CHICAGO – Mention the name Harry Lennix, and images of his many character roles are bound to emerge – Harold Cooper in the TV series “The Blacklist,” General Swanwick from “Batman v Superman” and Commissioner Blades from Spike Lee’s recent “Chi-Raq.” The deeply knowledgeable Lennix brings his years of dramatic expertise, as he directs the Congo Square Theatre Company’s world premiere stage play “A Small Oak Tree Runs Red.’
TV Review: ‘Lucky 7’ Misses Chance to Win Creatively
CHICAGO – “Lucky 7,” debuting tonight on ABC to end their practically unprecedented attempt at an entire night of new programming, is a case of concept over actual character. The creators of this inert drama think cluttering their storytelling with various subplots will make up for the fact that you just don’t care about any of them. It’s a case of quantity over quality and that never works. I could be wrong but this one’s high on my list of shows that could be cancelled before Christmas.
Television Rating: 2.0/5.0
The premise of “Lucky 7” is one that I bet has been floating around pilot pitch meetings for years. What would you do if you and your co-workers actually won that lotto pool that you plug a buck or two into every week? How would it change your life? Your friendships? Your relationships? Such is the dynamic at the Gold Star Gad N’Shop in Astoria, Queens, New York. It will surely tear some friendships apart and ruin as many lives as it improves but the premiere of “Lucky 7” doesn’t convince me that it will do so in a remotely interesting way.
Photo credit: ABC
Who are the seven? Matt Korzak (Matt Long) and his brother Nicky (Stephen Louis Grush) have the worst timing of the new TV year, getting themselves into serious trouble just before the big win; enough trouble that it could jeopardize their new future. Nicky has a huge crush on co-worker Samira (Summer Bishil), who could use the money to go to Juilliard to pursue her dreams of becoming a musician. Denise (Lorraine Bruce), the station cashier, deals with her weight issues while also coming to terms with a collapsing marriage. Leanne (Anastasia Phillips) is a single mother while Bob (Isiah Whitlock, Jr.) is the boss that everyone loves. Antonio (Luis Antonio Ramos) wants to give his wife (Alex Castillo) and three kids what he never had.
Is that enough plot for you? Crime, weight issues, a pregnant girlfriend, crumbling marriages, dreams of fame, and so on and so on. “Lucky 7” is a soap opera, and it’s not a very well-crafted one. Every scene feels intent on adding to the subplots of the show instead of introducing us to people we want to see next week. I remember the character’s issues instead of the actual characters. There’s a difference. These people don’t feel well-rounded in any way. They’re plot devices, numbers in a lottery machine bouncing around in a way that makes them look busy but completely devoid of personality.