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Review: "Luck" beginning to follow traditional story arcs helps

MV5BMTk4NDM4Njk0OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjM0MTkxNw@@._V1._SX450_SY658_The critical acclaim for the HBO show "Luck" may be strong, but the ratings are not. The show has already been renewed for a second season, but these ratings trends have to be reversed. A strong showing in the award season would give the show a boost.

We are now seven episodes deep in the nine-episode first season, and things are starting to move to a more traditional story arc with violence, relationships, etc. The women on the show aren't exactly treated with the greatest respect, but ... these things happen on Michael Mann productions (see Miami Vice, The Insider, Heat).

- Ace Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) is clearly making a move on Claire (Joan Allen), and visited her horse farm that was created to help former prison inmates re-enter society.  Ace is a scumbag, he knows it, but Claire hasn't quite figured that out.

- Benstein's money guy, Israel (Patrick Adams), visits the arch enemy (Michael Gambon) to convince him that his the ex-con boss is trying to go legit. That meeting doesn't end well, resulting in what could be the show's first human fatality.

- Chronic gambler Jerry (Jason Gedrick) enters a big card tournament where he meets a woman, Naomi (Weronika Rosati) who just happens to be really good looking.

- Trainer Walter (Nick Nolte) decides his prize horse, Gettin'Up Morning, should be ridden not by the novice female jockey but rather the guy who had her first, Ronnie (Gary Stevens). Joey is healthy after he suffered a fall earlier in the season, and now he's in AA trying to get his life back in order ... but he seems to like cocaine still. That could be a problem. 

UPDATE: A special thanks/shout out to Twitter follower Amy Primeaux (@aprimo224); she busted me on a couple of goofs. No. 1, the name of the veteran jockey played by Gary Stevens is "Ronnie"; I mis-read my IMDB and listed his name as Joey, who is actually the jockey agent. Stupid me. And Ronnie isn't doing lines of cocaine, but rather crushed up pain killers. I have to get more familiar with cocaine and pain killers. That's on me.

Luck-hbo-tv-show- Trainer Escalante (John Ortiz) shows he has a soft spot as he looks after a young kid who likes horse racing, and is not a total ass when he learns that is horse veternarian girlfriend Jo (Jill Hennessy) is pregnant.


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