Hacks (Season Three/S3/2024) Series Review

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Hacks (Season Three/S3) is an award-winning comedy-drama. It explores the complex love-hate relationship between two ladies. One is a successful comedian, while the other works as a comedic writer for her.

The creators of this American TV series are Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky. Interestingly, alongside his wife, Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs, the actor portraying Jimmy, is also the co-creator and writer of the series.


“Hacks” In Its Season (S3) Three Continues To Grow From Strength To Strength


Trailer: Hacks (Season Three/S3/2024) Series

Trailer – Hacks Season (S3/2024) Three Series – Rotten Tomatoes TV | YouTube.
Still standing and better than ever.

Spoiler Free Review: Hacks (Season Three/S3/2024) Series

The meaning of its title

Hacks: a person, such as an artist or writer, who exploits their creative ability or training in the production of dull, unimaginative, and trite work; one who produces banal and mediocre work for money in the hope of gaining commercial success in the arts. (Source: Dictionary.com)

Curiously, this Hacks series delves into mentorship, female bonding, self-image, show business, LGBTIQA+, gender politics and other contemporary issues in a manner that goes beyond what its ironic name implies.

The storyline/plotline/summary/synopsis

So far, we have witnessed the dysfunctional relationship between Deborah Vance (Jean Smart) and Ava Daniels (Hannah Einbinder) in the show’s first two seasons. Before we talk about the season three, let us refresh its tale.

Deborah Vance ((Jean Smart), an iconic comedian with a rich history in the industry, discovers that her career is starting to decline. Meanwhile, Ava Daniels (Hannah Einbinder), a budding comedy writer, faces a major setback early in her career after being called out for a controversial tweet. Despite their initial reluctance, the two join forces to refresh Deborah’s material, leading to an unexpected mentorship dynamic.

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Deborah Vance (Jean Smart) in the Hacks (Season Three/S3/2024) Series

At the start of season three, we follow the story of their separation. Deborah Vance is enjoying the fruits of her successful standup special in Las Vegas, as Ava Daniels pursues new opportunities in Los Angeles. It is pertinent to note that these two comedians are from two different generations. Deborah belongs to the Boomer generation, meanwhile, Ava comes from Generation Z. However, both of them are fiercely ambitious.

So, Deborah is carrying a lot of (personal and professional) baggage from her lengthy past. Whereas, Ava is a go-getter comedic writer, who wishes to prove herself to her boss as well as to the world. Yet, despite their (age and philosophical) differences, they forge a working relationship. And they do work very well when they are together. However, there is always a difference of opinion and a bit of tension, when Deborah and Ava are together. Their one-liner jokes, smart dialogues, and flawed relationships lead to many comical situations.

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Ava Daniels (Hannah Einbinder) in the Hacks (Season Three/S3/2024) Series

What did we love about the show?

The show creators and writers – Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky deserve a whole lot of praise for sharing a highly entertaining comedy gem with all of us. The writing of this comedy show is top-class. Their satire on show business hits the nail on the head. The clash of two generations is insightful. Also, it is worth noting that both Lucia Aniello and Paul W. Downs have directed the majority of the episodes so far. And both of them have done a fabulous directing job so far, especially Lucia. It seems that both Lucia and Paul are hugely talented duo.

Then as we mentioned earlier, Paul W. Downs also plays the role of Jimmy, quite compentently. Besides, we loved the ensemble cast, especially, Megan Stalter (Kayla), Carl Clemons-Hopkins (Marcus), Kaitlin Olson (DJ Vance), Rose Abdoo (Josefina), etc. The guest performances were good too. We liked the good (background) music in the show, as it highlights the emotions of the characters ideally. Its entire production team did well.

What else did we love about the show?

The series explores the captivating and complicated relationship between a mentor Deborah and her protégé Ava. So, on the other hand, the young comic actress Hannah Einbinder has impressed us with her performance as Ava. While playing the role of mentee Ava Daniels against her mentor Deborah Vance, Hannah goes toe to toe. Their to-and-fro verbal exchanges are too good. But sometimes the raw emotions of their emotionally dark and draining relationship do take a toll on both of them in the show. Those scenes are highlights of the series. Sometimes, we do wonder, are Deborah and Ava a mirror image of each other? You think about it, okay?

Now, what can we say about the legendary actress Jean Smart? Jean is smart and a survivor in the cut-throat world of entertainment. Her adaptability is her biggest strength. In this show, she brings her vast acting experience, amazing comic genius and true professionalism to the fore. She plays the role of an acclaimed comedian Deborah Vance from Las Vegas magnificently. We can only sit back, relax and admire her true dedication to the art of acting. Jean is really smart in it. Besides her on-screen chemistry with her co-star Hannah Einbinder is a compelling watch. No wonder, both Jean and Hannah have won many acting awards.

