Hacks 2021, 2022, 2024 / A delightful clash in personality and humor gives way to surprisingly tender moments


The initial charm of Hacks is in watching sparks fly between its sharp-tongued leads. Neither the elderly Deborah nor the young Ava holds back the digs, both of them cutting to the core of their insecurities. Part of what makes their tension so watchable is that they’re stand-ins for different generations. Deborah represents the all-hustle culture of the boomers, while Ava represents burned-out millennials. Lock them in a scene together and you get endless (and endlessly funny) observations about the modern world.

Eventually, however, their relationship deepens into something more meaningful than that. As Deb and Ava bond over their shared hopes and flaws, the show transforms into a clever and tender two-hander about their prickly but profound relationship. They’re two sides of the same coin, and even though no one can bring them down like the other can, the opposite is also true: no one else can lift them and push them to new heights like the other can.

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