ATX TV: ‘Hacks’ Cast and Creatives Tease Seasons 2’s ‘Road to Redemption’ For Its Two Leads

The season finale of Hacks left its two main characters on an uncertain note, the pseudo-cliffhanger ending will be getting a resolution, thanks to the recently-greenlit second season.

The HBO Max original series follows aging comedian Deborah Vance (Jean Smart) as she’s tasked with freshening up her Vegas act by working with a young, former up-and-comer, and currently blacklisted comedy writer Ava Daniels (Hannah Einbinder). During an inexplicably pre-recorded virtual panel released on Saturday as part of this year’s ATX TV Fest, co-creators and showrunners Lucia Aniello, Jen Statsky, and Paul W. Downs, along with members of the cast (sans Smart), did address what they hope to happen in Season 2.

Einbinder, who spoke with a similar charmingly droll demeanor as her character, said that she hopes Ava and Deborah “really take on the world together” in the show she refers to as a “literal rom-com.”

“If there is any sort of force of evil, I want them to be the force of good fighting it, side by side,” she said. While she readily admitted she wants to see continued growth for her character, she said that she trusts the trio of showrunners with their vision. “I want her to do whatever Paul and Jen and Lucia want her to do — and I’ll be there to do it, baby.”

While discussing her tentative hopes for the characters’ future, she also coined their celebrity couple name: “Dava,” quipping that she’s only “doing comedy just to get to marketing.”

Though Hacks started with Deborah and Ava almost entirely at odds with one another, the two slowly become collaborators and unlikely friends — possibly tentatively, based on the finale’s final moments. Though where they go is currently up in the air, the creators described their unique dramedy, and its evolving relationship between its two leads, as an unequivocal “love story.”

Statsky called the premise of Hacks “revolutionary,” for its focus on two women who hail from different generations, but share both a resistance to trust and emotional intimacy as well as a commitment to their respective careers. Similarly, Aniello described it as “love letter to girls who’ve needed to fucking grind and do all of it,” while Downs admitted that the writers used to joke that “it was an erotic thriller.”

Downs, who also plays Ava and Deborah’s agent, Jimmy, added that it’s “really about these two women who really need each other, who haven’t let anyone in for so long. It’s really romantic.”

While no concrete plans for Season 2 were revealed, Downs did give viewers an idea of what to expect whenever the show does return to HBO’s streaming platform. “While we don’t know the specifics, what we set out to do in this story is to set Ava, Deborah and everyone in their ecosystem on a road to redemption and emotional happiness,” he explained. “So, I think we want to continue down that path. As you’ve seen in the show, it’s typically one step forward, two steps back, but that’s where the fun and games are.”

Hacks Season 1 is currently available to stream on HBO Max

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