Vegas Review: "Money Plays" (Episode 1.02)
Vegas feels like mixture of a western procedural and who-knows-what. We’ve got cowboys and gangsters. I’m sure Las Vegas in 1960 was caught between the glory days of the Old West and the glam and glitz that would eventually take over the city.
“Money Plays” is a step up from the pilot. Its ability to highlight the contrasting elements of the rough and tough Sheriff Lamb and the slicker-than-slick mobster/business man Savino will keep viewers coming back. The first episode was more like two pilots in one. A show that depicts two sides of the law isn’t groundbreaking, but the show keeps both stories quite separate with a tiny common thread weaving through the episode.
This week the thread is stronger than I thought it would be. Honestly, I wasn’t immediately invested in the characters. Time to actually invest in them was given this time, but it still didn’t fully grab me. The Lamb family rides through town trying to solve another murder that places the Sheriff face-to-face with Savino multiple times. The Lambs are too likeable. They have no dark side, and it’s difficult to like such linear characters. If the show wants to work, they’ll need to have something inside them snap to give them the dynamic personalities we’ve come to expect on television.
Savino has a little more roundness to his character. He has to deal with a new casino floor manager who adds a bit of flair to the show. Mia (Sarah Jones) is the daughter of a big shot mob boss who is going to do things her way and give Savino some problems he doesn’t have time to handle.
The two main characters size each other up throughout this episode, which produces the best part of the show, but as I said earlier they don’t come face-to-face often enough. The two facets of the show will undoubtedly cross paths more and more in the future, but for now the murder plots just aren’t enough.
It’s difficult to produce a serialized crime show and mix in the typical procedural approach. Vegas tries to do so and succeeds on many levels. But Vegas has so much more potential to be more than just be another show on the block. However, it’s a potential I don’t think they’ll realize.