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03/15/2012

HBO cancels “Luck,” horses everywhere presumably rejoice  »


Gusmano Cesaretti/HBO

How many horses have to die before someone decides a project is a bad idea? 

Three, apparently. 

That’s how many perished during the filming of the first two seasons of Luck, a Nick Nolte/Dustin Hoffman HBO show. The show just premiered in January, but they’re working way ahead because TV is weird and crazy. The latest horse died on Tuesday, and to HBO’s credit, they decided enough was enough.

HBO says they were taking extra-good care of the horses but “accidents unfortunately happen.” PETA says “old, unfit and drugged horses were forced to race for this series.” The organization “is glad that HBO has finally decided to cancel the show.”

I pretty much adore HBO (Six Feet Under? True Blood? Heck yeah), so I’m glad they finally made a respectable choice here and I don’t have to be all conflicted inside. Fake death I’m all for. The real stuff? No good.

[via The Hollywood Reporter]

02/08/2012

Get it together and stop killing horses, HBO’s “Luck”  »


HBO has a new show called Luck. It’s about horse-racing, a “sport” I understand has been losing popularity for decades and is probably still around because it, like dog-racing, is legal to bet on in states where gambling is only otherwise legal in Indian casinos. Which speaks very highly of it as a “sport,” right? Definitely you want to be in a place people frequent because of the opportunities to gamble while wearing enormous hats presents.

Luck is a show about a dying American pastime made even weirder by the vernacular specific to this pastime that, because it’s dying, very few viewers of the show understand. Have you read the internet during the past six weeks? Everyone who talks about television is all, “Oh Luck, the dialog is impenetrable and the actors are all individually and specifically creepy and threatening, and the last show its creator made was also a thematic mess, but he also did Deadwood and HBO means ‘Serious Television Business,’ so we’re going to pretend to love it! Horses!”

My first point is, you’re probably not watching Luck, and you shouldn’t, because it’s nonsense. If you are, though, you may have noticed that in place of the standard “No animals were harmed” notation in the credits, there’s a line that says “The American Humane Association Monitored the animal action.” That’s because animals were harmed during the filming of this television show, specifically two horses, which actually suffered such serious injuries they had to be euthanized. No, I don’t know why veterinary medicine hasn’t solved fatal horse injuries; it seems awfully 19th century to still be putting horses down when they break their legs, right?

HBO tells the New York Observer that yeah it was totally tragic that we got those horses killed, but after the second one died we “suspended production” to figure out how not to kill any more horses while filming our television show about this shitty sport that fucking wrecks horses specifically bred to be fucking wrecked and that no one except the people involved in their wrecking gives a fuck about—that is, they’ve “adopt[ed] additional protocols specifically for horse racing sequences” and they’re earning that AHA-trademarked “No animals were harmed” line that will appear in future episodes’ credits.

Sorry two horses had to die before you figured your shit out, HBO and the producers of Luck, but you’ve got David Milch and he’s a genius! And horse racing was once upon a time the sport of kings or whatever. So you’ve got that going for you.

[photo of (Brazilian!) horses by Eduardo Amorim via Flickr]

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