How to watch Lucky Hank in New Zealand

Better Call Saul may be over, but if you’ve been itching for more of Bob Odenkirk as a neurotic guy struggling against the ethical mores of his environment, apparently you’re not alone. The good news is you can get your fix with Lucky Hank, which is now streaming on TVNZ.

A pitch-black comedy series based on the 1997 novel Straight Man by Richard Russo, Lucky Hank sees Odenkirk as the titular misanthropic professor, William Henry Devereaux, Jr., the chair of the English department at struggling Railton College. Trapped in a crippling bout of writer’s block, aware of his own mediocrity and that of his students, and generally hacked off at the life he’s found himself living, Hank descends into a full-blown midlife crisis.

But it’s Bob Odenkirk, so you know it’s gonna be a funny midlife crisis. A lot of the joy here comes from watching his exasperated, put-upon character rail against the absurdities and inanities of the academic life. The inciting incident is not a million miles away from Lydia’s savaging of a student in Tar, with Hank getting caught on video ripping into an undergrad by reminding him that “the fact that you’re here means that you didn’t try very hard in high school or, for whatever reason, you showed very little promise.”

Things get worse from there, much to the consternation of Hank’s wife, Lily (Mireille Enos), work buddies Tony (Diedrich Bader) and Dean (Oscar Nunez), and especially school president Dickie Pope (Kyle MacLachlan in officious WASP mode).

Certainly, the “successful white guy in career crisis” subgenre isn’t as popular as it once was (nobody talks about American Beauty anymore, you notice that?) but Odenkirk’s hangdog, “why me?” performance, coupled with sharp writing and an even sharper eye for the ridiculousness of the white collar grind, mark this one as worth checking out.