In the first episode of “Lucky Hank,” viewers meet Professor William Henry Devereaux, Jr., aka Hank (Bob Odenkirk), the chair of the English Department at Railton College. The episode delves into human obsession with happiness, aging, midlife crisis, jealousy among colleagues at work, and parenting while keeping things humorous.
Despite being aware of the mediocre standard of the college, Hank bears with it until a student’s work triggers him, causing him to yell out his honest opinion. This leads to trouble and lands him in the spotlight at the college. But Hank remains unapologetic and continues with the same passion and vigor he has for teaching.
Why Do The Faculty Of The Department Want Professor Hank De-Chaired?
During a writing class, Hank is hardly interested in listening to his students, feeling their writing hasn’t reached the expected standard. When Bartow reads his work and insists on Hank sharing his viewpoint, Hank calls Bartow’s work structureless, embarrassing him in public. Bartow attempts to get an apology from Hank but fails to convince him he is wrong. Higher authorities support Hank, causing Bartow to write a letter to a bulletin discussing how they need a teacher who believes in the students. Hank’s unyielding character makes his colleagues decide to de-chair him, which fascinates Hank, although he is not told about it.
Hank constantly discusses with himself the obsession humans have with happiness, distinguishing between the misery and happiness industries. He also debates that, according to advertising agencies, after the age of 49, grown-ups do not change their minds about anything. He ruminates about how parents do not want their children to feel pain and consider tempting a sick cycle.
Gracie, one of the faculty members in the English department, complains that Hank’s remarks have degraded the department and invalidated her hard work. This causes the faculty to elect a new chair, and viewers are left wondering who it will be.
“Lucky Hank” is based on a novel titled ‘Straight Man’ (1997), written by Richard Russo.
In conclusion, the first episode of “Lucky Hank” is a humorous take on the realities of academia, with an unyielding protagonist and a cast of quirky characters. Viewers are left wondering who the new chair of the English Department will be.