Ava and Deborah in Hacks





Emily Clark

TV Series Review

Deborah Vance has it all. Back in the day, she was a successful comedian with her own sitcom. Now, she lives in a posh mansion in Las Vegas, has her own staff and has a contract to perform 2,500 shows on one of the city’s biggest stages.

It’s a lucrative life…until it’s not.

Marty, the man who owns the casino where she performs a hundred nights a year, has to appeal to a larger audience, so he’s cutting down the number of shows she does. And while Floridans absolutely love Deborah, families and college students want more from their Vegas vacation than just a tired, has-been comic.

If Deborah wants to remain famous, she can’t keep rehashing the same old jokes: She’ll need a fresh new act.

Crossing the Line

Luckily, Jimmy (Deborah’s manager) sees a solution to her problem: A writer named Ava.

Ava was almost nominated for an Emmy, and up until recently, she wrote jokes for a hit TV show. But after she tweeted an unsavory joke about a closeted senator sending his son to conversion therapy, nobody wanted to work with her.

Ava needs a writing job. Deborah needs a writer. And sure, while it’s not exactly Ava’s dream to “move to the desert to write some lame jokes for an old hack,” it’s also not Deborah’s deepest desire to work with someone younger than her own daughter.

But they’re each other’s only hope. And well, that sort of makes them the perfect match.

There Is No Line

Ava asks early on where the line is between funny and inappropriate. Deborah responds that “there is no line.” And apparently, that’s where the Hacks writers decided to draw it (or rather, not draw it) as well.

We hear jokes about sex, homosexuality, abortion, suicide and religion—and that’s just in the first episode. The f-word makes a frequent appearance along with a multitude of other profanities and misuses of God’s and Christ’s names.

And while that is quite the onslaught for our ears, our eyes don’t get a break either. We see people getting busy in their underwear. And pictures on Ava’s phone strongly indicate that she’s bisexual.

All these factors make for a show that has no boundaries. And it certainly wouldn’t have a problem crossing them if it did.

Episode Reviews

May 13, 2021: “There Is No Line”

When their careers both take a fall, Deborah and Ava are paired together to create a new comedic act in Vegas.

We see people making out in their underwear with the intention of having sex. A girl in a t-shirt uses the bathroom and we see her thighs. A woman sits on the lap of a shirtless man dressed like Santa and makes crude jokes with him. Ava recounts a sexual encounter that took place at her uncle’s funeral. Pictures on a phone show two women together in a seemingly romantic way. We see a woman from the shoulders up in a bathtub. We hear that a senator sent his son to conversion therapy even though the senator himself was caught with a male escort. We hear jokes about sex, human anatomy, homosexuality and abortion.

Someone threatens to kill a woman. A girl jokes about committing suicide. We learn that Deborah burned her ex-husband’s house after he left her for her sister. She later nearly runs Ava off the road. Deborah storms out of a restaurant claiming that she found a cockroach in her salad and steals a fork in the process.

People drink alcohol. A woman vapes. Deborah has her daughter’s bag searched for drugs and questions her about an antibiotics prescription. A woman claims her guilt comes from her Catholic upbringing. People gamble in an airport casino. There is some toilet humor. We hear frequent uses of the f-word and s-word, as well as “b–ch,” “h—,” “a–hole,” “d–k” and “p-ss.” There are also misuses of God’s and Jesus’ names.

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Emily Clark
Emily Clark

Emily studied film and writing when she was in college. And when she isn’t being way too competitive while playing board games, she enjoys food, sleep, and indulging in her “nerdom,” which is the collective fan cultures of everything she loves, such as Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.

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