Saturday, September 28, 2013

Pilot Review: Lucky 7

Lucky 7 (ABC)
Premiered September 24 at 10pm

It’s unlikely that this show seems familiar to anyone. For one, it’s based, like so many series these days, on a British show called “The Syndicate,” which follows a group of people who win the lottery in a pool. While I have yet to see that series, I do remember a 2006 NBC summer offering called “Windfall,” which brought together a group of unconnected individuals whose lives were changed when they all split a lottery pot. On ABC’s latest series, the employees of a gas station all win a $145 million jackpot which leads to some success but presumably equal trouble down the road for all as well. The concept, as always, is clever to a degree, and of course it might be interesting to watch bad things happen to those who seem to have been graced with such fortune. The problem, however, is that these characters are defined in such an unspecific, cliché fashion that it’s hard to believe any of them truly exist. Lorraine Bruce’s Denise is the best example of that, and it’s especially puzzling since the actress played the same part on the BBC series. Frequent TV watchers will be please to see Isiah Whitlock Jr. from “The Wire” as the paternal manager of the gas station and Matt Long from “Jack and Bobby” and “The Deep End” as a struggling father with a new baby, but both of them have been better in the past. I’m not sure this premise ever yields a positive result, but this lackluster melodrama sure isn’t worth watching each week.

How will it work as a series? The British version followed a different character each week, and so it stands to reason that this show might do the same. Hints have already been dropped to suggest that each character’s life is equally populated by secrets, and so, however ridiculous they may be, this show’s plot twists should be easily creatable.
How long will it last? Not long. Only two hours after the strong start of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” this show’s debut ranked as ABC’s lowest-rated fall premiere ever. It’s hard to come back from that kind of statistic, and I think this show may join “Lone Star” and “Do No Harm” in the cancelled-after-two-episodes club.

Pilot grade: F

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