Category Archives: Lucky Man

Lucky Man,S1 E 10 Review


The final episode. Harry must somehow escape from Whitecross jail to save his wife and daughter and confront Golding who is desperate to take possession of the magic bracelet. But with it linked to Harry, the only way he can possibly accomplish this would seem to be to make the ultimate sacrifice. But exactly how much will the bangle help Harry along the way? Will he make it in time? Will we care?

And so we reach the end, and with more of a whimper than a bang. Golding – revealed last week as Whitecross prison boss Nikhail Julian – has kidnapped Harry’s almost-ex Anna and their daughter Daisy and Harry is told the only way to save them is to kill himself. Anyone else trying to off our plucky copper would be at the mercy of the bangle (hell, it fixed a dodgy washing machine last week, who knows what it could do) and thus Golding orders Harry’s suicide. Harry is, understandably, reluctant and so he escapes, the bangle saving him from a fifth floor fall. More luck is generated in the exciting find of a £1 coin which Harry uses on a pub gaming machine to give him some walking around cash.

Arriving at his brother Rich’s business, Harry uses all of his experience to evade his colleagues who are searching for him by simply going round the back of the back of the building instead, and is shocked by his appearance after being beaten up last week. Learning of the location of the house where his wife and daughter are being held, Harry hotfoots it round, quickly followed by DS Winter and the ever-dependable Suri, where he finally faces Julian/Golding. A stand-off, a fight, the saving of his daughter from drowning and the shooting of Winter leads to Golding escaping and Harry keeping possession of the bracelet.

Viewers must be cautioned that there is more running from Harry in this episode than in all others combined. If this weren’t enough, Sky One’s continuity announcer thanked us over the end credits for all the letters of support for the show they had received (Who are you people? Speak up! Explain yourselves!) and that Stan Lee’s Lucky Man would be returning for a second series. How unlucky can you get?

Sarcasm aside, this was a pitifully weak and cack-handed ending to a series that was occasionally a small, guilty pleasure. But only occasionally. The final denouement and confrontation between Harry and Golding had as much tension as a loose shoelace; it looked as though they made it up as they filmed. Golding simply ran off and then, just as you were expecting a final scene or two to wrap everything up – What’s happened to Eve? How is Winter? What next for Harry and his bangle? – it ended. Just like that. Did they forget to shoot the rest?

With special mention to Rich Clayton’s eye-make up, which was meant to portray a serious beating but instead made him resemble the result of some drunken panda sex, this was an unintentionally funny last hour, be it Harry running lots or the script that flowed like a first draft. If a second series is made, I probably wont be watching as getting through this season has been like dragging my eyes across sandpaper!

So out of a possible five stars for the entire season, Lucky man earns:

Don’t you ever make me hate Stan Lee again!

What did you think of this series?

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Lucky Man, S1 E9 Review


“What are you doing with a man’s head in your freezer Harry?”.

An excellent question if ever there was one Suri. The head belongs to the hulking Russian Yuri Becker and soon his body is found, thanks again to an anonymous tip-off, giving DS Winter no choice but to charge Harry with murder. And like the late Kevin Grey and his brother Richard before him, Harry gets shipped off to the dodgy Whitecross Prison and an unknown fate. Will Golding finally reveal himself and get the bracelet?

Time seems to be running out for Harry. Set up and incarcerated with his brother at Whitecross, it’s down to Suri and the dogged Winter to continue the investigations and uncover the truth about who Golding really is. Deputy Mayor Frierson still has DI Orwell in his back pocket and when forensic evidence that would exonerate Richard lands on his desk, he buries it. Kate Olsen – remember her? – finally wakes up and confirms that Becker was the man who kidnapped her. She’s then promptly murdered by someone posing as a nurse. Meanwhile, Winter is keeping his promise to Harry and investigating his first case, the murder of Eve’s mother, finding that important paperwork is missing.

Whitecross is a dangerous place for the Clayton brothers who are under constant threat and an attempt to remove the bangle from Harry’s wrist with an angle grinder ends with predictable results (well, it has been tried before). Like a dog with a bone, Winter persistence pays off; not only does he manage to piece together a cover-up involving Frierson, he fingers Orwell for hiding evidence. But as he and Suri head to City Hall to charge and arrest the Deputy Mayor, Golding finally reveals himself to Harry. It’s Nikhail Julian, Whitecross director, lover of Anna Clayton and chief suspect in the murder of Eve’s mother all those years ago.

