I really enjoy Las Vegas, but that’s different from enjoying Las Vegas. One is a 24 hour city of glitz, money, and strong freedom within strong boundaries, a victory of man over nature and often over common sense and ethics. The other is an hour on NBC on Mondays.
But the other ain’t bad, at least to start off.
The show focuses on a hunky young VP of casino security. For a show about such a wild spot, family is a core theme, as he deals with his existing family (and the construction business he walked away from) and the new family he finds himself embroiled in by dint of dating the daughter of security chief Big Ed, an ex-CIA guy well played by James Caan. Rounding out the show are various casino employees, including a lifelong friend of the lead played by Nikki Cox. (This is Ms. Cox’s return to Vegas, as her two-season sitcom Nikki — first season very good, second less so — had her playing a Vegas showgirl.)
The show is slickly produced, the characters given interesting aspects (if at some times blatant; the valet/chauffer has a background in engineering and tends to make gadgets, stated as an aside as if he won’t be constantly called on for plot-convenient gadgetry), and there is much to like. The first episode had a crime story (about a card cheat) and a practical effort story (about trying to find a specific high roller and keep him at the casino) in addition to the central character drama about the impact of knowing the boss’s daughter carnally. While there’s at least one crime story set up for the future, likely on long-running tale, it’s still not clear what texture this will take on. Will it be a crime-of-the-week show when all shakes out? Or will it be Love Boat In The Desert?
I do hope they pay a bit more attention to logic and detail. While there are minor mistakes that can be put off as simply creative choices (like having someone zoom along the strip at a time when cars should be clogging it), there are others that are less forgivable. The card cheat storyline is built around the assumption that cheat has someone on the inside helping him, an assumption without clear basis. When it is revealed how he’s cheating, it’s quickly clear that not only is an inside man not needed, but the assistant being an inside man is a hinderance, not a help. The setup didn’t make sense, and the method they used to close down the cheat was not only unneccessary but relied far more on luck than would have made sense. If you saw the episode, ask yourself this: what if that last hand had been a blackjack? Could the cheat have just walked away with the money? If not, what was the point of doing the last hand? (There actually is a point to trying to get him to lose his money before they stop him, but the show did not cover it.)
This ain’t a must see, but it did keep my attention. I expect I’ll keep an eye on it and see how it shakes out.