Lucky Hank (2023)
Created by: Paul Lieberstein; Aaron Zelman
Starring: Bob Odenkirk; Arthur Keng; Haig Sutherland
Airing on AMC
So here is what we are dealing with here.
Paul Lieberstein produced The Office, Bernie Mac Show, Drew Carey Show and King of The Hill.
Aaron Zelman helped produce Law & Order, Criminal Minds and Silicon Valley.
Lucky Hank also has some heavy duty help from the legendary Peter Farrelly who directed some episodes here and I’m sure has some input. Peter did Shallow Hal, Me Myself and Irene, Dumb and Dumber, Green Book – I mean he is the best of the best. Bob Odenkirk is no slouch either – so you know this is top notch stuff.
These guys are all master storytellers having full control on a basic network tv channel. I am sure AMC would have said yes to anything Bob Odenkirk wanted to do after the immense success of Better Call Saul.
Lucky Hank is about an English professor at a very mediocre college. In fact, he is the Chairman of the English department, and not by choice. Hank was voted out of the chair position, got his wife to agree to think about moving to another city and starting over. Then through massive dysfunctionality, as is the case in most workplaces, he was voted back into the chair position. Hank told his wife to forget it and that they were staying put for at least another 3 years until his position is up for grabs again.
Hank Devereaux Jr, is an English professor and writer who has a legendary father in the field. Hank Devereaux Sr has not talked to his son in 15 years, and Hank Jr believes his father’s success is the only reason why he has a job and the only reason why his book was ever published. So Hank Jr, has a bit of a self-esteem problem. He thinks he’s not good enough to hold any job in his field, and on top of that – his daughter keeps hitting him up for money and she is dating a complete moron of a boyfriend which Hank Jr absolutely can not stand. So there’s that.
The dysfunctionality of the college is subtle and brilliant. Teachers teach against each other, have their favorite students who spy on other teachers for them and of course, they are all holding grudges for reasons they can not remember. If you remember your workplace before Covid – you recognize this.
Hank has friends, business colleagues, a loving understanding wife who also has a career and a daughter who has moved out and trying to find a life of her own, while still asking for help as often as she can.
So Hank is handling his midlife crisis before us, and it is subtle humor about what you should have done, what you actually have done and what your parents had to do with it, or not had to do with it. I am a big fan of Bob Odenkirk, and his past projects, even his movie Nobody, I enjoyed. So I might be biased, but I love this show. It is funny, quirky and rings true. Something only masterful storytellers can accomplish, and this show is full of them, in front of and behind the camera.