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And Then The Camera Goes Up The Jockey's Ass: A Close Look at "Luck"

Like the double-wide premiere for HBO's Boardwalk Empire, the pilot for the network's new horse-racing series Luck—first broadcast December 11th, and then re-run this past Sunday—represents a meeting of two distinctive authorial voices. In the case of the Boardwalk Empire pilot—a high-water mark of style and efficiency that the frequently-frustrating series has never managed to live up to, aside from a couple of episodes neatly directed by Carpenterite horror specialist Brad Anderson—it was episode director / series executive producer Martin Scorsese and episode writer / series creator Terrence Winter; in the case of Luck, it's episode director / series executive producer Michael Mann and episode writer / series creator David Milch.

The interplay of low-lifes and big spenders in Luck's pilot is distinctly Milch's. It's clear from the episode's structure alone—a lot of jargony horse-racing intrigue spinning around a story about four track regulars who finally win it

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