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Hacks (2021) (Amazon Prime)

Started by Blue Jam, May 12, 2022, 03:46:19 PM

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Blue Jam

Not to be confused with the 2012 phone hacking comedy or the 1997 film. This is the 2021 sitcom from the people who brought you Broad City and Parks and Rec:

Deborah Vance (Jean Smart). Insufferable diva, lousy mother, and veteran comedian whose Las Vegas residency may be coming to a premature end. Enter Ava (Hannah Einbinder), a young and entitled Hollywood-based writer at the start of what is obviously going to be a long and successful career, and who thinks the job of writing jokes for a has-been while living in a tacky resort hotel is beneath her, but takes it anyway because she's admittedly desperate for work. Deborah and Ava meet and it's contempt at first sight... and after trading a few insults and realising they both give as good as they get, Deborah gives Ava the job. Hey, it might even be fun embracing the las Vegas high roller lifestyle, acting the diva and enjoying all those free drinks...


Started this last night on a recommendation, only two episodes in and loving it so far. As a show about writers with a fish-out-of-water situation, it has a bit of an Episodes feel, a bit Curb with the awkwardness of all of Deborah's diva-like behaviour and how people deal with it, a bit Kominsky Method with a fading celebrity desperately trying to stay relevant and cling onto their career, and Ava has a bit of Kimmy Schmidt's naive sense of fun and energy she can't quite hide under the affected cynicism. Enough of comparing it to other things though, Jean Smart is great as an entitled old bitch and Hannah Einbinder is great as an entitled young brat, and I can feel a strangely heartwarming undercurrent developing already. It's also nicely shot and edited and looks beautiful. Any other fans here?

Also I did look for a thread and couldn't find one, someone link me up if I missed it please!

Wezzo

Big fan of this - Smart and Einbinder are fantastic together - and fortuitous timing for creating the thread, as season 2 starts on HBO Max in the US today.

Yeah, I watched this last year and it's good stuff - didn't know S02 was starting so thanks.

Dex Sawash


Doing my once every six month peek at comchat to say I liked it too.

Blue Jam

Just started season 2- hey, that's Barbara the bellhop from Corporate, very apt. And Kaitlin Olson again, yaaaay!

Blue Jam

Spoiler alert
National anthem fail, yaaaay!
[close]

IsavedLatin

Enjoying this a ridiculous amount. Absolutely loved the conversation in the second series (on the cruise ship) between Deb and Ava about compulsory heterosexuality and whether Deb's straight sexuality could have anything to do with seeking approval from the dominant in-group -- where else are you getting that as well as a comedy series that is moreishly plotted, hilariously funny and great to look at?

I ADORE Jean Smart.

IsavedLatin

Fuck! I've just finished the second series.

Spoiler alert
I found myself tearing up during Deb's QVC pitch of her DVD, which felt beautifully judged in comedic AND dramatic terms, but I was completely unprepared for the emotional punch of her letting Ava go so she could have her moment. I suppose I'm just so used to telly going on indefinitely these days, I was wholly unprepared for what felt like a perfect, neat, unopenable ending.

And then they went and stuck "Goodbye Stranger" over the credits, which I'm total sucker for. I'm a mess!
[close]

I had been hoping to bin off Amazon Prime as soon as I finished this, but I can see I will need to do a complete rewatch very soon.


The little throwaway bit of physical comedy Hannah Einbinder did in the shoes-buying scene got a gigantic laugh from me. She is hilarious.

steveh

Started off taking against the main characters but was won over by the end of series one, though don't think it quite achieves mega greatness.

The Verge had an interesting discussion about the strengths and flaws of the show. One of their journos really didn't like it...

QuoteI love Jean Smart. I like the concept of a show about the compromises you make working as a comedian. But Hacks doesn't have the deftness or critical perspective to pull its setup into something compelling. Most of the dialogue is clunky, and the characterization is rote. Deborah feels like an outside-in replication of Joan Rivers that misses her core. Ava might as well be a collection of quirks described in a Shouts & Murmurs piece about the youth. I find everything involving Stalter's character's obsession with Paul W. Downs's agent so broad it's grating. Many of the supporting roles are filled with stock characters; I cannot forgive the sin of casting Laurie Metcalf and then giving her an Aunt Jackie pastiche. The best compliment I can give Hacks is that it seems like there's a much sharper show trapped inside of it, screaming, "Let me out."

https://www.vulture.com/article/is-hacks-good.html

Ant Farm Keyboard

The Vulture isn't The Verge.

Vulture is the culture section of NY Mag. It has also incorporated a great comedy site from a few years ago, Splitsider.
The Verge is a tech site, that often offers takes on entertainment and pop culture, mostly on an offshoot site, Polygon.
All the sites are owned by Vox Media, but they are still independent from each other.

Blue Jam

Was great to see

Spoiler alert
Susie Essman OMG!!!!!
[close]

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