Hacks: “Tunnel of Love” & “1.69 Million”

Hacks_TitleWe’ve just gotten the extremely exciting news that Hacks will be renewed for a second season and all aboard the Jean Smart train, whoo whoo!! Of the different shows I’ve watched lately, this was the one I was eagerly awaiting to hear about a second season. I’m so excited, but before we get there we need to settle some things here. Primarily Ava (Hannah Einbinder) having a sex dream about Deb (Jean Smart) and quicky weddings, but especially asking the question: what does it take to bring down a sexist comic? A deep pocketbook apparently.

DJ’s (Kaitlin Olson, pictured with Paul Felder) turning 35 (ish) so everyone’s around to celebrate the big day! The power struggle between house staff Hacks_Ep7-300x286was especially hilarious. I appreciated that they later had to join powers to get the drunk mayor out. Kiki (Poppy Liu) pops over to help Ava get ready, dishing on her relationship with her daughter. I hope we get more Kiki next season. Poppy Liu is absolutely hilarious. Marcus (Carl Clemons-Hopkins) brings his water guy, so now we know it’s more than just that quick hook-up. Deb even invites Marty (Christopher McDonald) though I think it’s most likely so she can get him drunk and seduce him. I mean really, what else can we be expected between these two with a former fling and someone who is now single? My Magic 8 ball obviously foresees sex.

The attention comes back around to DJ. I loved her piano moment. Who f*cking cares if that was the only thing she learned on the piano? Jurassic Park is awesome and John Williams is no musical slouch so get yours, girl! DJ drops some news for everyone. She got a jewelry deal to appear in some stores, she’s engaged to a great guy, and most of all she’s happy. Things are looking great for her until speeches happen and then it’s just awkward city over prenups.  Deb doesn’t want DJ to get screwed over the way she did. Even someone who seems like the best person in the world could change, just like it did for Deb. DJ feels differently and that’s fair, she also doesn’t know everything her mother has been through the way Ava has learned. DJ decides to take matters into her own hands, or rather Ava’s since she needs a ride. Drive through weddings, who knew? Ava has the foresight to at least get Deb on the line knowing she would be upset to miss it. And every single word DJ spoke in her vows felt like what I would say about my own partner and I got more than a little misty. I hope DJ gets to be happy. When you see someone struggle with drugs and alcohol and have such a terrible view of themselves, it’s painful and you want to see them on the other side of that struggle. She’s finally on the other side and building something great for herself. I hope it sticks. Her Cornell drop on Ava had me in stitches and I hope we get to see more from DJ next season. Also, my Magic 8 ball was so on the money so excuse me, I need to go buy a lotto ticket.

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Speaking of money, I wish I had large sums to use to send sexist men away from me. More on that in a minute, but you know what the worst kind of morning after is? When your friend/lover/boss tells you he ripped your dates and your 2,500th show will be your last. Ouch, maybe let’s not sleep with that dude again.Except y’all have insane chemistry and I actually really want it to work so Deb, we need to get you a gig somewhere else so you’re free of the business constraints and y’all can just f*ck. She decides if she’s gonna go out, she’s gonna do it with a bang and decides to do the show Ava wants. All the old stories and truth about what happened to Deb Vance along the road. They take the material to old stomping grounds to test it out, though it doesn’t quite go to plan.

Hacks_Ep8-237x300Meanwhile, Ava is struggling with family and work. Her dad Dennis (Luis Herthum) is recovering from a stroke but desperately wants to see her. She ends up having to be the bad guy and tell him not to come and I’m sobbing over here just seeing the expression on her dad’s face. You can see how clearly heartbroken he is. Ava’s mom Nina (Jane Adams) doesn’t help because she won’t listen. Ava mentions having a hard relationship with her mom and honestly, it comes down to communication. Nina is clearly dealing with a lot but she’s not actually listening to what her daughter says. And if Ava listened better, she would work on creating a time to come home for a little bit; even if only to check in because her dad wants to see her. I’m desperately scared he’s going to die and she will not have seen him. Ava’s also dealing with challenging Marcus on Deb’s act. He wants a stable future for Deb and feels this could isolate her audience, meanwhile, Ava wants Deb to tell her truth because she knows she can make it funny for people. But unfortunately, they miss their chance to test it out.

At the old stomping grounds, we see generational differences come out in full force. Deb and her old buddy reminisce on the way men treated them, grabbing them going on stage or making sexual comments. Sadly, not much has f*cking changed. Ava’s angry because she feels Deb could have done things differently and paved the path better for other comediennes. Deb reinforces what an uphill battle it was and hard to Hacks_Ep8Pic2-268x300get anyone to believe you or care that women were being treated that way. And while I want to be Team Ava and say all women should challenge that type of BS behavior, it really isn’t actually that easy. When I reported sexual harassment at my first job in building security I was told, while his behavior was unacceptable I’m now working in a male-dominated field and should get used to comments like that. And that was in like 2011 so I get Ava, but it’s just not that easy to fight against. What Deb does have that sadly I don’t is a sh*t ton of money. And I can think of no better use for it than making a sexist, a**hole walk away from comedy forever. Deb takes him down 12 notches and it feels soooo good. They may not have practiced her new stuff, but I think this is actually more important and better for society as a whole.

Soon we wrap up season one with our favorite Vegas comediennes and I truly can’t wait to see where we’re gonna leave off and what we might be able to expect from next season! I have a feeling Deb’s new stuff will be hit and miss. I think she’ll lose her contract with Marty but find one somewhere else where they want that cheeky, older lady vibe. Don’t get me wrong, I love Pentatonix but I’d rather see Deb Vance talk sh*t about people over them any day. All hail, Jean Smart and the Jeanaissance!

We leave you with a clip:

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