by Tony Dayoub
Given the plentiful violence found in previous shows by executive producers Michael Mann and David Milch, early speculation on what Luck would feel like often ended up somewhere in The Sopranos territory. After all, Luck would take place in the shady world of gambling. Its cast would sport tough-guy actors like Nick Nolte and Dennis Farina. And it would air on HBO, which some say is at its most successful when exploring violent worlds like those of The Wire and Boardwalk Empire. Eight episodes in, it's safe to say that this at times sweet show about the community forming around the Santa Anita Race Track is nothing like that. But in this, the series's penultimate episode, Sopranos director Allen Coulter gives us a taste of what the darker Luck many of us had been wishing for might have been like. And it isn't pretty.
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