The Anna Nicole Show Fan Site

Episode Guide

Episode 5:
“Viva Las Vegas!”

Anna Nicole seeks relaxation in Sin City, where she invents creative rules for blackjack, nearly commits vehicular homicide by electric car, and returns to her roots in exotic dancing.
(Aired September 8, 2002)

The Anna Nicole Show

I hate Las Vegas. I visited there once about five years ago, and the nighttime bedlam of the Vegas Strip seemed to me as if Hell had erupted through the earth's crust. The all-encompassing evil that permeates the place and drives out all morality was nauseating to me. On the other hand, its lure of easy money, hot sex and unbridled hedonism makes Las Vegas an ideal playground for Anna Nicole Smith. She loves that kind of stuff. So I have no problem seeing The Anna Nicole Show stage a two-part extravaganza there, even though I hope never to set foot in that wretched town again.

The premise for this road trip is that Anna Nicole is stressed out and badly needs a change of scene. "You know, my life don't seem stressful, but sometimes it is," she says, complaining about her dental problems, her PMS, Sugar Pie's poor behavior, and "my work schedule." Here we see Anna Nicole at the photo shoot for E!'s publicity photos for the show. The episode marks the first time that the show itself is becoming part of the content of the show. Later there is a giant Anna Nicole Show promo poster on the wall of her living room, and the gang rides to Vegas in a limo emblazoned with the E! logo. These self-referential touches add a new, if inevitable, wrinkle to the show, and I just hope that discussions about ratings and viewer reaction or whatever don't clutter the episodes as the timeline progresses past the show's debut.

The Anna Nicole Show Another source of stress Anna Nicole mentions is Bobby Trendy. I don't know if he really causes her that much anxiety, or this was just a contrivance to cram an appearance by the fan-favorite interior designer into the Vegas episode. Surely she must stress out Bobby more than he stresses her. Anna Nicole and Bobby continue their astonishing discourse on how best to implement pink fur, white fur and leopard in decorating her bedroom.

At last, we get to see Bobby deliver the famous line from the "Anna Nicole on Feng Shui" promo that E! ran ten thousand times before the show premiered: "Say yes for pink! Say yes for pink!" Even before I knew his name was Bobby Trendy, I have wondered about the circumstances surrounding that comment: why would anyone have to implore Anna Nicole to say yes to pink? Good golly, the woman always wants nothing but pink. But now the mystery is solved. Bobby explains that he can have this certain pink satin fabric for her in five days, and he asks if she can wait that long. Anna Nicole starts whining that she wants it now, so Bobby struggles to make her agree to be patient. "Say yes [to waiting] for [the sake of getting] pink!" Now it makes sense. That is hilarious.

So Anna Nicole declares that she has to get away from all these ordeals and they're going to Vegas. The gang loads up in a white Lincoln Navigator stretch limo with "ANNA" spelled on in big pink letters on the windows on both sides, plus some pink E! logos. The passengers include three bonus members of the Anna Nicole entourage, moving beyond the show's core Howard-Kim-Daniel-Sugar Pie nucleus. We meet Anna Nicole's makeup artist, Angie; her personal trainer, Lisa; and her esthetician, Linda. An esthetician, or as Anna Nicole says, "esthetristian," is a skin care specialist (or "a person that deals with facial problems"). How amazing it is that Anna Nicole needs all these associates in order to function, and manages to keep them all on her payroll. We have seen Angie in the background before, especially in the first two episodes, and she certainly does a good job. Anna Nicole always looks her best when Angie has made her up, and whenever her makeup looks extra wacky or slutty, it's safe to assume we're seeing self-applied cosmetics. As for Lisa, I believe E! has jumped forward in chronology (which is a loose concept on The Anna Nicole Show, as any observant viewer knows by now), and in a future episode we'll get to see Anna Nicole meeting her personal trainer. I hope so, anyway, because that'd be entertaining for sure.

Incidentally, Daniel does not tag along on the Vegas excursion, making this the first episode without one of the major cast members. I would say it was an eminently wise decision for Daniel to stay home, because he probably feels about the same way about Las Vegas that I do. And nobody needs to see his mother doing the things that we will witness there.

En route to Vegas, there's plenty of mixed drinks in the back of the limo and giggly stories about kissing waitresses and making out with male acquaintances. Anna Nicole is very energetic and high-spirited at first. Later she dozes off on Kim's shoulder, and upon waking up she turns rather cranky. As they roll into Vegas she's complaining that her back aches and she's feeling sick to her stomach. The crew is led into an insanely decadent 9,000-square-foot VIP suite at the Rio Hotel, but unfortunately the zombie-like Anna Nicole is in no mood to appreciate the palatial accommodations. She finally manages to show some enthusiasm when she discovers the private jacuzzis for each bedroom in the suite. We recall from the premiere how much she values having a great big tub to soak in.

Later on, Anna Nicole has fully perked up again, and we watch her getting ready to attend a Chippendales show that evening. Lisa takes the leotard-clad Anna Nicole to do some stretching exercises at the hotel's spa. Then she gets a manicure and pedicure, and Angie works her makeup magic. We don't get to see Linda do any estheticianing, but I'm sure it was exciting as well.

The Anna Nicole Show Two Chippendales dancers arrive at the suite to escort Anna Nicole to the show. Beaming with delight, she looks as if she's ready to rip off their leather pants at any moment. Anna Nicole and her girlfriends get front-row seats for the performance, with poor Howard languishing in heterosexual-male hell in the row behind them. The show goes pretty much what I imagine would be normal, a depraved and unpleasant cabaret before a caterwauling distaff throng, until the announcement comes that there is "a special lady" in the audience. Anna Nicole immediately protests, but the Chippendales drag her up on stage and sit her down in a chair, where the dancers give her their special attention.

