Photos: Entertainment Weekly

Hacks will return for a second season this summer.

The new season of the HBO Max comedy will follow Las Vegas comic Deborah Vance (Jean Smart) and Gen-Z writer Ava Daniels (Hannah Einbinder) as they workshop “new material in small clubs” across the country.

Picking up immediately after the events of season one, which saw Ava reunite with Deborah after sharing defamatory material about her mentor with an LA production company, Hacks is due to premiere in May on the streamer.

According to Entertainment Weekly, who recently published first look images from the season, Ava and Deborah will continue to clash. Smart told the publication: “It starts out really, really badly.”

Paul W. Downs, co-creator and star, said the season starts with Deborah “really needing to get another residency, but in order to do that she has to get this new act in shape.

“She has to create a new hour, and she has to make it so undeniable that she’ll be able to cement a new place for herself in Las Vegas… Everybody’s coming together to figure out how to make that possible in a short amount of time.”

Einbinder revealed that the first three episodes will see Ava “trapped in her own world” and having a “private experience” after slandering Deborah – “wherever she is, she is kind of somewhere else.”

“She’s trapped in her head and in her fear,” she added.

Created by Downs, Lucia Aniello and Jen Statsky, the first season of Hacks won rave reviews for its leading performances, fresh script and for normalising the queer experience – particularly with Einbinder’s character.

Einbinder later received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy.

For the October 2021 issue of GAY TIMES, Einbinder spoke with co-star Megan Stalter – who plays the endearingly incompetent assistant to Ava’s manager – about the nuanced depiction of Ava’s queerness.

“I thought it was so graceful and seamless,” she said. To get a queer character is one thing, but to have them honoured is totally different.

“It’s a whole different bag, and I couldn’t believe it existed because I had never seen it before. I’d seen it in various films, not on TV and not as a lead character.”

Hacks also stars Carl Clemons-Hopkins, Kaitlin Olson, Christopher McDonald, Mark Indelicato, Poppy Liu, Rose Abdoo, Angela Elayne Gibbs, Lorenza Izzo, Nina Tarr and Jane Adams.

You can read Entertainment Weekly’s interview with the cast here in full and check out the first-look images of season two below.