Fall First Impressions: ABC’s “Lucky 7”
A rag-tag group of seven gas station employees chipping with vain hope into a lottery pool sounds like the premise of a comedy. While there are occasional touches of humour, Lucky 7 is actually a drama, and that is about the only surprising component of the show. Well, that and the insane logic behind a group of people with no income to spare constantly buying lottery tickets. They could all use some extra cash, but of course the age old question of how much money itself can really fix is brought into debate.
There’s Antonio (Luis Antonio Ramos), the likable family man who takes pleasure in something as simple as buying his wife a toaster. Honestly, he’s probably the best of the bunch. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Nicky (Stephen Louis Grush), the ex-convict who keeps reminding everyone he is a reformed ex-convict, but may need to brush up on the meaning of that word. Nicky has eyes for the lovely violinist Samira (Summer Bishil), though we kind of think she could do better.
Another gal who should likely be looking elsewhere in the romantic department is Denise, played painfully well by Lorraine Bruce. Bruce brings a very human element of insecurity to the role as she struggles with her weight and self-confidence. It is one of the more believable and touching aspects of the pilot.
Matt (Matt Long), another employee of the Gold Star gas station, wears an eternally furrowed brow as his wife Mary (Christina Evangelista) reminds him of their money troubles. They live with Matt’s invasive mother, and that is about as fraught with tension as you would imagine it to be. At first it seems odd that Matt is married to Mary, as she seems to value things like jacuzzis more than her own husband.
After seeing Matt’s lengthy eye contact with the much more affable Leanne (Anastasia Phillips), the situation becomes less confusing. Leanne is a single mother devoted to her adorable daughter, and she clearly has a soft spot for Matt. I wonder where that could possibly be going?
The other key member of the group is Bob (Isiah Whitlock Jr.), the tired and friendly manager of Gold Star. When Matt turns to desperate measures in the pilot, his friendship with Bob becomes a subject of importance.
You don’t need to glance at the episode’s description to guess that, magically, the group’s lottery numbers end up being the winning combination. When one character observes that it “couldn’t happen to a better bunch of working stiffs,” we have to question his judgment. In general, these characters are not the most loyal or appealing. That’s a bit of a problem in a show that seems to be ambitiously relying more on character studies than plot.
That is not to say these characters will not be worth sticking around for. If they wander outside of their current clichéd molds, they might prove intriguing – likable or not. Obtaining excessive money can exaggerate one’s flaws as well as strengths. The pilot has a wealth of information about a large cast, so it will take a few episodes to see what direction Lucky 7 is truly headed in. If it has caught your interest, tune into ABC on Tuesdays at 10pm ET.
Lucky 7 comes from producers Steven Spielberg, Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey, David Zabel, and Jason Richman.