Just watched the fourth episode of the HBO series "Luck", and the show appears to be gaining some much needed momentum. It still lacks a grandiose pop, and there may be about one or two too many characters on the show, but at least in the fourth hour there was something to sink your teeth into.
The horse racing seen in this episode was brilliantly filmed, edited and told. It weaved in the story of a young horse, its newbie female jockey Rosie (Kerry Condon), and the trainer (Nick Nolte, who steals the entire episode). Meanwhile, as one jockey rises to sudden fame on this ride, the other jockeys are struggling to get it together - Gary Stevens' character is falling apart as he remains injured and now drinking and doing drugs as Leon Micheaux (Tom Payne) can't get his weight down to land a ride.
Luck needs to show more horse races; they are the best part of the show so far.
There are some love interests now between horse veternarian Jo (Jill Hennessy) and trainer Turo Escalante (John Ortiz). Micheaux and Rosie are apparently an item.
And Ace Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) has his eyes set on a woman who wants his money for a half-way house/horse project played by Joan Allen.
The degerate foursome led by Marcus (Kevin Dunn) continues to show every sign that they are going to lose everything.
By now we have a good feel the cast. They are portrayed with painful accuracy, but no one among this lot generates much sympathy other than Nolte, whose love of horses feels genuine. Luck was created to show the multi-layered world of horse racing, and its inherent drama, but its so deliberate in its pacing that its missing a much needed dramatic kick.
A few more things need to start happening for this show to generate a wider audience, and finding a hero or heroine would be a good idea.
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