The Max Original, Hacks, explores a dark mentorship that forms between Deborah Vance (Jean Smart), a legendary Las Vegas comedian, and Ava (Hannah Einbinder), an entitled, outcast 25-year-old. In a show that details the generational gap of entertainment.
Vance was a female pioneer in the comedy-circuit and currently has the longest running Las Vegas residency show, until producers of the strip decided to go after a younger demographic and seemingly cut down her number of shows. This is where Ava comes in.
Ava is a struggling writer searching for her big break, when her agent sets her up to meet with Vance; who is just as opposed to working with Ava, as Ava is about the idea of working for the “QVC moo-moo lady.”
When their first meeting ends up with the two exchanging colorful insults. Vance gives Ava the shot she has been looking for – even if she doesn’t know it just yet. Throughout their mentorship the two try to work past their animosity for one another and develop an understanding for their careers despite the insurmountable generational gap that separates the two women.
Jean Smart is a well crafted thespian, with an extraordinary resume. A graduate in the fine arts from the University of Washington, her talents have taken her from the stages of Broadway to the set of Hollywood in a career that spans nearly 40 years. Her most notable roles include Helen in the HBO Max Original Mare of Easttown, alongside Kate Winslet, the HBO Max romantic comedy Superintelligence, Watchmen, Legion and Fargo.
Vance is a woman who is deemed no longer desirable by corporate heads who only care for money instead of the art. As a woman in Hollywood, Smart knows all too well the game of fame and her take on Vance is both honest and unpredictable.
In her first television series, Hannah Einbinder is bringing real-life experience to her sophomore role in the industry. Daughter of actress, comedic and writer Laraine Newman. Einbinder has had first hand knowledge and experience of what it means to make it on pure talent in the industry. Her character is a rising comedian in her own right – even if the industry is making it hard for her to have her shot.
Throughout the series viewers will get an uncensored glimpse of how comics are off-stage. The ten-episode season continues with two episodes each Thursday for four more weeks, and finishes on June 10.
In addition to Smart and Einbinder, Hacks stars series regular Carl Clemons-Hopkins and recurring guest stars Kaitlin Olson, Christopher McDonald, Paul W. Downs, Mark Indelicato, Poppy Liu, Johnny Sibilly, Meg Stalter and Rose Abdoo.
Stream Hacks now on HBO Max.