Lucky Hank: Bob Odenkirk Goes Back to School — Grade the AMC Premiere!

Lucky Hank Premiere Bob Odenkirk AMC

Attention, class: Bob Odenkirk is trading legal briefs for term papers in his new AMC dramedy Lucky Hank.

Sunday’s premiere introduces us to Hank Devereaux (played by the Better Call Saul alum), the chairman of the English department at a fictional Pennsylvania college. Hank is worn out and checked out, making a grocery list in his head while his students read their latest creative writing exercises aloud. The students notice, too — “Could you please, just for once, say something?” one of them pleads — so Hank obliges, ruthlessly picking apart the prose of a student named Bartow before launching into a rant. “The fact that you’re here means you didn’t try very hard in high school, or you showed very little promise,” he declares, dubbing his school “mediocrity’s capital” — and of course, one of the students is recording all of this.

Lucky Hank Mireille Enos Bob OdenkirkHis rant makes it into the next day’s school paper, but Hank is more preoccupied with the news that his father Hank Devereaux Sr. — a highly respected literary scholar — is retiring. Hank’s wife Lily (played by The Killing alum Mireille Enos) tries to talk to him over breakfast, but Hank keeps getting interrupted by texts about his tirade. At school, the students and faculty aren’t happy with him, and Bartow is demanding a written apology. (“Would you accept an email finger?” Hank replies.) Hank also sparks an argument among his fellow English professors that ends with poet Gracie (Silicon Valley‘s Suzanne Cryer) smacking him with a spiral notebook… and the spiral getting caught on Hank’s nose, ripping a bloody hole in it.

Hank is called in to see the school’s dean (The Office‘s Oscar Nunez), but he gloats that he’s basically untouchable since he has tenure. He’s even inspired to get back to work on his long-gestating second novel, which Lily actually attributes to his dad’s retirement. (Oh, and Hank and Lily also have a daughter who’s always hitting them up for money.) When Gracie takes her complaints about Hank to the dean, he says his hands are tied, so Gracie conspires with the other professors to oust Hank as chair. Hank catches wind of this plot, which reminds him that Lily got a job offer a while back in New York City. Maybe they just ditch this dusty college town and move to the Big Apple?

Lucky Hank AMC English ProfessorsHank walks in on his fellow professors taking a vote to oust him as chair, and he’s officially out, but they’re not sure who replaces him yet. Lily excitedly tells him the job in New York is still available, but when she sees Hank hesitate, she drops it, convinced he’ll never leave this town. Their daughter drops by for a visit — which Hank quickly realizes is just an excuse to present an “exciting business opportunity” that requires financing. The English department finally gets around to voting for a new chair, and almost everyone votes for themselves, except one guy who voted for Hank because he was trying to abstain. That gives Hank two votes to everyone else’s one — and he’s reelected chair!

After a sweaty game of racquetball with his friend Tony (Diedrich Bader), where he admits his dad’s retirement might have upset a delicate balance in his life, Hank heads home to tell Lily the good news about him being reelected chair. He catches up to her on his daily jog to tell her… but she just keeps running.

Time to get out your red pencils: Give the Lucky Hank premiere a grade in our poll, and then hit the comments to share your more extensive thoughts.

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