F. Lawton, Patrick Norris, Sidney J. Furie, Barry Primus, etc.
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 972
Date: 09/26/1998

V.I.P. - The Complete First Season (1998)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Val Pals

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Pamela Anderson came into her own as a comic actress with this terrific "B"-level TV series. Before this, she was forced to play a voluptuous, vacuous vixen on "Baywatch" and in other straight-to-video films. In "V.I.P." she discovered a cunning new persona, a snappy delivery, wrapped up in one part brain-dead blonde, one part saint. As Val, she seems unaware of her considerable sex appeal, is always "available" (she rarely gets any kind of on-screen love interest), and always tries to see the good side of people. Val is a Hollywood girl who works in a hot dog stand, when a stroke of good luck lands her a job as a figurehead for a crack bodyguard team. Tasha (Molly Culver), Nikki (Natalie Raitano) and Quick (Shaun Baker) are trained in weapons, combat and kung-fu, while receptionist Kay (Leah Lail) is a computer expert. Val is supposed to do nothing, but she invariably winds up on the front lines. The show is routinely silly, but it's fast-paced, clean, sexy and lots of fun. (As an added bonus, I went to Sonora High School with Molly Culver, though she was a year or two ahead of me, and I doubt she'd remember me.)

DVD Details: Sony's five-disc box set contains 22 hour-long episodes, plus a commentary track, a trivia track, a making-of featurette, and cast introductions.

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