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Our First Look at BOOKIE on Max

by Jef Dinsmore
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Max finally has its new Chuck Lorre series set to go. Note its title is now BOOKIE, shortened from the original HOW TO BE A BOOKIE. Are you set to watch? A press release states –Max_Bookie-PosterPic

 The Max Original comedy series BOOKIE, from Emmy-nominated creator Chuck Lorre and starring Sebastian Maniscalco, debuts with two episodes THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 30 on Max. The eight-episode series will debut two episodes subsequent Thursdays leading up to the season finale on December 21.


From Emmy-nominated creator Chuck Lorre (The Big Bang Theory) and Nick Bakay, this darkly funny comedy follows veteran Los Angeles bookie Danny (Sebastian Maniscalco) as the potential legalization of sports gambling in California threatens to upend his business for good. Alongside best friend and former NFL player Ray (Omar J. Dorsey), side-hustling sister Lorraine (Vanessa Ferlito), and reluctantly reformed drug dealer Hector (Jorge Garcia), Danny must contend with his increasingly unstable clients as he tries to settle their debts – all while making plenty of risky bets of his own. Full of relatable mishaps, Bookie chronicles one man’s journey to adapt to an ever-changing world as he attempts to charm and con his way to the top.

There is HBOWatch’s first look at the trailer. All we can say for sure is that this is a bit of a departure for Chuck Lorre. He was used to several locked-down single-camera sitcoms, most of which became solid hits for him, branding him a ‘king of sitcoms.’ You’ve watched some over the years – Grace Under FireCybillDharma & GregTwo and a Half Men, The Big Bang TheoryMike & MollyMomYoung SheldonBob Hearts Abishola, B Positive, and others. Plus, he was a writer of cartoons like Muppet Babies before all that. Now he has a show on Max, which we all know allows him the freedom to be a bit racier, a bit coarser, and a bit more violent than on his broadcast shows. The above trailer certainly shows some serious fisticuffs goin’ on if nothing else. Just goes to show being a bookie is a tough job.  


Hey, and it is also sort of cool to say that Charlie Sheen does make an appearance as a client. Just how often he appears in the series remains to be seen but he is still enough of a somebody to get listed as a star of the show. The real star though is Maniscalco and this is his biggest TV show. He has a number of Netflix stand-up comedy gigs and a few good movies on his list like Green Book and The Irishman, but this Max comedy is tailored for him. You can see it in the trailer, how it just plays into his manner & rhythm.

To give a nod to the others in the cast, we have Omar J. Dorsey, Andrea Anders, Vanessa Ferlito, Jorge Garcia, and Maxim Swinton. Dorsey (Queen Sugar) will play Ray, Danny’s imposing and complicated business partner. A former NFL player whose career was cut short by injury, he and the grandmother who raised him are now scrambling to make ends meet. Anders (Ted Lasso) plays Sandra, Danny’s sometimes demanding wife, a former Vegas cocktail waitress with a 10-year-old son. Life hasn’t been easy for her, and Danny has proven to be a precarious ticket out. Ferlito (NCIS: New Orleans) plays Danny’s sister Lorraine, a crazy smart, stone-cold criminal who is Danny’s office manager, among other hustles. Garcia (Lost) will play Hector, a weed dealer whose business cratered when pot became legal and whose experience is a cautionary tale for Danny and Ray. Now a Lyft driver, Hector is an invaluable if occasionally volatile member of Danny’s operation. Swinton (Fleishman Is in Trouble) plays Anthony, Danny’s 11-year-old stepson. He is a sweet kid who has a complicated relationship with the world thanks to a biological father in a psych ward, a budding eating disorder, and a deep commitment to anime cosplay. 

 Together they give us the tale of a hard scrambling BOOKIE. So, we’ll ask you again, are you set to watch?   Check it out beginning THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 30 on Max. 



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