As usual, there’s a lot going on with this episode of Stan Lee’s Lucky Man, but unlike the previous episode it moves along at a fair pace and is a worthwhile hour spent.  There’s still reams of exposition to get through and too many characters we care too little about dotting the action – step forward Kalim and Lily-Anne – but once again the core cast of Nesbitt, Sienna Guillory as Suri Chohan and the ever excellent Steven Mackintosh as DS Winter keep us invested in proceedings.

But this is a genre show, right? With a magic bangle bestowing luck at the very centre of the story? The writers seem to have completely forgotten about this and all Harry uses the bangle for this week is to seemingly fix a broken prison washing machine. No, really. Even the superpower-sparing Jessica Jones had more than this.

And the reveal of Julian as Golding was pretty lame. True, it’s Frierson who’s been set up as the Big Bad all this time, but it’s for that very reason he clearly wasn’t going to be Golding. Nikhail Julian hasn’t really been there to do anything all these episodes, save for providing a love interest for the underused Anna Clayton, and so what else could he be? It shows Lucky Man for the twelve-piece, ages five and under jigsaw puzzle that it really is.

Next is the finale, and with no second season commissioned, seemingly the end. Even if we get lots of bangle-action in the last hour, that would seem to be a good decision.

What did you think of this episode?

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Lucky Man, S1 E8 Review


 

The first season of Stan Lee’s Lucky Man has been a chore to watch, wrestling with its own indecision.  Does it want to be a British superhero saga or a gritty crime procedural?  An alternative to cinematic universes of costumed vigilantes or a serious thriller based (mostly) in reality?  As the show ramps up towards the conclusion of its debut season, it may finally be finding its feet, after stumbling several times along the way.

As in every other episode of the series, this week’s episode begins with a cold open, setting up a crime for the London police to investigate.  The difference here is that the suspect is Harry Clayton’s brother Rich.  He wakes in a daze, his clothes spattered with blood, an antique pistol in his hand.  The camera work helps establish Rich’s disorientation, shifting in and out of focus and skewing at strange angles.  Rich discovers the body of his girlfriend Babs and in shock takes off to look for help.

Clayton and Chohan arrive at the scene of the murder, unaware that Rich is involved.  In horror, Clayton realises that his brother’s partner is the victim and that the murder weapon came from Rich’s antiques dealership.  This creates an interesting concept for the episode – Clayton can no longer work the case, due to his familial connection, but will stop at nothing to clear his brother’s name.

This set up works really well, stripping Clayton of his agency and confining him to the sidelines of the investigation for the first half of the episode.  The story may be a familiar one – agent (or in this case, cop) has to work outside the system in order to achieve goal – but as a counterbalance to the formulaic structure of previous episodes, this development is much needed.

Nesbitt and Khan play off each other well; their characters benefitting from the backstory and rapport that they’ve built throughout the season.  Similarly, Chohan’s proximity to Rich causes complications during her investigation and interrogation.  The lines between cop/suspect and friends become blurred during an intense interview scene – Chohan is clearly moved by Rich’s pleas, but as a consummate professional she is forced to consider the facts that suggest his guilt.

The balance of feelings of betrayal between Clayton and Chohan is continually shifting.  Clayton can’t believe that Chohan won’t believe Rich, or allow her partner to surreptitiously assist in the investigation.  At the same time, Chohan feels that Clayton’s behaviour is unprofessional, and is the culmination of all of the rule-bending (and breaking) she’s witnessed him commit during their time together.

As the episode rolls on, Clayton decides to take the law into his own hands, going rogue in an attempt to clear his brother’s name.  Willing to infiltrate the crime scene and tamper with evidence, it seems he’ll stop at nothing to discover the truth.  His illicit investigation leads him to Charles Collins, the man last seen working as a bodyguard for a Russian socialite, as well as a henchman for the elusive Golding.   Clayton realises that framing Rich was merely a means to an end – leveraging the bacelet from Clayton.  Collins is embodied well by John Hopkins – charming and menacing in equal parts – and appears to be behind much of what we’ve seen so far.

