We’re now three episodes in on Lucky Hank, and it seems Bob Odenkirk has another winner on his hands, right on the tail of Better Call Saul and its memorable finale.
This one plays more into Odenkirk’s comedic background, although the show does call upon his dramatic skills as well. He plays a professor at a middling college who basically loses his patience with his job and his students, putting him in a precarious position with young adults and his peers.
The first two episodes were directed by Peter Farrelly (half of the Farrelly brothers responsible for There’s Something Like Mary and Kingpin), and the show doesn’t offer a lot of big surprises, but it does provide Odenkirk and a winning supporting cast many opportunities to stretch out dramatically and garner plenty of laughs.
Odenkirk has one more shot at winning the Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series Emmy for Better Call Saul. With Lucky Hank, he could be nominated in the comedy category as well. Let’s hope so; it’s time to give this guy an Emmy—and two would be even better.
The supporting cast includes a winning turn from Mireille Enos as Lily, Hank’s bemused wife. Every line delivery by Shannon DeVido, as a grumpy co-worker, is hilarious; Jackson Kelly is the perfect embodiment of privileged mediocrity as a student who butts heads with Hank. Suzanne Cryer of Silicon Valley fame is great as Gracie, Hank’s main faculty nemesis.
Odenkirk gained fame as a writer on Saturday Night Live, as a writer/performer on The Ben Stiller Show, and as one of the masterminds of Mr. Show, so comedy is his natural habitat. However, he’s also become a solid dramatic actor; in fact, he may be as good as an actor as he is as a comedian (and he’s hilarious). Thank you, Vince Gilligan, for seeing the potential in Odenkirk for a smallish role as a shady lawyer in Breaking Bad that wound up becoming so much more.
New episodes of Lucky Hank air Sundays on AMC.