Series / V.I.P.
The beautiful and lethal Valerie Irons: plucked from obscurity to head an elite Los Angeles bodyguard agency. They know how to get things done...eventually.VIP
, an action/comedy Pamela Anderson vehicle created by J.F. Lawton, aired in syndication for four seasons from 1998 to 2002. Anderson plays Valerie Irons, a... blonde
... who lucks into a celebrity date to a movie premiere, blunders into saving his life
and - after her date lies to save face by claiming she was his bodyguard - is snapped up by a local celebrity protection agency as a figurehead leader
/mascot to draw in business. Hilarity Ensues
Something of a Spiritual Successor
considering the shared star, mix of action and Camp
and prevalence of Fanservice
throughout. Unfortunately this similarity stretches to the series's DVD treatment, with only the first season released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment back in 2006. There remains no word on additional releases.
No relation to the Japanese Super Mario World ROM hack
series. Or to the 1963 film The V.I.P.s
This show contains examples of:
- Accidental Hero: Val in the pilot.
- Achievements in Ignorance: Often combined with Beginner's Luck, Valerie pulls off highly improbable, yet plausible accomplishments on a frequent, regular basis. Despite having no formal martial arts, military, or intelligence training, she has, from the pilot, defeated professionally trained terrorists, assassins, a notoriously deadly ninja in a one-on-one sword duel, without killing him, stopped a powerful explosive with tofu, thwarted spies and mafia alike and pulled off all kinds crazy stunts with motor vehicles, and survived being lost at sea for a week without a raft of any kind because she did not know how impossible any of that stuff is!
- Action Girl: Tasha and Nikki, a spy and munitions expert respectively.
- As Themselves: In the episode Hard Val's Night the band Lit guest starred as themselves. They also premiered their video for "Miserable", which had them walking all over a giant Val's body, at the end of the episode. It would go onto be their most famous and well-beloved videos, as well as the one thing they're most remembered for in general.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: As a martial arts practitioner and former boxer, unarmed fighting is Quick's specialty, though he's not above using a gun.
- Also applies to Johnny, an active martial artist and fight choreographer.
- Bare Your Midriff: Despite her tomboyish nature Nikki is very fond of this.
- The Beautiful Elite: In full effect here.
- Black Best Friend: Maxine, to Val.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Val/Kay, Nikki, Natasha
- Bound and Gagged: Val winds up kidnapped on a few occasions, usually resulting in this.
- California Doubling: The Protocon International building in "Diamonds are a Val's Best Friend" is The House of the Book performance hall and library building at the American Jewish University, Brandeis-Bardin Campus in Simi Valley, California.
- The Cameo: Justified in VIP's role as a celebrity protection agency. Prevalent in the first season but dropped altogether later on. Notable cameos included "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Jay Leno, Coolio, Charles Barkley and Jerry Springer.
- Fake Ultimate Hero: Val. Early episodes have Tasha in particular more than annoyed at how she and the team do the jobs and Val gets all the credit as even the bad guys who are beaten give Val far more credit than deserved. She does get better as the show goes along.
- Fanservice: The focus is decidedly on Val, but the ball gets passed plenty amongst the main cast.
- Fish out of Water: The transition to bodyguard life isn't kind to Val. Rule of Funny keeps this far from tragic.
- Five-Man Band
- Fun with Acronyms: V.I.P. stands for Valerie Irons Protection, and it also describes the kind of clients they protect. V.I.P.s.
- Girls with Guns: Nikki's hat is weaponry and explosives, but just about everyone uses a gun at some point.
- Human Shield: Val gets this treatment from her date in the first episode when he's in danger.
- Meganekko: Kay.
- Mission Control: Kay serves as this from her computer at headquarters.
- More Than Mind Control: Several episodes have shown characters brainwashed, drugged, or otherwise compelled to act in ways they wouldn't normally do through some kind of mind-altering phenomenon.
- The One Guy: Between the original owner's departure in the pilot and Johnny's promotion to the main cast in season 3, Quick is the only male member of VIP and main character.
- Oddly Small Organization: VIP is too small for the amount of clients they get, and too overqualified. They would need people to handle the ordinary work. Either a bigger in-house cast, or a partnership with lesser firms. (Neither is seen/mentioned)
- Opening Narration: See page quote.
- Phenotype Stereotype: All the main characters suffer from this. Val is a blonde from LA, so she's The Ditz. Tasha has a Russian heritage, so she's a former spy, and Ethical Slut. Nikki has an Italian background, so she's the granddaughter of a Mafia Don. Quick's black, so he's from Chicago. Johnny's Asian, so he's a martial artist. The series manages to avoid being offensive with this by showing other characters from the same demographics that don't fit the stereotypes on a regular basis. Ergo, the stereotypes are just a perk of the main characters and don't deliver any kind of message, intentional or otherwise.
- Pop-Culture Pun Episode Title: Almost every episode, and the vast majority of those work Val's name into the pun.
- From just the first season there's "Bloody Val-entine," "Diamonds Are a Val's Best Friend," "One Wedding and Val's Funeral," "Val Got Game," "Good Val Hunting," "Val on the Run," "Raging Val"... you get the idea.
- Product Placement: All the main characters drove cars provided by the same major automotive company: In seasons 1-2 they were provided by Ford Motor Company, in 3-4 Daimler Chrysler.
- Slow Motion: Employed in much the same way as Baywatch, showcasing the cast in pool scenes, gym workouts, exotic undercover disguises and the like.
- Token Minority: Quick is the only African fellow (as well as the only fellow for a while). Johnny for Asians.
- Virtual Reality Interrogation: In one episode, Val and Tasha are kidnapped and drugged after they hide a witness in a safehouse. In order to make them reveal the secret, the villain attempts to convince them they've been comatose for 40 years.
- Unlimited Wardrobe: In an episode where an importer of Valerie showed up, the multi hundred thousand dollar budget of Valerie's clothes was quoted.