Lucky Hank is an American black comedy television series developed by Paul Lieberstein and Aaron Zelman based on the 1997 novel Straight Man by Richard Russo. Starring Bob Odenkirk, the series premiered on March 19, 2023, on AMC. The premise involves Professor Hank Devereaux (Odenkirk), an English department chairman at an underfunded Pennsylvania college, who walks the line between midlife crisis and full-blown meltdown, navigating the offbeat chaos in his personal and professional lives. (based on Wikipedia)
S P O I L E R S
Lucky Hank is Bob Odenkirk’s first major TV role since completing Better Call Saul and the contrast could not be more stark. Where Saul Goodman was constantly on the lookout for the big score, Hank Devereux has given up on life and is merely coasting. This is despite the fact that based on outward appearances, Hank seems to be “lucky” indeed. A college tenure, loving wife, grown up married daughter, a bestie in Tony – what more could Hank want? But sadly, Hank is dreadfully unhappy.
It is slowly revealed to us that Hank is chronically depressed due to abandonment issues i.e. his famous writer father left his mother and him when he was a child and this trauma has scarred him, seemingly permanent. Thus, Hank is not able to take joy from the many blessings that life has bestowed upon him. Which is his own choice and a life lesson to learn from.
In the second half of the series, Hank’s personality begins to turn away even those blessings – he is separated from his wife Lily, his daughter is angry with him and to compound matters, the situation in the college has become toxic, with pressure on Hank as department boss to lay off some of his colleagues. But despite himself and the circumstances, Hank appears to have resolved all these problems by the end of the series. Or has he? There are even hints in the finale that suggest that Lucky Hank may have a second season. Depression as entertainment? Why not?
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