I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for “Hacks”, the hilarious HBO Sitcom starring Jean Smart as the wisecracking, insecure and uptight Bev Winstone, and I have enjoyed it so much that I wrote about it back in 2013.
If you’re a fan of the HBO comedy-drama series, you’re probably familiar with the show’s main character, Amber Tamblyn’s character, Jean Smart’s character, as well as the characters played by the rest of the main cast, including Louis C.K. and Matt Besser. However, the show’s creator, Marta Kauffman, also created the series, and she’s just as much of a star as everyone you know. The show, as you may expect, centers around the lives of three writers at the fictitious “Hamburger Hamlet,” an urban newspaper, and the trials they face in their daily lives. The show has been on the air for five seasons so far, and along the
The hit HBO comedy series “HBO’s Flight of the Conchords” has been around for over a decade, long enough to achieve a cult following. In addition to proving that you don’t need to change your appearance to get recognition in Hollywood, the series showcases the talents of its co-stars, actors Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie. Not content with just acting, the pair have released three albums of their own, winning acclaim for their unique, often hilarious brand of New Zealand music.
Core team: Gene Smart, Hannah Einbinder.
Creator: Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs, Jan Statski.
I like Gene Smart. Not always. I mean, I’ve loved her since her Designing Women days. But it was the more mature Jean Smart from the second season of Fargo who found her way into my heart. It’s that Gene Smart that makes HBO’s sitcom Hacks a shining jewel in the network’s already sparkling crown.
In the film, Hucky Smart plays Deborah Vance, a legendary stand-up comedian with a long-running show at one of the biggest casinos in Los Vegas. She has been performing at this theater for decades, attracting crowds and laughter.
Times change, but companies don’t. And companies say it’s time to make room for something new (read: someone younger). Deborah lets her agent (Paul W. Downs) know she’s considering losing some of her best dates, and the game begins.
An agent dispatches Ava (Hannah Einbinder), a young comedy writer who burned her professional bridges with an offensive tweet. Ava’s job is to help Deborah learn about the material. They both despise the whole thing. The series is about women trying to save Deborah’s show and not kill each other.
The pirate movie should be a completely predictable medley of misogyny and bad comedy. The premise of two intelligent women who can’t act like humans because they are too emotional must seem wrong on every level. But it’s not. A show in Las Vegas where a woman can only get laughs by insulting herself must seem humiliating. But it’s not. A young woman so arrogant that she doesn’t see the importance of her predecessors must be disgusting. In fact, yes, but it’s intentional.
What Hacks does brilliantly is that we see everything that is wrong with this scenario. And then we’ll figure out how it happened. No one becomes who they are in the bubble. The impact on Deborah and Ava becomes clear as they overcome their differences.
As the two women collide, we learn how devastating the comedy world has been for Deborah and how isolating it is for Ava. The generation gap is so wide that they don’t even speak the same language.
An ode to the Hacks’ brilliant costume team.
What makes the series so successful are the clever scripts combined with the incredible acting of Jean Smart. Deborah is rich, angry, resentful, vulnerable and very funny. Smart gives her post after post, mostly unwavering in her portrayal of a woman too stubborn to be defeated by a system designed to destroy her.
Ava is not as interesting as Deborah, but Ainbinder makes her into an impressively self-absorbed and ignorant person. It is the intentional expansion of her worldview that gives us access to both Deborah’s reality and her memories. Sure, there are times you hate them, but those are fleeting.
The supporting cast is excellent, from Caitlin Olsen as Deborah’s daughter to Christopher MacDonald as a corrupt but not so bad casino owner. Carl Clemens-Hopkins is particularly good as Marcus, Deborah’s assistant who is bothered by his growing relationship with Ava.
Hacks is also funny. Very funny. A sarcastic, sarcastic laugh. The speeches are quick and often have an uncomfortable edge that is nicely tempered by subtler moments of situational humor. This is in no way a show for children.
