“Hacks” was among the most beloved series of summer 2021 when it premiered on HBO Max — and it remains one of the streamer’s strongest series. Emmy-winning showrunners and creators Paul W. Downs, Lucia Aniello, and Jen Statsky took a darkly funny stance on the toils and tribulations of show business in Las Vegas, centering their half hour on approaching-over-the-hill stand-up act Deborah Vance, played by the inimitable Jean Smart. Ahead of the series’ return May 12 for a Season 2, watch the brand new trailer below.
Of course, the true center of it all is the hilarious mentorship between Deborah and her millennial protégé Ava (Hannah Einbinder). This time around, they’re on a road trip across the country to workshop Deborah’s new routine, as she’s hoping to evolve her act. And meanwhile, Ava is still reeling from the death of her father, whose funeral concluded the first season.
Smart won an Emmy, SAG, and Critics Choice Award for her performance as Deborah, while co-stars Einbinder, Carl Clemons-Hopkins, and Jane Adams were all nominated for Emmys last year for their respective roles. “Hacks” additionally won two more Emmys for writing and directing in a Comedy Series.
Returning Season 2 cast members include Christopher McDonald, Kaitlin Olson, Paul W. Downs, Poppy Liu, Rose Abdoo, Mark Indelicato, Meg Stalter, Angela E. Gibbs, Luenell, Johnny Sibilly, Joe Mande, Ally Maki, and Lorenza Izzo.
New recurring guest stars include Laurie Metcalf, Martha Kelly, Ming-Na Wen, and Susie Essman, while Margaret Cho and Devon Sawa also appear in the new season.
At SCAD TVFest, Paul Downs said of Season 2, “What we were most interested in exploring was what it’s like for someone like her to keep bombing. It might be something novel and might be something exciting in the beginning, but someone like her who has fans that come to see her, and sells out a 2,000-seat theater in Vegas and crushes, what is it like when you’re on the road in small venues and not doing well? What does that do to your spirit, and what does that do to your relationship, and what does that do to your psyche?”
HBO Max and Universal Television announced that Season 2 will premiere with two episodes May 12, followed by two episodes per week, concluding June 2.