Reviews of movies and TV focused on women

Hacks, season 2, more delightful than ever

Jean Smart in Hacks

Hacks. What can you say about a show as wonderful as Hacks? It’s funny, it’s charming, it’s truthful, it’s touching, it’s dark comedic perfection. Jean Smart is the ultimate perfection as the struggling comedian Deborah Vance.

There are some spoilers about the season ahead, but nothing that will ruin it for you.

Jean Smart and Hannah Einbinder in Hacks
These two have a push-pull relationship in almost every scene.

The cast is brimming with diverse characters who are all terrific. Hannah Einbinder as Deborah’s co-writer Ava is even better than she was in season 1.

At the end of season 1, Ava sent a tell-all email to a TV exec in England. She was struggling with how to hide this from Deborah for the first few episodes. When she finally confesses, Deborah sues her for violating her NDA.

Jean Smart and Hannah Einbinder in Hacks
If the lesbians don’t like you, they throw you off the ship.

Deborah and Ava continue to develop material for the new, more honest Deborah. She goes on tour to try it out. Deborah bombs a lot. She bombs on a cruise ship full of lesbians. She bombs at a state fair where she’s upstaged by a cow giving birth. She bombs in small venues as she tours in her big tour bus.

Speaking of the tour bus, Laurie Metcalf played the tour organizer on the bus and she was stunningly good.

By about episode 5 0r 6, Deborah starts getting it figured out. Her entire show is good, not just parts of it. She has a solid hour. Will she perform it in a casino, as part of a showcase, as her own special? That decision takes a while.

Paul W. Downs and Megan Stalter in Hacks
Jimmy and his horrifyingly bad assistant, played by Megan Stalter

Jimmy (Paul W. Downs) is both Deborah and Ava’s agent. He goes through literal hell to keep the two of them working and getting what they need.

Still around are Deborah’s daughter DJ (Kaitlin Olson), her business CEO Marcus (Carl Clemons-Hopkins), the assistant Damien (Mark Indelicato), and housekeeper/philosopher Josefina (Rose Abdoo). While I’m dropping names, some of the guest stars who showed up were fantastic, too. They included Ming-Na Wen, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Margaret Cho, and Wayne Newton.

More to Love About Hacks

I loved that both Deborah and Ava had sex lives. Deborah met a hot guy in a bar and Ava seemed to find hot women everywhere she looked.

I loved how career oriented both Deborah and Ava were. No hot guy, no hot gal, would distract them from their work for long.

I loved that the cast included so many kinds of faces from every aspect of America. I loved the range of sexuality that was just normal among them.

Hacks was created and written by Lucia Aniello, who also directed several episodes. She created something beautiful. It’s funny even when it isn’t trying to tell a joke. It’s full of love and respect that grows fed by problems and arguments.

It’s must watch TV. One of the best things you’ll find on your television, ever. Watch it on HBO Max.

Have you seen it already? What did you think of season 2?

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