It's fascinating to see the tables turned on Anna Nicole. She has made a career out of titillating men, and now that the shoe is on the other foot, she reacts like an ordinary woman: bashful and embarrassed. Many times have we seen her playing the part of the femme fatale capable of chewing men up and spitting them out, but here she takes the submissive role and lets the Chippendales call the shots. This is not to suggest that Anna Nicole has lost her edge. Her behavior is entirely appropriate, because she understands that this show is about the studly dancers and not her. In another setting, she would be perfectly capable of holding her own as a sexual goddess sharing a stage with handsome male models like these, even dominating them with her tremendous feminine power, but we are essentially seeing her on her day off.

"The only thing more than men I like is money," Anna Nicole says, busting off some Yoda syntax. So after the Chippendales show, she and her posse hit the casino. Anna Nicole's game of choice is the $25 blackjack table. She gleefully wins the first hand, but things go downhill from there. "I want some of your money," she beckons to Kimmie, who obediently relinquishes a handful of chips. Shortly after that comes another whine: "I'm out of money again." Old reliable Kim bails her out again. This blackjack table becomes a microcosm of Anna Nicole's chronic codependency.

Next the gang decides to go for a stroll down the Strip. They discover some little electric cars, or "go-carts" as Anna Nicole calls them. These are apparently meant for traveling from hotel to hotel on the walkways, and not supposed to be driven on the road. But of course, our gang takes one right out into traffic on the Strip, with Anna Nicole herself behind the wheel. One of the previews of this vignette showed Howard stricken with panic, pleading with her to let Kimmie drive. It's a shame that little drama didn't make into the final show, not only because it was hilarious, but because Howard had a point. I'm just glad Anna Nicole didn't kill anybody in that thing. During the joyride Howard has to yell at her to stop for pedestrians and not run over little kids, and even then she still runs a stop sign. Very, very scary.

After that near-disaster, we follow our merry band to a strip club called Jaguars (or as Anna Nicole says, "Jag-wires"). She claims that this takes place later the same night, but now she's wearing a different outfit. I imagine the E! crew put her down for the night following the electric car incident, and this is actually the next evening. Jaguars is a club with female strippers, proving that Anna Nicole is interested in equal-opportunity debauchery.

The Anna Nicole Show The dancers invite Anna Nicole to dance, so she readily grabs a pole and demonstrates some of her old moves. She may be a bit rusty, but she can still bump and grind like a professional. Plus, nowadays she's got a lot more booty to shake than she had back in the day at those Houston titty bars. And that's a good thing. Oh, yes. Man, I wish this segment of the show had gone on longer!

Then Anna Nicole buys Kimmie a lap dance, as if deliberately fueling the show's ongoing tease as to whether Kim is a lesbian. Anna Nicole also gets a lap dance, as does a visibly grateful Howard. Sugar Pie is also in attendance, lending the festivities that extra Sodom and Gomorrah touch with her presence. Kimmie doesn't seem terribly moved by these dancers, not anywhere near as excited as she was by the horsey ride in Episode 2. Maybe Kim only has eyes for her boss. I know the feeling.

Which brings me to my next point. Those skinny little dancers running around topless look completely inhuman next to Anna Nicole. After five weeks of watching The Anna Nicole Show, I have become fully accustomed to the star's current size, and I believe she is the ideal of what a woman should look like. And so, now that I see these tiny women invading Anna Nicole's show, it's as if I've forgotten that their body type is the accepted standard of beauty, and they look like freaks to me. When I see their popsicle-stick thighs, their mummified rib cages and their writhing non-butts, I'm not aroused -- I'm shocked. Honestly, I thought these dancers must be computer-generated or puppets or something. They couldn't be real human beings.

Sure, I see skinny women all the time, but seeing them depicted as sex objects right next to Anna Nicole Smith made the difference downright startling. Obviously most people would have the opposite reaction, and remark on what a giant cow Anna Nicole has become compared to these "hot" chicks. But I'm also sure a lot of people feel the same way I do. Anna Nicole has retrained our eyes, and 90-pound little girls whose only jiggling body parts are man-made just don't cut it anymore. We demand a real woman.

To be continued...

Anna Nicole Says...
"People always ask me, did I ever learn anything when I was a stripper? Yeah, I did. One man plus two beers equals 20 dollars!"
"I hate my life. I just want to go to sleep and wake up next week."
"I want all of this -- every pinch, every pinch of my room -- I want it... white fur and pink fur."
"I was so stressed, I was thinking, well, you know, let's take a trip to Vegas. So we damn well went!"
"We just did tons of girl talk. And Howard, he's like a girl, I tell him everything. So he fit right in there."
"I was frenchin' out with Troy in the back seat 'cause I had a little bit too much to drink. But you know, you get a little lonely, a man was there, and I was kissin' him and stuff."
"We were staying at the Rio Hotel, which was named after... um... I'm not sure what it was named after."
"I love Vegas because you can just do about anything you want without getting into trouble. It's in Sin City, you know."
"Quit looking at my coochie!"
"I had my nails done. This is something that I take dead serious."
"And finally, I sealed the deal with a half a can of Aqua Net."
On the Chippendales: "They were bringing women up on the stage, acting like they were doin' 'em and stuff."
To the Chippendales:"I got two shirts, I'm so excited! But I don't got no sweat on 'em, men. Wipe any male parts on your body that you want to."
On gambling: "I was so winning... at first."
Ordering a drink for her stripper friend: "Her want some tequil-ya."

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