It would be a crime not to mention costume designer Catherine Felix-Hager. Deborah’s wardrobe is phenomenal. Kaftans, stilettos and so much glitter you could decorate a small country with them. The outfits are a terrible and wonderful contrast to Ava’s casual outfits, such as sloppily wrinkled shirts and heavy boots. The characters are completely different.
I enjoyed the first season of the Haki series and it has been renewed for a second season. If you don’t have HBO and take out a free trial, use it only for this show.
Gene Smart photo courtesy of HBO Max, Hannah Einbinder photo by Jake Giles Netter/HBO Max.
Sue likes to overprotect her adult children, ride bikes and procrastinate. She is the Editorial Director at Silver Beacon Marketing and an aspiring cat lover.Is this the best movie of all time? There’s a good chance it is. After all, it’s been named one of the greatest American movies of all time in the “Time” magazine’s list of “25 Greatest Movies” and “A.O. Scott” of “The New York Times” applauded it in his review, calling it “not only a masterpiece, but more than that, a movie that seems to exist in a state of its own kind of perfection.”. Read more about hacks’ review and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I watch Jean Smart hacks?
Jean Smart is known for her role on the HBO sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm, which she has been on since the series first started in 2000. Smart plays Larry David’s longtime girlfriend, Susan, and she has been a mainstay on the show since its inception. She has also appeared in numerous feature films, including the horror film Scream, the drama The Devil’s Advocate, the science fiction film The Village, and the slasher film Scream 2. Smart is also well-known for her role as Dr. Amy “Furious” Belcore on the television series Boston Legal, and in 2011 she starred in the FX series Wilfred. Jean Smart (Books. Bored. TV. Jean Smart) went from hilarious to hilarious in 2015. First, she played the intense and insecure boss in Veep, then she played the equally intense and insecure boss on Broadway in The Glass Menagerie. And now, she’s starring in the hilarious HBO comedy, Jean Seberg: A Hack . A Hack follows Jean as she tries to hack into and steal the love of her life’s heart, played by Bobby Cannavale, from the man who gave her the moon.
Is hacks on regular HBO?
What is the most un-HBO-like aspect of the new show Hacks ? The fact that it isn’t on HBO. The brains behind the excellent TV series Bored to Death and HBO’s Six Feet Under will tell you that the channel is more about drama and movies than sitcoms. And while that may be true, there was a time when shows like Hacks and Curb Your Enthusiasm were the norm. Nowadays, you won’t find a great deal of successful original TV series on the network. That’s why Hacks is about the last place you’d expect to see it. Several years ago, I was watching an episode of HBO’s critically acclaimed comedy “HBO Hacks” starring Jean Smart, who played the eponymous character, a woman dealing with various problems not too dissimilar to the problems that most people face. The series focused–in stark contrast to most shows–on the everyday difficulties that most people face. To paraphrase the show’s tagline, “It’s not rocket science.” The show was a gem, and I liked it so much that I have kept track of the show ever since.
How many hacks episodes are there?
There are approximately 80 episodes of “Hackers” to date. The first “Hackers” premiered on August 15, 2014 on HBO. “Hackers” follows the exploits of a computer hacking group known as “The Syndicate.” The group’s leader, Veronica, is a brilliant computer hacker who is much better at hacking than she is at social skills. The group includes members of the team, including the lovable socially awkward hacker, Kevin, the beautiful hacker prodigy, Madeline, and the hacker’s girlfriend, the sexy hacker genius, Mallory. “Hacks” is currently in its second season on HBO, and it has been renewed for a third. I’m not going to waste these few moments of your life talking about the show itself (it’s a favorite of mine), but I do want to talk about the show’s unusual format. Each episode of “Hacks” introduces a new topic, such as “Managing your money,” “Finding a home,” “Starting a job” and so on. The characters then interview four experts on each topic, who, together, offer solutions and advice.
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