Lucky TV Show Review

For people who love gambling, whether it is in the form of betting on a sport, or gambling in a physical or virtual casino, what is the thing that lures them into gambling? Definitely, it is the suspense and thrill that gambling provides. Mostly they derive the thrill from not knowing the outcome of the game, whether they have made the correct call or not. This excitement and suspense of gambling and betting make it a great genre and setting for various kinds of television dramas and shows. Through the eyes of the directors, the viewers can get to see the stunning visuals of the casinos and experience the real thrill.  The last two decades have presented to us some of the best movies and TV shows involving gambling, casinos, and betting. Lucky is a brilliant example of a TV show portraying gambling and its effects.

An American dark comedy, Lucky ran for only one season on FX Networks in 2003. This show having 13 episodes, starred John Corbett as Michael “Lucky” Linkletter in the role of a gambling addict and professional poker player. In 2003’s Primetime Emmy Award, Lucky was nominated for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series!

Genre: Dark comedy, gambling

Number of seasons: 1

Number of episodes: 13

First episode date: 8 April 2003

Final episode date1 July 2003

Original Platform: FX Networks

IMDb Rating: 8.1


Michael “Lucky” Linkletter (John Corbett), who is a professional gambler and a poker player in Las Vegas, finds his life to be turned upside down after spending all his prize money of a gambling tournament. After Lucky loses his wife and his money, he decides to give up gambling and poker for good in order to regain his lost fortune and life.

Episode 1: Pilot

Running time: 40 minutes

Airdate: 8 April 2003

A compulsive gambler, Michael “Lucky” Linkletter had won $1 million in the ‘World Series of Poker’ at a casino in Las Vegas. After winning such a huge amount of money, Lucky lived his life like a king and spend almost all of his money! It has been one year since time has passed, and Lucky has become penniless. Lucky decides to leave his old life behind and starts to leave a life free of gambling. It has been 6 months since Lucky has been clean from his addiction to gambling, but he has a huge debt left to repay. His debts include the money owed to a mobster and the money he took debt from his deceased wife’s parents. After Lucky finds a poker chip of $ 100, he thinks of considering this as a second chance to repay his debts. However, Lucky’s friends Vincent “Vinny” Sticcarelli (Billy Gardell ) and Buddy “Mutha” LeGendre (Craig Robinson) come up with a unique idea in order to repay Lucky’s debts. Lucky his forced to borrow money from a loan shark, Joey Leggs (Dan Hedaya) so as to back his in-law’s debts.

Episode 2: Calling Dr. Con

Running Time: 40 minutes

Airdate: 15 April 2003

Lucky is forced to gamble again so as to settle his debts with the loan shark, Joey Leggs. Although Lucky manages to acquire a sum to repay his debts, his efforts seem to go in vain when he meets a doctor, Amy (Andrea Roth), and her so-called “son” who need some money and are out on their luck. Out of the goodness of Lucky’s heart, he lends Amy the money that he needed to pay back his debt. Lucky realizes that he had been played by Amy when he sees her at a casino wearing a wig. After he confronts Amy who is in disguise, he realizes that her son is actually her nephew. When Lucky asks Amy to return back his money, she totally disagrees to return it. Meanwhile, Joey and Danny (Kevin Breznahan) pretend to be doctors in order to meet two other doctors. After setting up a golf date so as to go golfing and gambling, they end up owing the other two doctors an amount of $5,500. A hilarious scene arises when the doctors realize that Joey and Danny are not real doctors after Joey fakes a heart attack.

Episode 3: Up the Steaks

Running Time: 40 minutes

Air Date: 22 April 2003 

Theresa “Terry” Phillips (Ever Carradine) begins questioning her relationship with Lucky, as she feels that she is spending her time with Lucky, who happens to be a compulsive gambler without any clear goals. Lucky tries to calm Theresa and assures her that if he is given some time, he would make a list to find goals for his life. Meanwhile, when Lucky is mugged at gunpoint by a masked assailant and saved by Murray (Jack Wallace), who is a former gambler, he promises to never gamble again. In order to sustain himself, Lucky quits gambling and takes a job in Murray’s company, who is a meat wholesaler. Lucky’s has this innate ability to decipher people and their emotions, and this helps him to become a natural salesman. Very soon Lucky establishes Murray’s shop as one of the staple in Las Vegas. Everything seems to go well, but then problem arises from the fellow competitors of Murray- the Russo Brothers. Lucky promises that only Murray’s Meats will prevail after his romantic dinner with Theresa is spoiled by Russo’s men. An enraged Lucky also declares a “meat war”! Lucky is backed up by Mutha and Vinny who sabotages Russo Brothers’ meats at all the delivery spots. All the restaurants then shift their loyalty back to the business of Murray’s. 

