Pilot Perception: Lucky 7

Welcome to Pilot Perception, our feature in which we break down the first episode of each new show in order to help you decide whether it’s worth your time.

The Show: Lucky 7, ABC in the U.S. and CityTV in Canada, Tuesdays at 10/9c

The Pedigree: This is an adaptation of British show The Syndicate by Kay Mellor, who executive produces this version with Steven Spielberg (you know who he is), Justin Falvey (The Americans), Darryl Frank (The Americans), Jason Richman (Detroit 1-8-7), and David Zabel (ER). Richman and Frank wrote the pilot, which was directed by Paul McGuigan (Sherlock).

The Cast & How You Know Them: Lucky 7 stars Isiah Whitlock, Jr. (The Wire), Matt Long (Mad Men, Private Practice), Stephen Louis Grush (At Any Price), Lorraine Bruce (The Syndicate – she’s the only one reprising her role from the original), Anastasia Phillips (Bomb Girls), Summer Bishil (90210), Luis Antonio Ramos (The Shield, CSI), Christine Evangelista (666 Park Avenue), and Alex Castillo (Fringe, Warehouse 13).

The Premise: Lucky 7 is about a group of gas station employees in Queens whose lives change when they jointly win a huge lottery jackpot. They’re friends but all have their own complicated pasts and secrets, of course, and the show will trace the way their lives change after the big win.

A Taste:

What Works: Lucky 7 has a lot of characters, and while some are more interesting than others, there are definitely some stories and relationships that I’m interested in seeing more of. I like the way that the work relationships intersect with the personal ones in ways that aren’t as straightforward as those on many other workplace dramas. It will be interesting to see how all of these dynamics change due to the sudden influx of money. I also really appreciate that the show is about working class characters from a variety of racial and cultural backgrounds, and that so far, at least, those backgrounds seem to be part of the characters but not utterly define them.

What Doesn’t: As I mentioned, there are a lot of characters and plotlines here, and it’s just too much. This may sound counterintuitive, but the show would be stronger and more interesting if some of them were cut out (or sharply reduced). Unfortunately, the one that I’m least interested in is the one the show seems to be using to provide a framework, so I doubt that’s going away any time soon. Also, while I love that the show spotlights characters from such diverse backgrounds, it will have to be careful not to fall into stereotypical portrayals of the various cultures.

Our Favorite Line: “It’s a onesie. Bianca knit it. She left off the legs and sleeves because, you know, the baby came early.”

You Might Like This if you like dramas with many intersecting plotlines about characters from a variety of diverse backgrounds. I honestly can’t think of a recent similar show to compare this to, which is in some ways a good thing – it’s not great so far, but it’s different, which is enough to keep me watching for a while.

If You’re Interested: Lucky 7 premieres tonight (Tuesday, September 24th) on ABC and CityTV at 10/9c.

(Photo courtesy of ABC.)

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