May 24, 2021 – 1st Episode of “Hacks” on HBO Max – “There is No Line” with Jean Smart and Hannah Einbinder – 4 Stars + Very Promising

Part of the internet package our new apt offers includes HBO Max. There’s only the one option, as a home smart technology is part and parcel of the the whole complex. We like it. Turn lights on or off, raise or lower the AC (heat when we eventually need it forever from now, lol!), and watch or don’t watch HBO Max 😊

We haven’t done much TV watching lately cause we’re still in slow motion unpacking, dr & other appts (all prev temporarily postponed) shock. Hacks caught our attention cause wife and I both like Jean Smart, the premise sounded promising (a fresh take on an old story line), the short preview looked esp good, and – most importantly right now – it’s only about a half hour long. Like any good creative variance, the show reserves the right to be a few minutes shorter or longer each time – kinda like how much space I want to cover with pigment when I paint 🎨

First Impression
I immediately started liking “Hacks” from the 1st few minutes, while Sheila had to warm up to it over the course of the 1st episode. That’s ok, it took her 3 tries when I first met her to get her to go to lunch w/me, lol!

The way comedy works for me is, I either laugh or I don’t. And if I don’t, and I cringe (meaning not only not the kind of humor I like, but one I detest for the angle it takes against decency etc), then I never watch that show again.

This show, Hacks, for me, is a winner! And I’m a viewer to keep or lose now, depending on the sensibilities in future episodes.

Again, for me, it’s very promising –

It was immediately apparent to me that the sidekick, Hannah Einbinder, despite superficially arrogant and youngish-know-it-all, and Jean Smart, more experienced-ly superficially arrogant and oldish-know-it-all, were generational age mirror opposites of each other. Not exact mirrors; the glass is waved and charmingly nuanced – but yeah, they’re related deeply in comic spirit 😊

Both women have beefs, a lot of them, resentments, anger, and an unswerving (well, maybe a swerve or two, but definitely unrelenting) drive to succeed. Each has a male cohort/aid/agent/helper who is very aware of their client or boss’s blindside to the facts of the marketplace, but work, in their own way, to communicate with and help. All of them, the four, have attitudes and use people, but only to a point it seems. They also, even when not seeming to, listen.

And that’s where the 1st episode shone for me, especially in the last half or third, as pressure on the two female leads to even be able to continue threw things into a face-off, frenzy, and realizations, even if haltingly.

The sensitivity each woman exposes in tired-of-struggling glances downward or sideways, in the end, pulls them to each other, in a collaboration, of sorts, wonderfully played.

That’s when the title of the first episode morphed into it’s final nuanced meaning.

I’d like to say more about that, but I think it’d spoil things ☺️

As our 8 yr old grandchild would say, “Trust me” ❤️

This, I believe, is a half hour worth investing into the more than 50/50 chance you’ll find yourself a short gem to catch each week. Only the full season’ll prove that out, but I’m in 💕

Hoping you catch some gratifying off-time here and there!


ps – so why 4 & not 5 Stars? only ’cause it’s only 30 minutes and it’s a series; but if the quality remains (more or less) the next few weeks, it’ll be an overwhelming 5 😊

Link to blog post in above tweet 😊

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My Amazon search for “Jean Smart” –

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Thanks again, everyone! 😊


Artist self portrait - photo of Felipe Adan Lerma on converted railway track bike ferry for the Island Line Trail connecting mainland Vermont to South Hero on Lake Champlain.

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    • We like them too, lot easier to watch, even a couple of them, lol! We got lucky at our new apts re HBO, it’s part of what they call a bulk pkg that’s in each apt, so we get a good rate for good internet w/this included. It’s not the fastest speed, but still “way” faster than the old place 😊 I can say though, re Hacks, it’s gotten even better over the next few episodes! More depth, very high quality performances; and great humor of course 😊


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