Writer/director Alonge Hawes has created a brand-new online series called “Silver & Gold,” and I’ve had the chance to check out the first three episodes. Actually, to be truthful, I’ve also gone beyond that and carried on into the next ones, which is undoubtedly a positive indication of the entertainment value you’ll find onscreen. While there’s no particular rhyme or rhythm for how long an episode might be – you could be watching for twenty-something minutes or maybe forty-plus – Alonge has assembled a cast that keeps things continually engaging, upbeat, and interesting as the story progresses. In particular, as Charles Goldar, the main character within this ensemble cast, Quentin Williams does an exceptional job of bringing personality to the screen that works wonders for the show.
“Silver & Gold” has humor, smarts, and reliable methods for generating storylines that intersect and connect, delivering crime/conman-infused tales that hit the mark…pun intended. Characters like Sosa Gerena (Roberto Cruz Jr.) are also great; he’s the kind of man you’re not really sure what to make of at first, but one of the players in this show that continually grows on you the more that you watch. I think many people forget what it takes to make a show happen to begin with, let alone how much it takes to really find the voice of a character as an actor. The odds of that happening in the very first episode are honestly few and far between – you can think of your all-time favorite shows, and chances are, when you watch them again, you realize that their characters might have been a bit shaky at first, only to really hit their stride by the end of season one, so on and so forth. It takes everyone a while to learn the full cast of characters, who they are, and what they’re capable of – and that’s the case from both sides of the screen. What I really liked about “Silver & Gold” was that you get a mix of both, which is key – you’ve got actors like Quentin that seem born ready to play their part, and that locks everyone in at the start to continue watching as the rest of the cast dives further into their characters and gets to their best as the storyline deepens. Characters like Bahiya Payne (Brittaney Traylor), Cierra Valentine (Shani Hawes), and Sosa might not quite seem as dialed in as “Silver & Gold” begins, but they catch up quickly enough – and to be fair, Quentin’s whole vibe appears to come naturally.
The above-mentioned would be your core four cast members in this show, I’d say, and by episode two of “Silver & Gold,” you can already see that they’re becoming more adept at playing their characters overall. As far as the storyline is concerned, everything heads in the right direction in a cohesive way that should have no problem connecting with the people. It’s partly built like a conman movie, part spy-flick, part crime-comedy – all elements folks enjoy watching. If anything, I’d probably lean a little harder on the star power of Williams and his inherent ability to make us smile and laugh. As it stands right now, “Silver & Gold” lets its comedic moments come at you relatively sparingly – they’re there, but I felt like there was room for more of that, given that the main interactions between the four characters are designed to be a bit on the fun side as they explain what their mission and objectives are. I really enjoyed “The Laws Of The Score,” and the explanation of what the real rules are to be a successful conman and pull off a heist – even just picturing that kind of code and honor among thieves in terms of professionalism is a whole lot of fun. “Silver & Gold” reveals the nobility behind the profession and how crucial it can be to stick to the notion of every scam having a mark, score, and method to be a successful thief. It can be tough to find the balance Alonge is looking to achieve with the mix of seriousness and jokes in a show like “Silver & Gold,” but you can tell it’s already on its way to finding what works. These characters enjoy what they do as thieves, and that translates solidly through every scene.
There are moments where Alonge will use freeze-frame edits to highlight different plot points and clues as to what’s happening in the story – which is another spot I’d probably seek to enhance if I was him. As they are right now, we do notice them, but take the scene with the “sexy stuff,” for example – that’s a moment that’s already purposely moving in a somewhat over-the-top direction, and by really enhancing those freeze-frame moments, you could potentially heighten the comedic power and generate even more substantial interest as a result. Whether it’s the use of titles onscreen or more vibrant dialogue, you know, something bombastic and impossible to miss like Guy Ritchie would do – that kind of technique can go a long way and add significant value to what we see as viewers. There are tiny little things that could be done a bit better, like the scene in the warehouse where a guard calls dispatch as well where you can see there’s no communications device to actually do that, or moments like how Quentin reveals how he knew the code for a safe later on that could be shown to us more than told – but overall, “Silver & Gold” has the fundamentals it needs in both its characters and stories that make everything a worthwhile watch. Sound-editing-wise, there’s still some room to grow in that department too, which is something to keep in mind because it can snap us out of the story when we notice too much ambiance from one scene to the next - when what we see is happening in a rapid back and forth progression…but that comes with time.
The important thing is that “Silver & Gold” proves it has a solid foundation to build on, and I’m confident it will. I felt like Alonge knows he’s got something special with Quentin – heck, I think Quentin knows he’s something special too when it comes right down to it – but there are things in life that are obvious for a reason, and a star player on any team is destined to stand out. The real key is to not shy away from that…to embrace it rather than worry too much about the rest. Everyone’s a professional at the end of the day, and some stories/shows are much more geared towards the skills and talents of one particular character or aspect. “Silver & Gold” can really build something strong on what Williams brings to the screen…my gut tells me that Alonge should go with that and that he knows it would be the right direction too. The supporting cast will get even stronger as time marches on with more experience episode to episode – perhaps even to the point where a character like Sosa will even get his own spinoff show one day.
It’s probably fair to say that “Silver & Gold” will still benefit from a more tangible fluidity as it moves from scene to scene or within its dialogue. Still, again, it all seems like it’s heading in the right direction and that this cast of characters are the right ones to get this show to where Hawes wants to take it. I was entertained in all three episodes, and as I told you at the start, I continued watching even more of the five episodes out there so far – and that’s gotta be a good sign! I feel like a solid three stars is a fair rating for the moment; I like what they’ve got goin’ on right now, I see where the potential can take it, and I feel like the more experience they get in the making of “Silver & Gold” together from both sides of the camera lens, the better this show will become.