HBO's Luck wasn't so lucky.
Luck: The Complete First Season
HBO's star-studded, racetrack-set drama premiered last December with the very highest of expectations. Besides the incredible cast, which included Dustin Hoffman, Nick Nolte and Michael Gambon, the series also boasted the involvement of respected TV creator David Milch and noted film director Michael Mann -- two formidable artists who, rumor had it, didn't always play nicely together. The cable network was so high on Luck, they renewed the show after the pilot premiered despite so-so ratings. But then viewers continued to flee as complaints about the show's creative choices mounted (although, to be fair, it retained a small, but passionate group of fans) and HBO's decision to greenlight a second season seemed increasingly premature. Then came the reports that two horses had been injured during production and had to be euthanized; when a third horse died the same way while filming an early Season 2 episode, the network finally felt compelled to pull the plug, sparing themselves and viewers another unfulfilling season. The backstage drama surrounding Luck is, in many ways, more compelling than the show itself, which suffered from diffuse storytelling and a shapeless quality to the early episodes in particular. Instead of joining the ranks of The Sopranos and Milch's own Deadwood, Luck seems destined to remain an oddity in the HBO canon, alongside such failed projects as Hung and John From Cincinnati (also from Milch).
Extras: A clear sign that they're looking to put Luck behind them, HBO is releasing the series without any bonus features, not even a token Mann and/or Milch commentary track on the pilot. More significantly, the network opted not to include whatever Season 2 footage was completed before production shut down, suggesting that that material will forever remain locked away in the HBO vault alongside the later seasons of Dream On and the entire run of Arli$$.
Click here to read our short-lived Luck recaps
Also on DVD:
If you just can't get enough Betty White and/or cougar jokes, Hot in Cleveland: Season Three is here to fee your appetite for stale punchlines and canned laughter. Previously only available in a Blu-ray box set, Syfy has now released individual seasons of Stargate Atlantis on high-def. This means all you Jason Momoa fans can skip over its Ronon Dex-less first season, while Torri Higginson devotees (wait... those exist?) can bail when Elizabeth Weir is mercifully written out after Season 4.
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