Get Lucky


What do horse race gamblers care about? In Luck, the new HBO series from movie director Michael Mann (Heat, The Insider) and Deadwood creator David Milch, the answer is mostly winning, but also taxes. 

The show is full of characters using various deceptions to avoid legal consequences. The pilot features a convicted gambling felon (Dustin Hoffman) who uses an old crony (Dennis Farina) as a front to purchase a racehorse he cannot legally own. It also follows a consortium of gamblers who get lucky on a "pick six"—a series of races that nets them a cool $2.6 million. Despite their good fortune, they wait to collect their winnings, figuring they should examine their options for avoiding the Internal Revenue Service first.

The legal restrictions on gambling and winning change behavior but don't have the desired effect. Unintended consequences always win by a nose. —Peter Suderman