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Thread: Hacks (HBO)

  1. #1

    Hacks (HBO)



    Three episodes in and I... don't like it. I find all the characters unlikable, with the young foil being particularly grating. The themes of aging, sexism, and weighing the worth of life in the rear view mirror are all tired. Not to mention that they are signaled hot and heavy in these initial episode. Also, who else is done with comedians making TV shows and movies about being a comedian? We get it.

    I'm going to continue watching because I have a hunch it'll probably get better (at least tolerable within the next few episodes) and Jean Smart is a revelation. As an aside: the one-liners are fine-to-middling and certainly don't lend credibility to the idea that these are the jokes that made Smart's character wildly famous. Maybe instead of getting meta about writing good jokes the writers could... write good jokes.
    Stuff I've Watched out of *****

    The Last Duel - ***
    Only Murders in the Building: **
    Squid Games: **.5

  2. #2
    Jean Smart is everywhere.
    Last Seen:​
    Infinity Train, Book 2: Cracked Reflection (O. Dennis, 2020)
    Wolfwalkers (T. Moore/R. Stewart, 2020)
    Us (J. Peele, 2019) ☆
    Archer, S12 (A. Reed, 2021) ☆
    Infinity Train, Book 1: The Perennial Child (O. Dennis, 2019)
    Brooklyn Nine-Nine, S8 (D. Goor/M. Schur, 2021) ☆
    Spielberg (S. Lacy, 2017) ☆
    Central Park, S2a (J. Gad/L. Bouchard/N. Smith, 2021) ☆
    Batman: The Long Halloween, Part 2 (C. Palmer, 2021) ☆
    Central Park, S1 (J. Gad/L. Bouchard/N. Smith, 2020) ☆

    First time ☆

  3. #3
    Quote Quoting quido8_5 (view post)
    Three episodes in and I... don't like it. I find all the characters unlikable, with the young foil being particularly grating. The themes of aging, sexism, and weighing the worth of life in the rear view mirror are all tired. Not to mention that they are signaled hot and heavy in these initial episode. Also, who else is done with comedians making TV shows and movies about being a comedian? We get it.

    I'm going to continue watching because I have a hunch it'll probably get better (at least tolerable within the next few episodes) and Jean Smart is a revelation. As an aside: the one-liners are fine-to-middling and certainly don't lend credibility to the idea that these are the jokes that made Smart's character wildly famous. Maybe instead of getting meta about writing good jokes the writers could... write good jokes.
    Your mention made me curious, so I checked out the first episode. I think you nailed it. The two leads are terrific but every scenario is so fn trite and overdone. Pretty sure I've literally seen every scene in the first episode in other shows/ formats. It's paint by number sitcom stuff with a slightly bigger budget and more locations.

    The jokes that land are genuinely funny but ... most of the jokes don't land.

    Kinda surprising it's rather soulless and uninspired as the producers worked on "Broad City."

  4. #4
    Quote Quoting Irish (view post)

    Kinda surprising it's rather soulless and uninspired as the producers worked on "Broad City."
    I know! Jen Statsky has been bulletproof as a writer and producer her entire career. Aside from Broad City, she also wrote and produced Parks and Rec, Lady Dynamite (a fantastic TV show!), and The Good Place. Full disclosure: I've been keeping such a close eye on her career because we went through the film and television program at NYU together :brushes dirt off shoulder:. One of the only reasons I'm sticking around with this show is because I just gotta believe it's going to get better.
    Last edited by quido8_5; 06-04-2021 at 01:28 PM.
    Stuff I've Watched out of *****

    The Last Duel - ***
    Only Murders in the Building: **
    Squid Games: **.5

  5. #5
    Kept watching. Just finished episode 6. Show still sucks. Worse, this episode puts forth a narrative about how brave it is to be real and tell your story in a comedy special. I think there have been several good stand-ups that are biographical but, my God, I can't get away from it in comedy in the last five years. I'm not trying to belittle how hard life must be for comedians, but please tell some jokes. Please show that you can be funny or witty or comedic without incorporating a sad-sack-shit story. I know that comes off cold and uncaring. At the same time, somebody has to remind these comics of their mother.
    Stuff I've Watched out of *****

    The Last Duel - ***
    Only Murders in the Building: **
    Squid Games: **.5

  6. #6
    Finally finished it. I've seen monkey shit fights that were more subtle.
    Stuff I've Watched out of *****

    The Last Duel - ***
    Only Murders in the Building: **
    Squid Games: **.5

  7. #7
    Screenwriter
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    2,654
    Just finished this and enjoyed it quite a bit. I've seen Ava being divisive in many corners, and my two cents is that Hannah Einbinder is pretty good, but her character's writing just never delve much deeper beyond the various character archetypes at the outset, which is the opposite of Jean Smart's Deborah who continue to deepen in various interesting ways as the season goes on. It makes the show's structure that gears towards a two-hander feels unbalanced, and my interest flagged in any stretch that focuses only on Ava.

    Maybe the writers are in love with Smart('s character) too much; who can't blame them though when she is so phenomenal in this. It just that the most interesting and fertile material (both comedic and dramatic) with the two main characters comes like this: Deborah & Ava > Deborah >>> Ava. Looking forwards to Season 2 though, as the second half of Season 1 already shifts the story to be mostly of the first one in that ranking.
    Midnight Run (1988) - 9
    The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) - 8.5
    The Adventures of Robinhood (1938) - 8
    Sisters (1973) - 6.5
    Shin Godzilla (2016) - 7.5

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