The second half of the episode can’t quite live up to the first, as it stumbles with familiar issues – undercooked action and underwhelming showdowns.  Clayton going rogue works well, driving an ever bigger wedge between him and his partner, potentially setting up one of the greatest sources of conflict over the final two episodes.  It’s a shame that overall this instalment feels unfinished as it clearly builds towards the season finale.

That’s eight episodes down and two more to go, not an easy task to say the least!

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Lucky Man, S1 E7 Review


Investigating the death of a fleeing man on Chelsea Bridge, and what appears at first to be the scamming of rich, foreign students, Harry and Suri find it all traces back to the mysterious Golding. As Anna also uncovers a connection to the elusive man, and despite warnings from Eve about just how much luck can be derived from the bangle, Harry deliberately puts himself in the line of fire.


 young man is running half-naked, bloodied and panic stricken through London. The result of a severe beating and torture, he is inadvertently turned into a fireball as police officers taser him, unaware he has also been doused in petrol. Harry and Suri are assigned to the case and quickly uncover a con involving two east end wideboys preying on rich foreign students and quickly link the dead man to Golding, the man Harry is sure is after the bracelet and behind everything.

As Harry and Suri get in ever deeper, Deputy Mayor Karl Frierson unsuccessfully tries to pressure Detective Superintendent Winter to get rid of Harry and when that fails, he turns his attention to DS Orwell. Meanwhile, Anna’s investigations of the Whitecross Clinic have revealed that Kevin Grey didn’t commit suicide but was instead murdered and she’s been given a name. Golding.

Stan Lee’s Lucky Man suffers from that all too frequent get out clause of bad storytelling – the fact that everything, and everyone, is connected to everything else. It removes any real need for plotting, character or planning. Simply get some generic bad guys, have them do something terrible and then reveal they all link back to the big bad in ways we have yet to learn or, indeed, care about at all. So the crime of the week set-up that is, of course, assigned to Harry and Suri becomes ever more complicated and a new player in Charles Collins is introduced, seemingly to fill the void created by the now dead Yury Becker.

xposition Eve pops up once more (and of course Harry, again, just sits and listens instead of asking questions) to try to further the plot, even going so far as visiting Paul Lermontov – remember him? – casually dropping that they’ve known each other since childhood. And so once more the show plays schizophrenically, trying to be deep and complex and deadly serious whilst using the conceit of the magic bangle in the most mundane ways possible and showcasing stunts and set pieces that really should have no place on prime time television.

A case in point is an attempted assassination involving blowing the tyre of Harry’s car at 30mph in heavy traffic. Oh, wow, not. The final shootout at the marina, with Harry willingly standing directly in front of a hail of bullets and trusting everything to the luck of the bangle, has all the tension and drama of a bag blowing in the wind.

The previous episode was pretty dull, but this week’s trumps that by being confusing as hell at the same time. That’s quite a feat. There’s even a case for wishing Harry would do some running, just so there’s something entertaining to watch. But we’re not that lucky.

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Lucky Man, S1 E5 Review


Harry and DS Chohan investigate the slaying of an underground gambling den owner and the magic bracelet allows our intrepid hero to be saved from certain death by a drop of water, breeze through some green lights and save a man’s tongue from being cut off. To say that Stan Lee’s Lucky Man goes a bit bonkers this week would be an understatement.

Warning – Episode 5 of Stan Lee’s Lucky Man may cause headaches. We last left Harry about to be shot in the head by the bald Russian. As Harry’s face contorts to that of someone with really, really bad constipation, a lucky drop of water and a loose shoe saves his life. Clearly shaken by all this, Harry nevertheless throws himself into investigating the slaying of Caleb Percy, owner of an underground gambling den. Following a series of clues a five year old could piece together, he and Chohan track suspected killer Tim Larson down, find that he and Caleb were both connected to Lily-Anne Lau and the Green Dragon casino and investigate a secret underground game that is played with no money. As Harry’s estranged wife Anna asks questions about last week’s death of Kevin Grey at the medical institute where all is not as it seems, Harry gets all green lights on the roads and uses the luck of the magic bracelet to gain entry to the game with no money.

