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Series / Strange Luck

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People say I'm...lucky. It all began in a plane crash thirty years ago. One hundred and six lives ending in a single heartbeat. No one survived... except me.
Chance Harper

Strange Luck was a short-lived television series that aired on the FOX Network in late 1995 through early 1996. It starred the very likable D.B. Sweeney as Chance Harper, a freelance photographer whose life consists of a freakish string of bizarre coincidences that always put him in the wrong place at the right time.

Strange Luck provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: Chance's brother mentions that he'd made a friend in the FBI who could help them. His name is Mulder. The series was canceled before this crossover could happen (although a character suspiciously similar to Chance Harper later appeared in the X-Files episode "The Goldberg Variation").
  • The Alleged Car: Chance's car has been hit by a meteor (probably more than once, knowing his life) and has plenty of mis-matched parts, most notably an un-repainted taxicab door (which of course becomes a plot point). If (when) it breaks down, it will do so at a time and place that fits right in with his usual luck.
  • Amateur Sleuth: Chance Harper often winds up in a position to solve crimes, albeit more because of his role as an all-around Weirdness Magnet than a Mystery Magnet. Subverted in that he is just as likely to be in a position to get blamed for a crime he'd have gladly played no part in solving. A freelance photographer by trade, he figured out he may as well sell photos of the bizarre shit that's always happening to him.
  • Born Lucky: Chance Harper's "power". It's not always good luck, often getting Chance into deep trouble, but it always works out in the end. There are hints that Chance's father may have had the same condition.
  • Coincidence Magnet: The entire show is based around this. "If I go to a restaurant, somebody chokes. If I walk into a bank, it gets robbed."
  • Cosmic Plaything: The central character, named Chance, appears to be at the center of a vortex of extreme improbability both good and bad, beginning by being the sole survivor of a freak plane crash as a small child.
  • Evil Cripple: Chance's love interest, a former faith healer, is being chased by a crippled billionaire (who looks like Stephen Hawking) as he wants her to heal his condition since her powers are genuine. When she does heal him, it only ends up killing him instead.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In one episode, just when it appears to be too late to stop the execution of a wrongfully convicted man, the person trying to stop the execution, Chance Harper, hits a road slick and crashes into a power pole, resulting in the innocent man living... and the real murderer being executed in absentia in his place by way of being struck by a falling power line. Additionally, Chance met the real murderer when the latter was working as a mechanic and he needed the brakes in his car fixed. Just before Chance hits the road slick, the murderer admits he never fixed the brakes.
  • Meaningful Name: A Coincidence Magnet named "Chance."
  • Plague of Good Fortune: Wild coincidences rule the life of Chance Harper.
  • Steven Ulysses Perhero: Chance Harper, who grew up to be a Coincidence Magnet of epic proportions. Justified in that he was the sole survivor of a plane crash when he was very young, so was given the name "Chance" by his adoptive parents in remembrance of his miraculous escape.
  • Talking Down the Suicidal: Chance spots a woman in a flowing white gown dancing around the edge of a building's roof. He goes up to try to talk her down. Played with, because when he fails, he winds up going off the roof with her (taking pictures of her midair as they drop), only for both of them to land on the rescue crew's airbags, which they had time to bring and inflate while he was talking to her and distracting her.
  • The 'Verse: Confirmed to be part of the X-Files Universe only by a Shout-Out in the very last episode.
  • Weirdness Magnet: The show is based around this trope. The main character goes fishing? A briefcase full of money and a dead body plunge from the sky. He works as a freelance photographer, because all he had to do to make a living is get up and pick up a camera.
  • Winds of Destiny, Change!: Chance Harper can't directly control his luck, but having had it all his life, he's learned how to work with it and to some degree how to predict it. He works as a freelance photographer because he's "going to be in the wrong place at the right time anyway," and pays his diner tab by buying a few scratch-off lottery tickets, always winning enough to cover his meal plus a nice tip for the waitress. Chance never tries to profit from his luck, having learned long ago that pushing his luck will backfire.