Episode 4: Come Lie with Me

Running Time: 40 minutes

Air Date: 29 April 2003

Theresa faces a lot of trouble from her husband as she is in the process of withdrawal from her gambling addiction. However she quits gambling for two days and asks Lucky to be her sponsor. Lucky takes Theresa to the meeting of Gamblers Anonymous and in order to hide the fact that he is a hypocrite, Lucky lies in the meeting about being clean for 7 months. He also lies to Theresa about his gambling.

Episode 5: The Tell

Running Time: 40 minutes

Air Date: 6 May 2003

As an important satellite poker tournament approaches quickly, Amy gives Lucky a backer. But Lucky develops a “tell” which is a kind of telltale sign to other players which allows them to know when Lucky is bluffing. In the meantime, Vinny and Mutha tries to scam an unsuspecting target by posing as a couple who is an expert at card counting.

Episode 6 : Something for Everyone

Running Time: 40 minutes

Air Date: 13 May 2003

On the day of the death anniversary of Lucky’s wife, he is grief-stricken. However, he tries to uplift his mood, by play according to the mantra by which she lived by that is to help him to go up against the odds of Las Vegas and win a big prize at each gamble and at every turn. Although Lucky wins at the games, he is left with his sorrow at the end of the day.

Episode 7: Savant

Running Time: 40 minutes

Air Date: 20 May 2003

After Theresa begs Lucky to be more trusting towards other people, he is conned by a very unlikely grifter (David Krumholtz). In the meantime, Mutha and Vinny goes to the Wild Pony Casino to steal coins. When the duo are caught stealing at the casino, Detective Gibby McCall takes this opportunity and extorts to catch Lucky for an amount of five thousand dollars.

Episode 8: The Method

Running Time: 40 minutes

Air Date: 27 May 2003

A famous actor known as Bobby Blaine (Thomas Haden Church), prepares to play the role of a gambler. In order to understand his role and act it out better, he strikes a deal with Lucky. Lucky agrees to become Bobby’s technical advisor in order to show him the lifestyle of a real gambler.

Episode 9: Lie, Cheat & Deal

Running Time: 40 minutes

Air Date: 3 June 2003

After Lucky is accused for cheating, he gets banned from gambling at the casinos. In order to prove his innocence, Lucky seeks the help of Vinny and Mutha to track the people who that have set him up. After they collect a lot of evidence, all the clues lead to the con woman Amy. However, Amy denies being involved in setting up Lucky and promises to find the real people behind it.

Episode 10: Leaving Las Vegas

Running Time: 40 minutes

Air Date: 10 June 2003

Lucky plays roulette in Las Vegas on his every birthday in order to decide his fate. The plan is that if he ever succeeds in hitting the number of his birthday on the wheel, he will leave Las Vegas and will start all over again. However, this year Lucky gets lucky! Although he wins the roulette, but certain circumstances force him to do quite the opposite!

Episode 11: The Dating Game

Running Time: 40 minutes

Air Date: 17 June 2003

After Lucky and Theresa get in an ugly fight, they are at the crossroads of their relationships. In order to fix things Mutha and Vinny hatch a plan to bring back Lucky and Theresa together. In this episode, Drew Pillsbury and John Corbett’s real-life girlfriend, Bo Derek make a guest appearance and play the role of principals in Vinny and Mutha’s scheme. However, instead of fixing things, Vinny and Mutha’s scheme makes matter even worse.

Episode 12: Money on Your Back

Running Time: 40 minutes

Air Date: 24 June 2003 

In order to release Danny five days before his trial, Lucky talks to a judge. He tries to convince the judge to grant Danny’s release as Danny remains shackled to Lucky who will be playing in a poker tournament. In the meantime Vinny and Mutha begin to wonder if they have reached their lowest point. After being clean of gambling for around 57 days, Theresa again gambles. 

Episode 13: It’s in the Stars

Running Time: 40 minutes

Air Date: 1 July 2003

‘It’s in the stars’ serves as the finale of season 1. In the season finale, the relationship of Lucky and Theresa is tested again when Lucky resolves to play in the World Championship of Poker. While Lucky resolves to play, Theresa faces a difficult question from the sponsor of Gamblers Anonymous sponsor after being clean of gambling for 57 days.

Lucky portrays the gambling and casino scenes beautifully! It vividly shows the real-life in Las Vegas and the real gambling scenarios. A lot of movies and TV series have been made on the genre of gambling. It has been successful in captivating a lot of audiences and has reached a wide variety of viewers! With a similar theme, Breaking Vegas showcases the Las Vegas casinos and the lengths people go to cheat in the game! The TV show World Poker Tour is considered to be one of the best known and the biggest gambling TV show. However, World Poker Tour is more than just a show, it showcases all the international poker tournaments that have been held since the year 2002! The best part about this show is that it airs all year round and has been held in over 150 different countries till date! 

Although Lucky was canceled after season 1, viewers have liked this show very much! Lucky indeed did a wonderful job in portraying the lives of gamblers, their struggles and their wins! Although this TV show was released in 2003, nearly two decades later, it is very much loved by everyone! This TV show does a commendable job in depicting Las Vegas with an impressive script and well-acted scenes. 

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