William Henry Deveraux Jr. (Bob Odenkirk) is a college professor and chairman of the English department in a college where he feels his life is going nowhere. Then one day he has an argument and tells a rather pretentious student, exactly what he thinks of his work and the college.
Fearing he may get cancelled, William’s wife, Lily (Mireille Enos) tells him that he had better do the right thing, something especially troubling considering she’s also the vice principal. However, when she sees the look on her husband’s face, it suggests that William may be on the verge of a change.
Lucky Hank is the new drama on AMC which brings back Odenkirk from the meteoric success of Better Call Saul which arguably even surpassed its predecessor. However, fans expecting a cheeky and charming performance from Odenkirk may be disappointed as they find a middle aged man on the edge of going nowhere and finally realising it.
Thankfully though, Bob Odenkirk is the pull for the show and the reason audiences may stay. Because in other hands, William may seem too depressive of a character to support, but, Odenkirk brings out the humanity and the humour in the script which audiences may recognise in themselves. Especially if they’ve got as far as they can and don’t know where to go.
This may also be reflected in the show itself though, because having watched the first two episodes, it may not be entirely clear on what it wants to be. Adapted from Richard Russo’s book, Straight Man, the show gets off to a strong start, but as the second episode closes then audiences may not understand what it wants to be.
It’s clearly not a straightforward laugh out loud comedy as audiences may expect, the dialogue is witty and there are some interesting observations on how people act even when they don’t realise it themselves. However, there still needs to be a hook and if audiences can’t define the show themselves then they may switch off.
Although like a good novel, good television takes a while to fully tell its story and it seems that is what Lucky Hank is attempting to do. Hopefully it will do so without pandering to those just looking for an easy watch.
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