Once in, he bets his retro BMW and saves Larson from having his tongue, which he’d bet, from being hacked off after losing to Harry in a game of a rat choosing a sugar cube. Meanwhile, Chohan goes rogue and intercepts a flash drive meant for Big Bastard Boss Winter that contains video evidence proving Harry won big at the Green Dragon casino the night Lily-Anne’s father was murdered.

After last week’s breezy fun, this is all getting very complicated and very silly now and we’re only at mid-series. Having the murder-of-the-week connected to Lily-Anne and the Green Dragon is just about plausible but the plot strand of gold bullion dealer Lermentov is left hanging, almost-ex wife Anna starts a whole new one with some potential dodgy dealings at the clinic and the underground, no money game – run by someone called, incredibly, “The Gamesmaster” – is just ridiculous, offering the sort of gambling challenge you can see on any crap Saturday night entertainment show.

Having the mysterious Eve appear at episodes end, introduce yet more plot concerning her mother’s murder and then vanish once more is almost expected. We know Harry won’t question her or demand answers. And of course, we also know all this plot will likely be tied-up and solved nicely in another five episodes, but will we really care by then?

Once again, James Nesbitt as Harry and Amara Karan as DS Suri Chohan do all the heavy lifting and are the only real reason to keep watching. You can’t fault Nesbitt’s commitment to the role. And he doesn’t run this week, so we all get lucky not having to witness that again.

I’m not going to lie, this series is starting to lose my interest, the plot is fine all be it a little silly, i just wish this would make its mind up, is it a supernatural series or a crime drama?

Hopefully in time my patience will be rewarded for sticking with Lucky man, but right now i just dont feel that lucky.

What are your thought on Lucky man?

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Lucky Man, S1 E4 Review


Stan Lee’s Lucky Man gave us another diverting episode this week in which Harry and DS Chohan chase down a kidnap victim who just happened to be investigating the previous owner of the lucky bracelet. The ploy of telling a self-contained story of the week that also has connections to the bigger story is largely successful. But now we’re with Harry and on board for the ride, why make him do such stupid things?

For those of us scarred by the sight of Jimmy Nesbitt running with all the grace of someone desperately trying to keep something between his butt cheeks, as we have been the past two weeks, it’s ok. It’s safe to watch this week. The dynamic duo of Clayton and Chohan are hot on the trail of Kate Olsen, a financial investigator who has been kidnapped. Her type-one diabetes and lack of medication lends this tale the ticking clock trope so beloved by both writers and viewers; will they find her in time? Will she die? Will we care?

That big, bald Russian bad guy whose been searching for Harry since the start is the kidnapper, so when it transpires that Olsen had been investigating the man who previously wore the bracelet, a gold bullion dealer who threw himself off the roof of his penthouse at the very beginning of the series and a man she believed was far too lucky, it’s not exactly a surprise. Like last week, the luck of the magic bangle is barely present and we’re firmly in the territory of a police procedural once more. But not before Harry burns a big pile of cash.

It seems Harry is a bit peeved on leaning on his huge winnings in Lau’s casino a couple of episodes ago were down to a rigged roulette table. So he burns it. He’s perfectly happy to use some magic jewellery to beat the odds, but somehow winning by other nefarious means offends his moral compass. Perhaps the writers were trying to show us that Harry is a good guy, a straight copper who can be trusted? Regardless, it was a stupid inclusion. Harry wouldn’t have just burnt thousands of pounds. What is he, a previously unheard of band member of the KLF?

As Harry and Chohan investigate and race to save Olsen, Big Bastard Boss Winter and Detective Orwell try to uncover some dirt on Harry, there seemingly being no other crime to be solved at all in London this week. This leads Orwell to the Green Dragon casino and a meeting with the slippery Lily-Anne Lau, where he seemingly forgets he’s a copper and agrees to all her demands on a promise of some ‘documents’ linking Harry to her late father. Good work Detective. Why do they hate Harry so much?

