Luck: The Complete First Season Is the Pick of the Week

You would think that the Tuesday after the big Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday madness that we’d have a week full of tremendous video releases. You would think that, but you would be wrong. This week is, in fact, pretty lame. I suppose they did all their big releases and boxed sets in the build-up to the big shopping weekend and now are expecting most folks to be flat busted. Browsing ahead, I see they’ve got some major releases in the weeks before us (and Christmas) so we’ll just consider this a week of rest before the shenanigans begin again.

I’ve recently been rewatching the HBO series Deadwood and marveling at its marvelousness. It is one of my all-time favorite TV series. David Milch created a truly unique show with a large cast of characters, a beautifully constructed plot and a sense of language to rival Shakespeare. I was very excited to see that he’s created another show for the cable network – Luck – starring Dustin Hoffman and Nick Cage with the help of Michael Mann. The concept – a consummate gambler/bookmaker/money launderer gets out of prison to immediately hatch a plan against a racetrack – sounds intriguing and with all of those names behind it I was very excited to watch it.

Unfortunately, the show was cancelled after its first season. Mostly, this was due to the fact that three horses were injured and had to be put down on the show and HBO caved to pressures from different groups about safety (though I suspect if it had better ratings we’d still be seeing a second season). That puts a bit of a damper on the show for me as Milch tends to take the long view with his shows and he no doubt had much more planned for the show than we’ll ever get to see. I’m still stinging from the Deadwood cancellation causing its rushed third season finale. Still the talent behind the show will make me put past any doubt and catch it sooner than later. It also keep this as my Pick of the Week.

Also out this week that looks interesting:

ParaNorman (Blu-ray): My wife’s maiden name is Norman (actually so is my mother’s, but that an weird, embarrassing story for another time) and so the whole clan has been talking about this animated feature since the early previews. I have no idea if any of us actually wound up seeing it yet, but I have a suspicion we’ll all be watching the video when we get together for Christmas.

Men in Black Trilogy Giftset: The first one was clever, the second one less so, and I have yet to catch the third one. But if you liked all three and haven’t bought the first two, this is a nice little set, and it comes with a worm figurine and you just can’t beat worm figurines.

Maigret – Set 5: While touring Europe a few years back, we stopped in a quaint little Belgium town called Liege. After watching a marvelous parade full of giant puppets, my wife took us on a pit stop to see the house where Georges Simenon was born. I had never heard of the man but my wife raved about his Maigret detective series and ever since I see his works everywhere. I had no idea there was a television show based upon the detective, but now that I do I am quite sure we’ll be watching it.

Mat Brewster

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