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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Out of Luck

***SPOILER ALERT**** As jk mentioned, commenting in the last post, I had some things to say about Luck on Twitter, and they weren't too complimentary. And that was just in 140 characters, enough merely to convey my opinion that its heavy-handedness and total lack of humor made it a laborious chore to get through. It was a completely grim and unforgiving portrayal of the game that we all least throughout this pilot episode. Even when the four degenerate gamblers score a huge Pick Six jackpot, there was little apparent joy. One of them did do a little jig against the backdrop of sullen horseplayers, and that might very well have been the best scene in the show. I know there are some people who feel as if casual and prospective players will become intrigued about the game from watching this series. But there was absolutely nothing I saw in this pilot episode that screamed out "FUN!" Or even, "fun."

And, even if you are correct in thinking that I myself am being too heavy-handed in the above assessment....there's this: The script ranged from adequate to embarrassing, the characters were unrealistic caricatures, each more eminently uninteresting and unlikable (with the exception of Chantal Sutherland and Gary Stevens, the two actual jockeys who appeared) than the next, the dialogue was largely mumbled, Dustin Hoffman seemed uncomfortable at best - and who can blame him considering the cringeworthy scene in which he rips open his shirt in a rage ("Oh, I broke my buttons.") - and the profanity and the violently graphic portrayal of a horse breaking down were merely gratuitous. So, even if there was a little comic relief, as is the case with most excellent dramas (such as in The Good Wife, which I made the mistake of watching immediately beforehand), and which would have been singularly natural and appropriate in a show about the racetrack, it still would have sucked. In my opinion of course. I saw the first episode thanks to a free preview weekend for HBO, so please let me know if it gets better so I can eventually rent the DVD. I won't be signing up for HBO to watch this.

- Mucho Macho Man won the Sunshine Millions Classic on Saturday, making him two-for-two since being given some time off after he was inappropriately entered in the Belmont. I'm not a big fan. Nice horse, but was a cut below the top three-year olds last year (not saying much), and I didn't understand why he got so much love in last year's classics. A horse skeptic can usually find a way to diminish a win, so here goes - coming off an allowance win against a modest field from which no other horse has come particularly close to winning, Mucho Macho Man sat an easy stalking trip behind a slow early pace, picked it up to put the decently-talented Turbo Comprressor away, and then was all out to hold off the improved, but still not that fast, Ron the Greek to win this stakes restricted to Florida-breds. He earned a career high Beyer of 100. Not bad, but not enough to dissuade me to stand against once he steps up to top graded stakes company. If there is such a thing as top graded stakes company in the handicap division this year.


Figless said...

Dustin Hoffman produced Luck so I am sure he is interested in the end result but I admit I was uncomforatable watching him in this roll.

I was somewhat disappointed not because I am a racing fan but because I LOVED Deadwood, Milch's most successful endeavor, and this is no Deadwood.

El Angelo said...

I should have made another wager with you on MMM, Alan. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I thought the lighting was too dark, and unless your a daily racetracker, the plot too hard to understand.

Wendy said...

It was too scattered in trying to cover too many story lines about horse racing. And did they really have to throw in a horse breaking down? Really? I figured it would drive people away from the sport not to it.

alan said...

Angelo, hopefully will be plenty more opportunities for that!

Anonymous said...

Wendy "It was too scattered in trying to cover too many story lines about horse racing. "

That's what pilots are and I thought they did a great job in showing three distinct groups.

Going to watch second episode now on HBO Go.