Originally Posted by rdgrimes
David Milch refuses to spell things out for the viewer. He wants you to dig in and discover things for yourself. Most of his writing is better appreciated after multiple viewings. He flat refuses to "write down" to the common viewer.
The end result is usually a LOT of information and story packed into very few lines, there are no "small lines". Every word is there for a reason.
Exactly, and here is a good article I posted in the HOTP thread a few weeks ago where he actually says that... check out specifically the 4th paragraph starting with "Of racing...http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...1#post21496041WSJHBO Takes Its Money to the Track'Luck' has Dustin Hoffman, the 'Degenerates' and fractious, thoroughbred producers
By JOHN JURGENSEN
During a climactic horse race in the first episode of the new HBO series "Luck," four crusty gamblers try to win $2.7 million on a complex betting scenario known as a Pick Six. As the horses pound down the track and the stakes rise, one bettor looks confused. "What's happening?" he asks his more seasoned cohorts. "Will someone please tell me what's happening?"
"Luck," HBO's new show with Dustin Hoffman, Nick Nolte and John Ortiz, is set in the world of horse racing and features the return of "Deadwood" writer David Milch, John Jurgensen reports on Lunch Break. Photo: HBO.
The question is really on behalf of the viewers, most of whom will have little knowledge of the sport and its arcana. The same insular details that make racing ripe for on-screen drama also make it daunting to follow the stories. That tension has helped spur anticipation for "Luck," which marks Dustin Hoffman's first recurring role on television and a sometimes-fraught collaboration between executive producer Michael Mann and series creator David Milch, a lifelong devotee of the sport whose previous TV output includes the HBO western "Deadwood." The series starts Jan. 29.
Of racing, Mr. Milch said, "This is not a world that is easily known." He compares track denizens to adolescents in their use of intentionally "exclusionary language"triple boxes, Beyer figures, running for a tag. Add to that Mr. Milch's self-acknowledged reputation as a "slow unfolding" storyteller. (Indeed, a sneak preview of the "Luck" pilot last month tried some viewers' patience: one Twitter user compared it to "a stylish foreign-language film with the subtitles missing.") But Mr. Milch maintains that the audience bears some responsibility to meet him halfway: "It's a kind of contract that the viewer is willing to enter into."
"Luck" is set at Santa Anita, the sun-drenched Art Deco racetrack near Los Angeles. The location, and a powerful horse, figure into a long-game revenge plan by a taciturn crime kingpin recently released from prison, played by Mr. Hoffman. Among the other track archetypes: a haunted old horseman played by Nick Nolte; John Ortiz's gifted but unscrupulous trainer; an unpredictable jockey played by real-life Hall of Famer Gary Stevens; and the four scheming gamblers referred to in the script as the "Degenerates."
Behind the scenes, tensions smoldered between Messrs. Mann and Milch. In addition to the challenge of how to effectively render the racing culture in faithful detail, the two men, both known for their distinctive creative vision, clashed over control issues. To persevere, they negotiated a strict division of labor. Mr. Mann, who executive-produced"Miami Vice" and directed many films, including "Heat," said, "David's the boss on the writing, and I run everything from that point," including casting, music and hiring directors.
Mr. Milch, who wrote for groundbreaking Steven Bochco series including "Hill Street Blues" and "NYPD Blue," is known for a rigorous"I don't want to say insane," says Mr. Stevensattention to research and narrative detail. He produces scripts by dictation while prone and often leaning on an elbow, resulting in two torn rotator cuffs, the writer says.
The world of "Luck" is deeply familiar to Mr. Milch. His dad first took him to the track at Saratoga Springs, N.Y., at age 5. Some 60 years later, Mr. Milch says he still keeps a box there in his father's name. The writer has co-owned many horses, including one named Gilded Time that Mr. Stevens rode ("one of the best I sat on") before the colt went on to become a Breeders' Cup champion in 1992.
In "Luck," Mr. Milch said, he was less interested in portraying the world of moneyed owners and breeders than that of the sport's seedier devotees. "I've been with them my whole life," he said. "Any regular at the racetrack has some degenerate in them, and some are utterly so. Those were the ones I was interested in."
Though the first nine-episode season of "Luck" was shot at Santa Anita while the track was in season, Mr. Milch says he never hit the betting windows. "You can only serve one master at a time," he said.http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...ridayjournal_2