HBO’s Premiere of “Luck”

January 30, 2012

HBO’s newest drama series is titled, “Luck.” Set in present day, the show surrounds itself with horse and the life of gambling at the racetrack. For those who never stepped foot at a racetrack before (myself included), it took a while to understand all the motives and regulations for what the characters were trying to achieve. But aside from the vernacular, Luck is shaping up to be one hell of a show.

Dustin Hoffman plays Chester “Ace” Bernstein who has just been released from prison after a three-year sentence. His friend, Gus Demitriou, drives him back and will now be the front to Ace’s plans, since he has to be cautious not to violate his parole. There isn’t much more information to Ace’s plan aside from his eye on a particular horse. We’ll see what his whole deal is soon enough.

The bulk of the episode concentrated on four gamblers, Jerry, Lonnie, Marcus and Renzo who are punching in their ticket for the multi-million dollar jackpot of the Pick Six. If they predict the winners of six consecutive races, they have the chance to win the jackpot. The most vital of the group is Jerry, whose reputation in poker doesn’t live up to his talent at picking horses at the racetrack.

Jerry’s most controversial pick was the fourth race when he singled in Mon Gateau, a 12-1 odds horse that hasn’t run in two years. But Jerry likes Mon Gateau’s trainer, Turo Escalante. Even though the jockey didn’t follow Escalante’s advice to win, Mon Gateau pulls off the upset. Escalante cashes in his winnings and eventually so do the four gamblers who win the grand prize of the Pick Six.

While I am unfamiliar with the world of the racetrack, the show kept my attention especially during the racing scenes. There are a number of characters that are seemingly connected, so that’s going to be fun to watch. Dustin Hoffman will certainly be able to capture our undivided attention in upcoming episodes, and I look forward to being amazed by Nick Nolte. With only eight episodes to go, I can’t wait to see where Luck takes me.

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