The conclusion

This series also takes a few potshots at the lavish lifestyle of the rich and famous (in Las Vegas and beyond), with its astute observations. The music of the show seems apt too. Once again, like the previous two seasons, season three ended on a cliffhanger. Thankfully, this hilarious comedy has been renewed by HBO Max for season four. Now, we can breathe easy and eagerly await to see what drama takes place in the lives of acerbic comedian Deborah Vance and fast-learning comedy writer Ava Daniels. Oh yeah, Hacks will be back, soon.


Poster: Hacks (Season Three/S3/2024) Series


Ratings: Hacks (S1, S2 & S3) Series

S1/2021S2/2022S3/2024
FM Rating4.00/54.05/54.10/5
Hacks (S1, S2 & S3) Series – FM Ratings

Posters: Hacks (S1/2021 & S2/2022) Series


Key Details: Hacks (S1, S2 & S3) Series

GenreComedy, Drama
Original languageEnglish (USA)
Seasons Three (3) Seasons
Particulars of 3 SeasonsSeason (1) One – 2021
Season (2) Two – 2022
Season (3) Three – 2024
EpisodesTwenty-Seven (27) Episodes
Particulars of 27 Episodes Ten (10) Episodes – First (1st) Season
Eight (8) Episodes – Second (2nd) Season
Nine (9) Episodes – Third (3rd) Season
CreatorsLucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs & Jen Statsky
CastJean Smart (Deborah Vance), Hannah Einbinder (Ava Daniels), Carl Clemons-Hopkins (Marcus), Mark Indelicato (Damien), Paul W. Downs (Jimmy), Megan Stalter (Kayla), Rose Abdoo (Josefina), Christopher McDonald (Marty), Kaitlin Olson (DJ Vance), Poppy Liu (Kiki), Jane Adams (Nina), Lorenza Izzo (Ruby), etc.
TaglinesHitting the road.
Another spin in the Spotlight.
She’s Just Getting Warmed Up.
About – Hacks (S1, S2 & S3) Series

Trailers: Hacks (S1/2021 & S2/2022) Series

Season (S1/2021) One
Trailer – Hacks Season (S1/2021) One Series – Rotten Tomatoes TV | YouTube.
Eat your heart out Celine, there's a new Queen of Vegas.
Season (S2/2022) Two
Trailer – Hacks Season (S2/2022) Two Series – Rotten Tomatoes TV | YouTube.
Get ready for our second act.

Awards: Hacks (S1/2021) Series

Names of the AwardsDetails of the Awards Winners
World Soundtrack AwardsCarlos Rafael Rivera – 2021 Winner – World Soundtrack Award – Television Composer of the Year
Just for Laughs Comedy FestivalJean Smart – 2021 Winner Just Laughs Award – Comedy Performance of the Year
Dorian TV AwardsBest TV Comedy – 2021 Winner Dorian Award
Jean Smart – 2021 Winner Dorian Award – Best TV Performance
Hollywood Critics Association (HCA) Television AwardsJean Smart – 2021 Winner HCA Award – Best Actress in a Streaming Series, Comedy
Hannah Einbinder – 2021 Winner HCA Award -Best Supporting Actress in a Streaming Series, Comedy
Pena de PrataJean Smart – 2021 Winner Pena de Prata – Best Actress in a Comedy Series
Gold Derby AwardsJean Smart – 2021 Winner Gold Derby TV Award – Comedy Actress
Ariel Karlin (writer), Jen Statsky (writer), & Lucia Aniello (director) – 2021 Winner – Gold Derby TV Award – Comedy Episode – I Think She Will (S1, E10)
Primetime Emmy AwardsLucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs, & Jen Statsky – 2021 Winner – Primetime Emmy – Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series – For the episode “There Is No Line” (S1, E1)
Lucia Aniello – 2021 Winner – Primetime Emmy – Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series – For the episode “There Is No Line” (S1, E1)
Jean Smart – 2021 Winner – Primetime Emmy – Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Critics Choice AwardsJean Smart – 2022 Winner – Critics Choice Award – Best Actress in a Comedy Series
Screen Actors Guild AwardsJean Smart – 2022 Winner Actor – Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Awards – Hacks (S1/2021) Series

Spoilers Alert: Summary of 27 Episodes

Summary of Ten (10) Episodes in the Season (S1) One

There Is No Line (S1, E1)

An ageing comedian, about to lose dates for her Vegas show, meets with a young comedy writer also in trouble due to a scathing joke she tweeted. This could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship – if they don’t kill each other first.

Primm (S1, E2)

Ava, who needs to get to know Deborah a little better, joins her on a road trip. With predictably unsettling results.

A Gig’s a Gig (S1, E3)

Ava gains insight into Deborah’s past.

D’Jewelry (S1, E4)

At DJ’s jewellery expo, Ava comes to better understand Deborah and DJ’s complicated mother-daughter relationship. Deborah receives an unexpected piece of ammunition against Marty.

Falling (S1, E5)

Deborah blackmails Marty. Ava has a wild night to remember in Las Vegas that puts everything in perspective.

