Luck: Season 1 (2011 - 2012)

Season 1

Critics Consensus

With its outstanding ensemble cast, immersive atmosphere, and terrific cinematography, Luck is a well-pedigreed series that takes its time but is ultimately absorbing.



Critic Ratings: 50


Audience Score

User Ratings: 69
User image


Air date: Dec 11, 2011
Air date: Feb 5, 2012
Air date: Feb 12, 2012
Air date: Feb 19, 2012
Air date: Feb 26, 2012
Air date: Mar 4, 2012
Air date: Mar 11, 2012
Air date: Mar 18, 2012
Air date: Mar 25, 2012

Luck: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

David Milch, who reinvented the horse opera with "Deadwood," continued his equine fascination in this drama set at California's Santa Anita Park, a monument to the sport of kings where trainers, jockeys, gamblers, criminals and others all have something at stake. Among them is Ace (Dustin Hoffman), a wealthy ex-con who wants to bring casino gambling to the track, where his right-hand man, Gus (Dennis Farina), owns a horse that's being trained by the mercurial Turo (John Ortiz). Another prominent stable figure is Walter (Nick Nolte), an old hand nurturing a colt with Kentucky bloodlines but faced with the choice of veteran Ronnie (Gary Stevens) or rookie Rosie (Kerry Condon) to ride him. Farther down the food chain are a quartet of inveterate bettors, including Jerry (Jason Gedrick), whose handicapping skills could be the difference between their prosperity or poverty. A second season was in the works, but HBO canceled the show after the death of three horses during production.


Dustin Hoffman
as Chester "Ace" Bernstein
Dennis Farina
as Gus Demitriou
John Ortiz
as Turo Escalante
Richard Kind
as Joey Rathburn
Kevin Dunn
as Marcus
Ian Hart
as Lonnie
Nick Nolte
as Walter Smith
Gary Stevens
as Ronnie Jenkins
Joan Allen
as Claire LeChea
Michael Gambon
as Michael Smythe
Ted Levine
as Isadore Cohen
Alan Rosenberg
as Nick DiRossi
Patrick J. Adams
as Nathan Israel
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Luck Season 1

All Critics (50) | Top Critics (26)

Luck has massive amounts of verisimilitude but only occasionally comes to life.

Jun 13, 2018 | Full Review…

Despite its impressive bloodlines, Luck is a real plodder - a maddeningly deliberate series that stalls right out of the gate and never quite makes up lost ground.

Jun 12, 2018 | Full Review…

Listen closely and you'll hear the elegant approach of a machine built to refresh a myth about the goddess of fortune.

Jan 29, 2012 | Full Review…
Top Critic

You're in good company even when Luck can be a slow, bewildering ride.

Jan 29, 2012 | Full Review…

There's a good potential payoff on this race.

Jan 29, 2012 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Pretty good, yes; but great, no - or at least not great in that Sunday-night way HBO has led people to take for granted.

Jan 29, 2012 | Full Review…

I'm still more than a little lost at sea, but I've never been so entertained while being so very uncertain as to what I'm seeing.

Jun 13, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

It seems that Luck may be an acquired taste, but it's one worth acquiring.

Jun 13, 2018 | Full Review…

I guess I can't resist a character study after all even if I don't understand most of what's going on.

Jun 13, 2018 | Full Review…

From the start, it's clear that the pairing of Mann and Milch is a match made in television heaven.

Jun 13, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Luck: Season 1

  • Jul 09, 2019
    I love this worked at many big and small racetracks , I did the real work of food and beverage , also fun stories . Horses die everyday at race tracks , when they break a leg they are humanely put down immediately , why is PETA upset that a legal profession is unjust , as accidents happen . I hate only one season , great stories actors action
  • Apr 08, 2015
    Luck? Not for the horses murdered on set.
  • Jan 21, 2015
    Brilliant. HBO cancelled this masterwork because the hypocrites over at PETA complained about three horses dying while on set. Does HBO and PETA both know how many animals have to die to make film for most of these shows to be shot on? So by this loony logic, should HBO stop shooting TV shows and PETA protest every single television show and movie that is shot on film? Come on HBO, Milch gave us so many tremendous characters only for you to cancel the show over mystifying reasons? "Luck" should be seen, regardless, for its intricate and dense storytelling and characters, a good roster of directors, excellent soundtrack, a cast that had not one weak link, and plenty of the usual Milch trademarks spanning philosophy to history to a vile and intelligent worldview and so on.
  • Oct 10, 2014
    It was awesome until it lasted

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