HACKS: “A Gig’s A Gig” and “D’Jewelry”

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Are you one of those people who enjoys the solitude of a lake and quiet fishing? Are you the type of person who sends nudes to an ex who never responds back and then texts them? Are you the type of person to work with TMZ to follow your mother and take horrible pictures of her? Well, if you answered yes to any of those questions, there’s something for you in this next batch of Hacks!

Episode 3, “A Gig’s A Gig,” starts out with the lovely Deb (Jean Smart) watching her pond get filled with fish. It’s quite a cinematic moment especially to start the episode. Who doesn’t need a thundering orchestra with fish flying in front of their faces?!  She’s ready to take in a casual fishing session but the water police aren’t too happy about it. In fact, she kind of has a habit of pissing the water maintenance people off. Rich people be like that sometimes. I almost wonder after a little flirty moment if Marcus (Carl Clemmons-Hopkins) isn’t messing with the meter just to get the cute, water police guy back. I’m already suspicious.

But it’s the package from Deb’s sister that really throws her off this episode. Her husband left her for her sister, I mean, yeah I probably wouldn’t want to talk to her either! From the sounds of it, her sister was her best friend and then well, her husband decided to trade out. I refuse to say ‘trade up’ because there is no one higher than one Miss Jean Smart. But that’s a deep wound that clearly she doesn’t have much interest in healing. What she is focused on is making money wherever, whenever, and however, she can. Between her comedy routine and QVC gigs, she’s also pushing progesterone packets and even making her way to help the grand opening of a pizza place; with 50 G’s and some stock options, yeah I’ll pretend to make a pizza and pose for pics. Ava (Hannah Einbinder) doesn’t really get it, but I also don’t see her hustle for her job the way Deb does. Don’t get me wrong, Deb lives in the lap of luxury, but she also spreads that around to the people around Max_Hacks34-300x227her pretty well. Hell, she changes the CO2 tank for her own soda machine because her house help is busy with something else and she doesn’t want to bother them. She’s used to getting her hands dirty and doing the work, something Ava could take notes from.  I can’t really fault her for the life she has when she is clearly rocking that hustle.

Though I have to give Ava some credit. Nude photo and ex texting aside, Ava knew one of the jokes wasn’t a good idea. She knew it was a cheap laugh, and sometimes in comedy, it’s okay to let those moments go by and look for a better joke. But Deb does it and you can see the flash of pain in her eyes, feeling Ava being right. Stung and irritated at having a free afternoon, Deb drags Ava onto a bus tour. Clearly, something Deb does every once in a while to boost her ego a bit. She gets back at Ava for being right, and as much as I love her, even I have to admit that was a slightly cheap shot; especially divulging that much information about the nude photos. Ava feels lost. She just bought a house she doesn’t even get to live in, lost a huge deal, and now has to hoof it as a joke writer for someone else who doesn’t even seem to like her much. It’s not ideal and much like her on that bus tour, I too would have liked to disappear.

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The fourth episode, “D’Jewelry,” focuses on the relationship between Deb and her daughter DJ (Kaitlin Olson, pictured).  We see right away that some photog is following Deb getting less than flattering pictures. And yet, Deb seems so nonplussed about it; that tracks quite differently from the person we’ve seen so far. But who knows, maybe she’s just having an off day. DJ wants to launch her own jewelry line, D’Jewelry, and wants her mom to put in a good word with QVC. Deb says she will…I mean, I think we can tell what’s gonna happen here? She doesn’t and also says some less than flattering stuff about DJ’s work. In the end, just to piss Deb off, Ava tags along with DJ to the jewelry show. We hear more about DJ’s struggles with drugs. Kaitlin Olson is such an underrated comedic actress See: HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm or It’s Alway Sunny In Philadelphia). She clearly didn’t always have it easy being Deb’s daughter. Show business, divorce, houses burning down, that can be a lot for a kid. But she’s working on things.

The show does a brilliant job pushing you towards feeling certain things for characters. When you hear DJ talk about her mom, you can see all the pain DJ felt. But when Ava finds out who is behind TMZ’s photographing ofDeb, she knows she needs to set the record straight with her employer. And with that, we come to realize even more of who Deb is. She wants her daughter to be successful, but she wants her to do it without piggybacking off her or being the reason her daughter gets what she wants instead of on merit. Deb lets DJ collect money off her bad photos to feel self-sufficient. If that’s not a motherly move, I’m not sure what is. 

Max_Hacks34Pic3We see more give and take between Deb and Marty (Christopher McDonald) and I get the sense that there’s more there than just business or even friendship. She’s made the joke a few times that they slept together, but I’m starting to wonder if it was more than once??? They’re incredibly comfortable around each other and have a cute give and take. He’s with a young thing now, but maybe just maybe there was something in the past with these two. I’m not expecting anything to happen, but I would 1000% support it because it broke my heart when the photographer asked for the picture and she got pushed aside. Wait, I think I solved it…  Deb, get rid of the young thing, get him to fall in love with you, and boom, you have your stage dates! Or there is Marcus’s plan which is far more logical yet not nearly as heart-stirring. As much as Ava is lost, Deb is lonely and I hate that for her. But maybe having Ava around will be a blessing to both of them. The mother and daughter relationship they’ve each always craved is available just with someone they didn’t it to be with. In any case, things are heating up in Vegas for Deb, Ava, and the whole group so you better keep an eye on your water meter. Also, while your at it keep an eye out for Hacks on HBO Max. 

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