New Eyes (S1, E6)

While Deborah recovers from surgery, she and Ava have a unique bonding experience when Deborah dispels a major misperception about her past.

Tunnel of Love (S1, E7)

DJ’s birthday party becomes a surprise dual function. Meanwhile, Deborah and Marty reconnect.

1.69 Million (S1, E8)

With a little encouragement from Ava, Deborah’s unpolished set sparks a career-defining moment.

Interview (S1, E9)

Ava pursues an opportunity while Deborah nervously anticipates her final show.

I Think She Will (S1, E10)

As her final performance at the Palmetto approaches, Deborah must decide whether to put it all on the line.

Summary of Eight (8) Episodes in the Season (S2) Two

There Will Be Blood (S2, E1)

Deborah eagerly anticipates trying out her new material on the road, while Ava dreads the fallout of an explosive email.

Quid Pro Quo (S2, E2)

Deborah embraces tour life. Ava grapples with the value of honesty. Jimmy learns the harsh realities of Hollywood dealmaking.

Trust the Process (S2, E3)

Deborah continues to workshop her material on the road, as Ava adapts to a new lifestyle. Marcus is overwhelmed by life without Wilson.

The Captain’s Wife (S2, E4)

While Deb struggles to connect with her audience on a cruise, Ava finds herself an unexpected hit.

Retired (S2, E5)

An impromptu detour finds Deborah reckoning with long-held guilt while reconnecting with a former comedian friend.

The Click (S2, E6)

A girls’ night out finds Ava attempting to connect with her mother–and Deborah embracing some unexpected company.

On the Market (S2, E7)

Deborah and her team head to Los Angeles to pitch her new set as a comedy special.

The One, The Only (S2, E8)

Deborah prepares to take the stage for her taping as Ava deals with a new opportunity.

Summary of Nine (9) Episodes in the Season (S3) Three

Just for Laughs (S3, E1)

As Deborah prepares to accept an award in Montreal, Ava does her best to avoid her former employer.

Better Late (S3, E2)

Deborah and Ava struggle to stay out of one another’s orbits — especially when Deborah lands an unexpected opportunity.

The Roast of Deborah Vance (S3, E3)

After learning there’s a Late Night vacancy, Deborah makes sure everything — and everyone — is operating at its finest for her roast.

Join The Club (S3, E4)

Deborah is invited to hang with some of her favourite comedians, Jimmy finally lands a general meeting with Winnie and Marcus recruits Ava for trivia.

One Day (S3, E5)

As Deborah contends with writer’s block and Ava with a broken heart, the pair decide to clear their heads in the woods.

Par for the Course (S3, E6)

Deborah participates in a golf tournament to get face time with the cable affiliates who could decide her future.

The Deborah Vance Christmas Spectacular (S3, E7)

Deborah braces for Kathy’s attendance at her Christmas party, while Jimmy and Kayla refuse to call it quits on the comedian’s Late Night dreams.

Yes, And (S3, E8)

A calendar mix-up finds Deborah double-booked – just as an unfortunate supercut of her most problematic early jokes starts circulating.

Bulletproof (S3, E9)

As Deborah works to perfect her second run at Late Night, Ava receives a dream offer, and Jimmy and Kayla seek to grow their company.


Awards: Hacks (S2/2022) Series

Names of the AwardsDetails of the Awards Winners
Hollywood Critics Association (HCA) Television AwardsLucia Aniello – 2022 Winner HCA Award – Best Directing in a Streaming Series, Comedy
Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs, & Jen Statsky – 2022 Winner HCA Award – Best Writing in a Streaming Series, Comedy
Hannah Einbinder – 2022 Winner HCA Award – Best Supporting Actress in a Streaming Series, Comedy
Pena de PrataHarriet Sansom Harris – 2022 Winner Pena de Prata – Best Guest Actor or Actress in a Comedy Series
Gold Derby AwardsJean Smart – 2022 Winner – Gold Derby TV Award – Comedy Actress
Hannah Einbinder – 2022 Winner – Gold Derby TV Award – Comedy Supporting Actress
Primetime Emmy AwardsLaurie Metcalf – 2022 Winner – Primetime Emmy – Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
Jean Smart – 2022 Winner – Primetime Emmy – Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Peabody Awards2022 Winner Peabody Award – Entertainment
GLAAD Media Awards2022 Winner GLAAD Media Award – Outstanding New TV Series
American Cinema Editors, USASusan Vaill – 2022 Winner Eddie – Best Edited Single-Camera Comedy Series – Episode: “1.69 Million (S1, E8)”
Golden Globes, USAJean Smart – 2022 Winner – Golden Globe – Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy
2022 Winner Golden Globe – Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy
Screen Actors Guild AwardsJean Smart – 2023 Winner Actor – Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Critics Choice AwardsJean Smart – 2023 Winner – Critics Choice Award – Best Actress in a Comedy Series
Awards – Hacks (S2/2022) Series

Posters, Other and Featured Images of the Hacks (S1, S2 & S3) Series are credited to HBO max.


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