Did you guys watch the premiere of Luck last night? It is the new high-profile HBO drama series about horse racing from David Milch (Deadwood, NYPD Blue) starring Dustin Hoffman. Last night’s episode was directed by Michael Mann. It was…pretty good? No, yeah, it was pretty good. To be completely honest, I had a really hard time understanding what anyone was talking about for a long time. I’m not sure if this is because I don’t know anything about horse racing, because the show was relatively dense and unwelcoming, or because I’m just very stupid, or maybe a combination of those three things. But, like, a jockey said “we’re going to ride big today” in a cajun accent and this made the trainer angry? Why was the trainer angry? What does “ride big” mean? It was a lot of things like that. But I’m excited to learn new things! Maybe in a couple weeks I will know what “ride big” means and I can go to cocktail parties and be like “they were riding those horses big this week, huh?” and everyone will know because we’re all learning together and it’s good for the brain’s synapses and now we won’t get Alzheimer’s. Incidentally, the least compelling aspect of the show was actually supposed to be its biggest draw: Dustin Hoffman.
It’s not that he was bad. He is a very good actor who is good at his job and I predict big things for him, I think he’s going to do really well. But, like, his character was the most obvious archetype. A mob-related figure just out of prison? Got it. I love that archetype, don’t get me wrong. But it’s not nearly as interesting or at least as novel as a rag-tag group of degenerate gamblers who just stumbled into 3 million dollars. Or even a horse trainer. I guess there’s The Horse Whisperer or whatever, but I’m a grown man, and it’s 2012, so I have never seen it, and I am just saying, even with The Horse Whisperer, who cares, this show has some new archetypes. (Unless this is just a rip-off word for word of The Horse Whisperer. I wouldn’t know. See also: The Seabiscuit Whisperer.)
So, last night’s episode was good. Horses horses horses. Races races races. We got introduced to all of our new friends. Dustin Hoffman lives in a hotel, I think? And his shirt buttons are very loose? But also there was a trailer for the whole season and it looks like things are about to get VERY intense, guys. MURDER! MURDER SO FOUL! Betrayal. Horses. Dust. Ribbons. Horses. California.
I do hope that the future episodes get a LITTLE easier to understand. But otherwise, I am on board. Guys? You guys?