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Hacks Is the Perfect Boomer-Millennial Comedy–PureWow

Hacks Is the Perfect Boomer-Millennial Comedy–PureWow
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“Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot” is Charlie Chaplin’s oft-quoted philosophy of filmmaking, but also life. And it is the day-to-day of my family, what with conflicts over boomer grandparenting, onboarding Generation Alpha children and all-round caretaking (what is the sandwich generation, anyway?). So when I sit down to my hour of downtime with my loved ones, I am ready for a break. I want to be engaged, but not pissed off—honestly, that’s how I feel about spending time with said loved ones overall. And what hits that endorphin lever for not just me, but for my parents, too? The acclaimed streaming show Hacks, now on its third season on Max (and beyond—the network just greenlit a fourth season).

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The Emmy award-winning show is the story of 70-year-old Las Vegas standup comedian Deborah Vance, who hires 25-year-old comedy writer Ava Daniels to freshen her act and revitalize her career. Vance is loosely based on the late Joan Rivers, the comedian and late night TV host whose take-no-prisoners insult humor made her a household name beginning in the 1980s. Ava is based on—well, the idea of an Everyperson from an upstart younger generation, one whose fluid sexuality, yearning for social justice and tendency toward TMI makes her ripe for mockery.

So, sure, it makes sense that this show is going to appeal to both my parents and me when we’re watching television—but not just because there is a representation of both our demographics on screen (well, almost—I’m technically a Gen Xer and they’re just into the Greatest Generation demographic, but stay with me here). The reason this show works for all ages is the intelligence and heart. The humor is more subtle and sophisticated than schtick, for example this season when Ava texts Deborah if she should “do stock market” instead of just keeping her bank account flush to see a big number at the ATM, or earlier in the series when Deborah asks the androgynous Ava why she’s dressed like Rachel Maddow’s mechanic.

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Against the backdrop of a hike-gone-wrong, away from cell service, the two leads exchange perspectives on female aging and agency in a series of really vulnerable, touching exchanges. It’s Chaplin’s comedy close-up as tragedy



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Written by Politixia

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