Good comedies lighten life for a time. Great comedies like “Hacks” make you wish you could live in the world they create no matter how dispiriting they can be. Or maybe it’s a matter of its creators knowing the extraordinary talent they have in Jean Smart, lately the standout performer in any number of dramas – “Watchmen,” “Legion,” “Mare of Easttown” come to mind the quickest.
Here she has top billing in a 10-episode show pitching her as Deborah Vance, a Las Vegas legend meant to recall Joan Rivers. Smart has plenty of experience in the comedy side of the business, having become a household name starring “Designing Women.” Younger viewers probably recall that less readily than her operatic turn on “24.”
In “Hacks” Smart to works all sides of the emotional spectrum, utterly plausible in her stand-up scenes and even better in the transitional