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TV: Witty Vegas comedy Hacks nails it

© SYSTEMHacks-season-2.
Hacks-season-2.

Having once co-organised a regular stand-up comedy night in the distant past I learned roughly what made the best acts stand out.

Mostly they left the audiences invigorated and desperate for more at the end of their set, rather than visibly relieved it was over or asking for their three quid back.

At the end of the first series of Hacks, released in April, Prime Video’s comedy series about Jean Smart’s spiky, veteran Las Vegas comedian, I wanted more and mercifully there wasn’t a Stranger Things-style three year wait. Less than three months later the second series arrives like a well-timed punchline.

The jokes in Hacks are sharp but it’s Smart’s relationship with Hannah Einbinder, who plays her Gen Z writer, which gives the series its impetus.

Among many things this is a culture clash comedy between the old and young but it’s fruitless to root for one side, here. No one comes off as admirable.

Like almost all comedians, the two main characters are funny, sensitive and fuelled by unrefined radioactive insecurity. Put two in a room and their egos will quickly reach critical mass.

So it is here with the two leads, whose love/hate relationship is fueling Hacks and works so well there’s an online movement yearning for the leads to become a couple. Truly a Sam and Diane relationship for our troubled times.

Hacks, Prime Video