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Lucky Hank

Lucky Hank season 1

Credits

Cast

Network

Reviewer

Kennedy Unthank

TV Series Review

What causes a midlife crisis? Is it the realization that your life as an English professor at a less-than-mid-tier college isn’t as fulfilling as you dreamed? Is it when you find your acclaimed and estranged father’s retirement announcement in a prominent paper before he bothers mentioning it to you? Or maybe it’s when your daughter visits home again just to ask for more money?

For Hank, it’s hard to pin it on any one of those. They’re all culprits in the crime scene of his boring life.

But it’s his outburst in class that turns his midlife crisis into a major issue. After he listens to yet another student defend his sloppy writing, Hank just can’t take it anymore. He tells his students that they’ll never amount to anything; their presence in his classroom is evidence enough.

“And how do I know that—how?” Hank asks. “Because I, too, am here—at Railton College, mediocrity’s capital.”

As it turns out, calling your place of work “mediocrity’s capital” doesn’t tend to garner any praise from fellow faculty. And were it not for his tenure, Hank would probably be out the door. But his tenure doesn’t protect him from being voted from his position as chairman of the English department.

The whole situation, combined with the other aforementioned intruding factors, causes Hank to hand down a verdict on adult life. He calls it “80% miserable.”

Perhaps it’s worth a try to change that.

Better Call Hank

Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul’s Saul Goodman was a jaded character played by Bob Odenkirk who frequently clashed with the law of the land. In like fashion, Odenkirk’s Hank in Lucky Hank is also jaded, and he’s on a similar path to break bad—relatively speaking.

No, Hank isn’t on a path to become a slimy lawyer looking to launder money for drug lords. But he just might become enemy No. 1 amongst his fellow faculty and his students. But don’t take my word for it: take IMDb’s:

“Over the course of a single convoluted week, [Hank] threatens to execute a duck, has his nose slashed by a feminist poet, discovers that his secretary writes better fiction than he does, suspects his wife of having an affair with his dean, and finally confronts his philandering elderly father.”

Lucky Hank tells the story of an English professor whose mundane circumstances are driving him towards a cliff. He’s not sure what he’s after—when asked to picture his version of paradise, he can only continue to see the blank white wall in front of him—but he knows that it surely isn’t what he has.

Contrasting that white wall is the (ahem) colorful language in this TV-14 release, such as the s-word and a crude word for male genitalia. We’re further exposed to a small bit of violence and some sensual comments, including Hank’s musings on why he thinks it’s fun to draw male genitalia and a crude reference regarding a sexual way to get rid of kidney stones. A woman is seen shirtless from the back (and the side of her breast is partially visible), and Hank passionately kisses his wife in the shower (though nothing can be seen). In every instance, we’re reminded that while AMC’s Lucky Hank could be much worse, it could always be better, too. And we’re not sure that statement is enough to earn a passing grade in your home.

Episode Reviews

Mar. 19, 2023 – S1, Ep1: “Pilot”

After Hank unleashes a rant against the college at which he works, his position as chairman of the English department is threatened.

Hank references how a character in a student’s writing is a necrophiliac. He also muses that the only happy person in the world is a Canadian “breeding unicorns and filming them for porn on the side.” A man tells Hank about his sex life. A woman wears a shirt that exposes cleavage, and Hank is seen shirtless. Hank kisses his wife on her cheek and neck.

A woman hits Hank with her notebook, and its metal spine gets caught in Hank’s nose. She yanks it out after he insults her, causing some blood to stain a nearby man’s shirt.

Someone quotes Shakespeare, saying “Hell is empty and all the devils are here.” We see a book of short stories called “Jesus’ Son.” A boy uses a vape. An intoxicated woman drinks.

The s-word is used three times. We also hear many instances of “d–n,” “h—” and “a–.” “P-ss” and “b–ch” are both used once. God’s name is abused five times, including two instances that are followed by “d–n.” Jesus’ name is abused twice. Someone displays their middle finger. Someone is called an obscene name.

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Kennedy Unthank

Kennedy Unthank studied journalism at the University of Missouri. He knew he wanted to write for a living when he won a contest for “best fantasy story” while in the 4th grade. What he didn’t know at the time, however, was that he was the only person to submit a story. Regardless, the seed was planted. Kennedy collects and plays board games in his free time, and he loves to talk about biblical apologetics. He thinks the ending of Lost “wasn’t that bad.”

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