Thursday, August 11 2022

It’s confirmed. HBO Max hacks, everyone’s favorite exploration of generational joke writing and the ever-changing entertainment industry, has been renewed for a third season. The beloved series, created by Paul W. Downs (Broad City, The CollegeHumor Show), who also plays talent agent Jimmy Lusaque Jr. on the show, and his life/writing partner Lucia Aniello (Time traveling bang, restless night), has countless dedicated fans. Considering the cliffhangers at the end of season two, the renewal made many viewers breathe a sigh of relief.

Deborah Vance is at the center of HBO Max’s success hacks, a famous comedienne with a world-class cunning mind and the ability to find the funny even in her darkest days. Deborah Vance is represented by Jean Smart (Dirty John, televisions watchmen), an American actress whose career in classic performances is almost as impressive as her acting ability. Although each actor of hacks brings its own unique spark to the original program, without the sheer joy of Jean Smart at its center, the show probably wouldn’t manage to pack the same fun punch.


Here’s why Jean Smart is brilliant in hacks.

Jean Smart takes up Deborah’s challenge

Deborah Vance is an incredibly complex character, and as such, it takes an equally talented and emotionally engaged actor to portray the cunning comedian. Jean Smart is more than ready to take on this daunting challenge. Although Smart has been a screen staple for many years, hacks represents one of her most high-profile roles, and frankly, it represents a long-awaited opportunity for the simply gorgeous Smart to flex her world-class acting chops.

Related: HBO Max’s Hacks: Potential Storylines We Could See In Season 3

Jean Smart’s Deborah Vance runs through the full spectrum of human emotion throughout hacks. Audiences feel the pain of her tumultuous personal life but laugh when she converts those morbid memories into a classic comedy routine. She can be a mean-spirited threat, though that emotion is often reserved for the show’s least likable character. She can be a kind-hearted heroine if another character proves herself worthy of that kindness. Only an actor as talented as Jean Smart could give the audience this range of emotions.

Deborah rearranges her routine

An artist has to be willing to reinvent themselves sometimes to be truly great. This is especially true in the case of a stand-up comedian, as it is perhaps the art form with the shortest generational lifespan. During hacks season one, it is revealed that Deborah Vance will lose her longtime residence in Las Vegas. It quickly becomes apparent that to cause his career resurgence. She will have to completely reinvent her comic persona.

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Jean Smart’s Deborah Vance debuts her new material at the end of the first season. Although the confessional comedy routine initially bombs, Vance travels the country with his revamped routine throughout hacks season two. She slowly found the humor in her harrowing story and how to frame it for an audience that expected the less explanatory, more disparaging brand of comedy she had employed for most of her career. Pulling off stand-up comedy in an acting performance is an already difficult task, only made more difficult by a storyline that forces Smart’s Vance to crack jokes in myriad styles. The fact that Jean Smart can be continuously funny, despite these challenges, is a testament to her incredible acting skills.

Deborah’s Complicated Relationships

Deborah Vance has a complicated relationship with everyone around her. This includes a strained relationship with her daughter, who is played by Kaitlin Olson (It’s always sunny in Philadelphia, The Mick), a slur-filled, inflammatory link to Hannah Einbinder (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, North Hollywood) Ava Daniels, a relationship that sees a potential end at the end of season two, and an explosive business partnership with her manager Marcus, played by Carl Clemons-Hopkins (Canal Street, Bonbonniere).

Deborah Vance, largely due to her many years at the top of the entertainment industry, is somewhat out of touch with the average person. Jean Smart’s acting ability allows him to express this aspect of Vance’s personality. Although she often seems capable of nothing but ruthless criticism, audiences see a glimpse of her softer side as she warms up to the other characters. Portraying the reality of stardom and how it produces difficult friendships wouldn’t be in the wheelhouse of a less talented actor.

There are many questions regarding hacks season three. It’s unclear how the relationship between the main characters will continue to unfold or how the world will react to the revamped routine recently released by Deborah Vance. Either way, fans of the show can count on one thing: Jean Smart will continue to shine, and that alone will make all future seasons worth watching.


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