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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Jean Smart runs the show in HBO Max's Hacks trailer

Jean Smart in Hacks
Jean Smart in Hacks
Photo: Courtesy of HBO Max

There is nothing Jean Smart cannot do. The prolific actress, who currently stars in HBO’s Mare Of Easttown, will lead her own comedy with HBO Max’s Hacks, which arrives on the streaming platform in May.


Smart plays a legendary comedian named Deborah Vance. As seen in the new trailer, Deborah is clearly eccentric and fun. But she’s also insecure about losing out on her regular gig in Las Vegas because of her age. Her manager sets her up with a young new writer, Ava (Hannah Einbender). The two get off on the wrong foot but the 10-episode season explores their comical mentorship journey.

Come for Smart’s performance but stay for the sweet chemistry between her and Einbender, a duo that’s akin to Late Night’s Mindy Kaling and Emma Thompson.

Smart is back to her comedy roots after a series of standout performances in drama series’ like Watchmen, Legion, Fargo, and 24. On TV, she is known for starring in comedy shows like Samantha Who?, Kim Possible, but most notably, Designing Women.

Hacks is created by Broad City’s Paul W. Downs, who stars as Deborah’s manager, along with Lucia Aniello and Jen Statsky. The cast lineup also includes Carl Clemons-Hopkins, Kaitlin Olson, Christopher McDonald, Poppy Liu, Mark Indelicato, Johnny Sibilly, Meg Stalter, and Rose Abdoo.

The show will premiere with two episodes on HBO Max on May 13, followed by two new episodes every Thursday, with its finale dropping on June 10.

Staff Writer (TV)