- HBO Max’s Hacks won three Primetime Emmys for its first season.
- The show, about a legendary stand-up comedian who decides to update her act, features an amazing (and now Emmy-winning) performance from star Jean Smart.
- You can watch the show right now and get all caught up before it returns for Season 2 next year.
Jean Smart has had about as good of a last 5-6 years of anyone in the entire world of television. From her role as the leader of a crime family/syndicate in Season 2 of Fargo (perhaps that show’s best), to a role in Legion, to an incredible turn in Watchmen, it’s been a great run for the woman who had already won three Emmys (for her guest appearances in Frasier and supporting role in Samantha Who?). But Smart’s recent career resurgence probably reached a new high in 2021, when she not only had a fantastic supporting role in HBO’s hit murder mystery Mare of Easttown, but an amazing leading turn in HBO Max’s comedy Hacks (which won her her fourth Emmy, this time for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy).
Hacks, which won Emmys not only for Smart but also for the show’s writing and directing, is without question one of the best new shows of 2021. It follows Deborah Vance (Smart), a legendary, almost Joan Rivers-esque stand-up comedian and personality who’s been doing the same act in Las Vegas for a long time. When her casino threatens to take her residency away, she reluctantly agrees to bring on a new writer named Ava (newcomer Hannah Einbinder, who earned an Emmy nomination of her own). Ava has problems of her own—she can’t get any work after Tweeting a racy joke—and the two make for a reluctant odd couple pairing set against the show’s unmistakable Las Vegas strip backdrop.
Hacks isn’t the most laugh-out-loud comedy out there, but what it does well is build a handful of characters who you really understand and believe as real (even if you don’t so much like them as people all the time). That’s not to say Hacks isn’t funny—it’s hysterical. But it’s also got a storyline that will have you eager to see what happens next, and a couple episodes that work in a vacuum as brilliant pieces of storytelling. The Emmys that co-creators Paul Downs, Lucia Aniello, and Jen Statsky earned were well-deserved, even against strong competition like Ted Lasso.
If you haven’t had the chance to check Hacks out yet, don’t worry—you should have plenty of time before Season 2 comes out in 2022 to get all caught up. Read on to find out how you can do that.
How can I watch Hacks on HBO Max?
Hacks is an HBO Max original—and, along with The Flight Attendnant, the new streaming network’s first original show to earn an Emmy nomination. That means you’ll need an HBO Max subscription to watch the show, and then from there you can check out the entire HBO and HBO Max catalogue (and much more) on you TV, iPad, phone, whatever.
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