Ironically, a show about mediocrity has a pilot that struggles to be anything outside of mediocre. And it’s a shame since LUCKY HANK has all the ingredients to allow Bob Odenkirk to be “lucky” enough to have another hit after BETTER CALL SAUL.
Those ingredients are:
- Odenkirk doing what he does best – act. This guy can legitimately do anything. In the pilot, he plays a professor having a mid-life crisis. His ability to go from turning minimalistic dialogue in the SAUL universe to Alexander Payne-like dialogue in HANK is outstanding. Some might even call him “ultra omniscient.”
- Richard Russo’s writing is good. Russo’s work always captures the everyday person struggling with real emotions – see THE ICE HARVEST to NOBODY’S FOOL.
- The supporting cast – feels like the making of a COMMUNITY-style group of professors. I’m strangely excited to see each of their quarks and get more screen time with Odenkirk.
Yet, what doesn’t work in this premiere is the tone. Oscar-winning director, Peter Farrelly (I’d never thought I’d say that), struggles to capture consistency in the first episode. LUCKY HANK sometimes feels like COMMUNITY or NEWSROOM, and the shifts between those worlds are not seamless.
Since I’m obsessed with everything Bob Odenkirk does, I will continue watching LUCKY HANK. I’m hopeful the show finds its footing in future episodes. And if not, I could always be “manipulated by chocolate” to give it a more favorable review.
The premiere episode is available on AMC+.