Lucky Hank Recap: Premiere Episode 1 on AMC – Bob Odenkirk

Attention, great: Bob Odenkirk swaps legal briefs for homework 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 college in Pennsylvania. Exhausted and checked out, Hank creates a grocery list in his head while his students read their latest creative writing exercises aloud. The students also say, “Could you please say something?” One of them pleads – so Hank complies, ruthlessly picking apart the prose of a student named Bartow before launching into a tirade. “The fact that you’re here means you didn’t try very hard or showed little promise in high school,” he explains, calling his school “the capital of mediocrity” — and of course one of the students picks it all up this.

Lucky Hank Mireille Eno's Bob OdenkirkHis tirade makes it into the next day’s school paper, but Hank is more concerned with the news that his father, Hank Devereaux Sr.—a well-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 news of his tirade. At school, the students and faculty aren’t happy with him, and Bartow demands a written apology. (“Would you accept an e-mail finger?” Hank replies.) Hank also sparks a dispute among his fellow English professors, who is with the poet Gracie (Silicon ValleySuzanne Cryer) hit him with a spiral notebook… and the spiral got caught on Hank’s nose, tearing a bloody hole through it.

Hank is called to see the dean of the school (The office‘s Oscar Nunez), but he’s pleased that he’s essentially untouchable since he’s served a term. He even feels inspired to get back to work on his lengthy second novel, which Lily actually credits his father’s retirement. (Oh, and Hank and Lily also have a daughter who’s always beating them over money.) When Gracie takes her complaints about Hank to the dean, he says his hands are tied, so Gracie conspired with the other professors to help to oust Hank as chairman. Hank gets wind of this conspiracy, which reminds him that Lily got a job offer in New York City a while back. Maybe they’ll just leave this dusty college town and move to the Big Apple?

Lucky Hank AMC English ProfessorsHank walks in as his fellow professors vote to oust him as chair, and he’s officially out, but they’re not sure who will replace him just yet. Lily excitedly tells him that the job in New York is still open, but when she sees Hank’s hesitations, she drops it, confident that he will never leave this city. Her daughter comes to visit – which Hank quickly realizes is just an excuse to present an “exciting business opportunity” that needs funding. The English department finally gets around to voting for a new chairman, and almost everyone votes for themselves except for one man who voted for Hank because he tried to abstain. That gives Hank two votes over everyone else – and he’s re-elected chairman!

After a sweaty racquetball game with his friend Tony (Diedrich Bader), during which he admits that his father’s retirement may have upset a delicate balance in his life, Hank heads home to break the good news to Lily to convey his re-election as chairman. He catches up with her on her daily jog to tell her…but she just keeps running.

Time to break out the red pencils: give those Lucky Hank Take a grade on our poll, then click on the comments to share your broader thoughts. Lucky Hank Recap: Premiere Episode 1 on AMC – Bob Odenkirk

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