Meanwhile, Harry gets lucky (sorry) with his ex who turns to him desperate and drunk before sobering up and chucking him out on his ear. Closing in on Olsen, he and Chohan escape death by burning narrowboat (really) and in a two-second piece of deduction that makes you ask, What? How? Uh?!!, track her to a shipping container just in the nick of time. Harry goes off on his own, gets caught by the bald Russian – finally! – and gets to play Russian Roulette to prove his bangle is the magic one. We end on a couldn’t-be-less-tense cliffhanger as Harry is about to be shot. Of course he isn’t, he’s the star. Oh, and also here are scenes from next week showing Harry alive and well

Yet, aside from some lazy storytelling – they couldn’t even be bothered with an episode title this week – it’s still great fun and at it’s best when we’re with Harry and Chohan. Big Bastard Boss Winter and Orwell both look like they’re both discussing the various merits of drying paint and Eve, who pops up again before being also caught by the Russian, is pretty two-dimensional and dull. But Nesbitt is taking this seriously and there’s real chemistry between him and his partner. And Harry is not some tough guy who can take it all; he’s seriously scared and traumatized when having a loaded gun pointed at his head. But not so terrified that he can’t deliver the best line of the show to the bald hulking Russian. “Keep going Kojak or don’t you have the balls?!” Good man Harry.

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Lucky Man, S1 E2 Review


This weeks episode begins with a recap of the previous show, before moving on to a crowd gathered in a back ally of London, betting on a game of three card monte, obviously the gentleman betting has never seen one of these games before and becomes enraged when he is hustled out of £40 (That’s $57 for our american cousins and €52.60 for Europe – Film and TV Nerd, entertainer and teacher).

Moving on we pick back up where we left off last week as Harry is on the brink of not only drowning but also having his hand chopped off. When suddenly a passing cruise ship with the very same man who was hustled is aboard and creates a convenient distraction. This allows Harry to grab the machete from his would be attacker and free his tangled legs.

Harry then saves his colleague from certain death and returns to his soon to be ex wife’s home (I assume he went to his home first?) after exchanging brief pleasantries, Harry is back on duty and back on the case. Finding a private jet which contains several hundred thousand pounds of cash, as Harry’s luck continues to shine through.

One thing to note about this show is that by this point we are only ten minutes into this episode, but the scenes just skip along, not dwelling on too much but at the same time feeling a little rushed.

We pick back up as the stereotypical bald bad guy with a Russian accent turns up at Harry’s wife’s home in search for him, but she mistakes him for a bailiff and dismisses him.

Harry’s lead takes him to the same back ally with the same game of three card monte and of course Harry has the power of luck on his side winning every hand. But this was just a distraction to gain the hustlers phone, once Harry and his partner track the hustler down, they make him talk with more firmer methods than last weeks treadmill torture (Seriously he could have just gotten of that thing). But unbeknownst to them, the hustler soon meets a grisly demise for talking.

Harry’s search for Kevin Grey is similar to that of Jessica Jones search for Kilgrave, both are kept off screen and shrouded in mystery which does make for compelling television. I’m a fan of the less is more approach and the longer they keep Grey away from the story the bigger the pay off.

Harry who is now starting to realise the power he has been given decides to put it into practice by betting at a local dog track, where of course he wins every time. Testing the boundaries of his new powers he purchases a ticket knowing he cant lose and gives this to another man.

But soon we come to realise that luck cannot be passed on to anyone else as the the race comes to an abrupt halt. Harry’s luck only gets worse here as the beautiful and mysterious woman who gave him the bracelet has been watching him, asking him to do good with it. Cue cliché bad guy as he returns looking to kill Harry, only to be thwarted by the woman allowing Harry to live to fight another day (or at least for another eight episodes).

Harry has the obligatory flashbacks that are required by the law of Stan Lee, in which we learn he lost his mother and twin brother at the age of five in a car accident. Moving on and Harry proceeds to ruin my previous statement about the less is more approach as he not only catches Grey but arrests him gaining a full confession to the murder.

The show concludes with Ben being taken away in an ambulance perhaps proving that Harry’s luck comes with consequences.

Overall an interesting episode, but it all just felt a bit rushed, it actually makes me wonder just how much input Stan Lee had on this show. I want to like this show but it just hasn’t connected with me yet, it just feels like its struggling to find its flow but having said that we are only two episodes into new territory and anything could happen at any given time.

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