Hacks Season 2: 6 Quick Things We Know About the HBO Max Series

Jean Smart in Hacks
(Image credit: HBO Max)

The June 2021 finale of Hacks ended on a huge cliffhanger, leaving fans of the HBO show worried for the fate of Deborah and Ava’s relationship and ready for the drama that’s sure to ensue as soon as the plane lands. If you’re confused, watch Hacks right now. The suspenseful final moments of Season 1 saw Ava (Hannah Einbinder) learning that some defamatory statements she made about Deborah (Jean Smart) are about to go public, despite the characters having just made up.

How long will we have to wait to see the aftermath of Ava’s drunken emails? Let’s take a look at what we know so far about the Hacks Season 2.

Hannah Einbinder in Hacks

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Hacks Is Officially Renewed For Season 2

We aren’t saying goodbye to our favorite fictional comedians just yet. HBO ordered a second season of Hacks on June 8, 2021, before the last two episodes of Season 1 even aired. This critically-acclaimed dark comedy won three Emmys and earned a total of fifteen nominations in its off-season, so it’s no surprise HBO recognized the genius of the writers and actors and wanted to renew the show for more episodes.

While there hasn’t been an official release date set for Season 2, we know some of the cast has been back on set (more on that later). This means new episodes will hopefully be arriving in the near future.

Hannah Einbinder and Jean Smart in Hacks

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Series Stars Jean Smart And Hannah Einbinder Will Be Reprising Their Roles As Deborah And Ava

The chemistry between Deborah and Ava in Season 1 of Hacks, as well as the mother/daughter-like tension between the two characters, is due mostly to the outstanding performances of Jean Smart and Hannah Einbinder. Both actors received Emmy nominations for their Hacks roles, with Smart winning Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Thankfully, both actors are excited to continue telling this story.

Hannah Einbinder gave her thoughts on what she'd like to see in Season 2 at the ATX TV Festival, per Deadline, prior to the news of Hacks’ renewal: 

I guess I want [Ava and Deborah] to really take on the world together. If there is any sort of force of evil, I want them to be the force of good fighting it, side by side. I want [Ava] to grow, and I want her to do whatever Paul and Jen and Lucia want her to do—and I’ll be there to do it, baby.

Jean Smart's statement of enthusiasm was included in the announcement of the Season 2 renewal, where she said,

I am absolutely thrilled we are picked up for a second season. I told Hannah it’s no more Miss Nice Guy, from now on it’s Bette and Joan. And guess who’s BETTE??!!

It looks like Smart and Einbinder may have slightly different ideas for where their characters might go in Season 2, but at least they’ve both confirmed their returns to the show.

Megan Stalter and Paul W. Downs in Hacks

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Paul W. Downs And Megan Stalter Will Return In Their Supporting Roles

Series co-runner and supporting star Paul W. Downs confirmed his return to filming on Instagram this February (via TV Insider), sharing a photo of himself and Hacks co-star Megan Stalter on set for Season 2. That presumably means we’ll see overworked and over-stressed talent manager Jimmy (Downs) and his gleefully incompetent assistant Kayla (Stalter) whenever new episodes are released. While the post has since been deleted, we're still going to cross our fingers and hope for more behind the scenes shots soon.

In addition to playing the role of Jimmy, Downs (who you might have seen in the Comedy Central series Broad City) is also one of the three writers who was nominated for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series at the 2020 Emmy Awards, so we’re glad to see him returning for more Hacks.

Other supporting cast members from Season 1 that we hope to see return in Season 2 include Carl Clemons-Hopkins, Kaitlin Olson, Paul Felder, Christopher McDonald, Rose Abdoo, and Poppy Liu. In the meantime, fans of crowd-favorite Megan Stalter can hear her on her podcast, Confronting Demons.

Hannah Einbinder and Jean Smart in Hacks

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Expect To See Deborah And Ava Outside Of Vegas

Season 1 culminated with our leading ladies on a flight back to the show’s main setting, Las Vegas—but it’s likely viewers will see Deborah and Ava outside of Sin City in Hacks Season 2. In a conversation with E! News, Paul W. Downs set the record straight:

Vegas is Deborah’s home base. It is where she feels safest; it is this like lawless desert oasis where she’s built her fortress up around her, so we’re going to definitely see that. Again, we’re not going to fully abandon the Vegas backdrop, it’s a big part of the show.

Deborah’s plans to bring Ava on tour with her to work on her new material might place the characters in entirely new settings, but we won’t be leaving Las Vegas forever.

Paul W. Downs in Hacks

(Image credit: HBO Max)

It Won’t Be All Sooth Sailing For Deborah And Ava In Season 2

When discussing possibilities for Season 2 with Entertainment Weekly, series creators and showrunners Paul W. Downs, Jen Statsky, and Lucia Aniello hinted at the drama that’s likely to unfold in Season 2 of Hacks in the aftermath of Ava’s nasty email to Bitch PM. According to Lucia Aniello: 

[Deborah and Ava] are in a really good place right now, but there's trouble afoot…the idea that there's something floating out there that fully will disrupt that equilibrium of peacefulness and happiness is something that Ava's going to have to deal with in a major way.

So, despite making amends at Ava’s father’s funeral, Deborah and Ava’s relationship is definitely going to stay rocky in Season 2. That peaceful vibe between the two of them felt off anyway.

Jean Smart in Hacks

(Image credit: HBO Max)

According To The Showrunners, The Characters Are On The Road To Redemption.

The creators of Hacks gave their thoughts on what the future might hold for Deborah and Ava at the ATX TV Festival. Co-creator, writer, and star Paul W. Downs had this to say, according to Deadline:

I think ultimately, 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.

It seems that while fans of Hacks can expect Deborah and Ava to butt heads a little bit more in Season 2, the creators have plans to make everything right between the characters in the end. Maybe we’ll get to see one last slap before that happens.

Comedy lovers can view the complete first season of Hacks on HBO Max

Emily Marek

She/her. Lover of female-led comedies, Saturday Night Live, and THAT scene in Fleabag. Will probably get up halfway through the movie to add more butter to the popcorn.