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The genius of Hacks is how deftly it critiques decades of TV comedy, reminding viewers of what's missing now (stars of Deborah's wattage and grace) as much as what's changed for the better.
The HBO Max comedy is first and foremost a vehicle for [Jean Smart], one that starts off shakily but gets sturdier with each new half-hour.
Hacks creates a world of characters and dialogue and situations you want to spend as much time with as possible.
"Hacks" always knows who's in the right, especially when it's both of them. Through six episodes, there's a comforting ease to the two lead's repartee that makes for similarly easy viewing.
Christopher McDonald is perfect as Marty...and Carl Clemons-Hopkins gives solidity to the questions of race and wealth that inevitably arise when a gay Black man devotes himself to an older white woman.
Hacks is rare in its ability to be genuinely funny and dramatic in equal measure.
Watch the show for Smart, who nails every moment in a character that proves she can do just about anything.
The joy of Hacks may lie in watching Deborah and Ava slowly discover that, for better or worse, this implicit philosophy has governed both of their careers: The darker end of the comedic spectrum has offered a lifeline for both of them.
It's a sign of a great show when it manages to be touching and funny, without taking itself too seriously.
The series kickoff benefits most of all, though, from an immediate focus on Smart, whose electric presence on screen here already has her verging on a hat trick trio of wins for HBO. But Einbinder is similarly excellent.
Audience Reviews for Hacks: Season 1
4h agoTruly perfect show - Smart and Einbinder make MAGIC together. One of the best comedies in quite some time - must watch!
10h agoSuper entertaining and well made. Entourage meets Silicon Valley meets Maisel.
13h agoI just finished binge watching Season 1 and I'm wanting more. Jean Smart delivers a fabulous performance from start to finish. She is so darn good in this show. Hannah Einbinder is great too. The show draws you in. I was only going to watch 5 or 10 mins just to check it out and next thing I know it's 6 am and I finished the last episode. I liked it so much that I felt the need to write my thoughts on it instead of going to bed already. So I recommend it. Did I say Jean Smart is fabulous.
21h agoHacks is well-written and executed, but, that being said, I wouldn't see it succeeding in another year that wasn't impacted by a worldwide pandemic and a dearth of new entertainment options. It's the kind of show that high-brow critics will gush over, but everyday TV-watchers might not keep in the Nielsen Top 10...or even a Top 50 for that matter. It's the kind of amusing show you might expect to find on PBS or the BBC. Still, there's something fresh and appealing about it. The late Jerry Lewis once put forth that females just simply can't be as funny as males. Soooo wrong. Jean Smart is funny and so is Hannah Einbinder. They're as funny as any male star could be in similar roles. I'm a male and I like seeing women finally getting their due when it comes to stories like this...ones where you see frank discussions of humor, tragedy, joy, sadness and even the occasional penis or vagina joke...as told from a female perspective. I binge-watched Hacks on a Sunday afternoon and when it was over, I was looking forward to a Season 2. It's not the greatest show I've ever seen, but it's far from the worst. It's enjoyable, it's funny, and it has interesting people in it. The downsides of the show are some of the casting may not have been the best and some of the episodes get a little too "chatty" for my liking. It causes them to move slower than I'd like. One of the biggest casting mistakes they made was with the actress who plays Jean Smart's daughter. She's adequate, but another actress could have been much better. Her character reminds me of Jane Fonda's daughter as played by actress, June Dianne Raphael. Chris McDonald as the Vegas hotelier and not-quite-past-his-prime lothario was a wonderful casting decision. Same with the actress they got to play the Mayor of Las Vegas. (Wasn't that Wayne Newton's job?) Hacks, Season 1, is a good launching pad worth your time. Hoping Season 2 will do even better and earn that extra "star" this season's missing.
1d agoJean Smart is a f***ing revelation! Well, to me anyways. Hilariously witty show.
1d agoDifferent. Great characters and superb acting
2d agoLiked it until E8. Did a whole new set of writers take over? The plot made no sense. Why didn't she just buy the Club.
3d agoAbsolutely brilliant in everyway.
3d agoHilarious!! Writing is fantastic. Role of a lifetime for Jean Smart. Her droll humor dripping in cynicism and downright scorn is a delight.
4d agoWhen a show makes you laugh and cry, you know it's good. Watch the whole thing and prepare yourself for the last ep, jesus.