Watch: New show Hacks hits the mark


Hacks TV show

Jean Smart fronts the hilarious new comedy Hacks and it has all of Australia laughing. 

Let’s be honest, with approximately fifteen million Australians in lockdown last week, we’ve been watching a lot of TV.

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With so much new content being thrown at us, sometimes it’s hard for something to stand out.

Often it’s much easier to start a rerun on an old favourite than to start something new.

Thankfully Hacks has found its way to Australian screens.

Courtesy of Aussie streaming service Stan, Hacks is here. Get ready to laugh.

Hacks: An unlikely pairing but a comic hit

Jean Smart plays snarky ageing comic Deborah Vance to perfection.

Deborah is rich, neurotic and a pain in the ass.

With a career spanning decades, she’s worked hard. When other women her age may be considering retirement Vance has to work twice as hard to maintain her relevance.

With signs her career may be in a spiral she needs a jump start.

Enter Ava, the disgraced writer.

Internet fame has treated Ava well, until it doesn’t.

After a tweet goes wrong Ava finds herself in a career spiral with no signs of stopping.

With every door closing the only one that opens is one she doesn’t want, a job with Vance.

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Deborah needs a writer and Ava needs work, despite both their protestations they begin a working relationship that is fraught with tension and ultimately comic relief.

It is this unlikely duo and their hostile relationship that makes Hacks unforgettably watchable.

Smart’s portrayal of the narcissistic perfectionist that is Deborah Vance is hilariously perfect.

With every condescending sentence, viewers will cringe and laugh as she cuts down those around her with ice-cold wit.

Ava, played by Hannah Einbinder is dry and unyielding in her disdain for her situation and in turn for Deborah Vance.

As Ava begins her work with Deborah she is exposed to the hilarious ego and eccentricity of a comedy stalwart.

Whilst we laugh at their relationship, the show lends itself to countless laughs. It’s an interesting examination of the role of women in entertainment.

Deborah is an ageing single woman, who burnt her ex-husband’s house down after he ran off with her sister. Everyone has an opinion.

Ava is an ambitious single queer woman striving to be successful, whilst being accused of being hostile and distant to those around her.

Together they highlight what it’s like for women in the arts as they work together to continue successful careers.

Careers which are constantly being directed by the men on the sidelines of their lives.

Deborah lives a life of media scrutiny and despite her success and status is up against the men in her industry.

Conversely, Ava is constantly underestimated by those very same men, often invisible until she is needed.

The funny thing about Hacks is that it’s not a queer comedy, but it is.

Short of the comedic greatness of Smart and Einbinder is the overall queer dynamic of the program.

Despite the program being focussed around a straight woman, the show is anything but.

The funny thing about Hacks is that it’s not a queer comedy, but it is.

Ava is unashamedly queer. There’s no queer baiting, no gay for pay about her.

The character is written exactly as she is.

Ava is a queer woman who has been with men and women, her sexual history influencing her story just as any other character in the program.

It’s seamless and interesting without playing into tropes and stereotypes. Ava pulls no punches when quizzed about her sexuality and it makes for a captivating narrative.

Bookending the queer narrative of Hacks is gay man Marcus, played by Carl Clemons-Hopkins.

Marcus is responsible for Deborah in every sense of the word, essentially he runs her life.

However, Marcus is anything but a background character.

His involvement in every aspect of Deborah’s life wedges him firmly into the story.

So much so that his own queer love story takes the focus halfway through the season and it’s a delight to watch. It’s no surprise that his performance has earned him an Emmy nomination.

But the Emmy nominations don’t stop there.

For its first season Hacks has racked up an astounding 15 Emmy nominations.

This includes a lead actress nomination for Smart and supporting nominations for Einbinder and Clemons-Hopkins.

Want to see what all the fuss is about? Watch the trailer for Hacks below or stream on Stan in Australia.

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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