Hacks: Most Likeable Characters, Ranked

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HBO hacks has won honors left and right this awards season, including the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series for Jean Smart, who plays Deborah Vance on the show. The show’s first season ended in June 2021 and was renewed for a second season.

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Full of witty and complex characters, viewers are sure to come away struggling to choose a favorite, and so their ordering here factors in likability in two ways; on the one hand in the show, as they are perceived by the other characters, and on the other hand as they are generally seen and received by the public.

8 Marty Ghilain


CEO of the Palmetto Hotel in Vegas, Marty Ghilain (Christopher McDonald) quickly gets on the wrong side of Deborah and viewers in Hack’s first episode, when he breaks the news that some of Deborah’s shows are being cut in favor of other artists.

Throughout the season, Deborah tries hard to change Marty’s mind, but despite her numerous pleas, some of which include blackmail, he doesn’t back down. To add insult to injury, Marty later tells Deborah that his entire act was called off, choosing to do it the morning after the two had sex. Marty’s self-interest drives his every decision, making him a legitimately frustrating antagonist.

7 Jimmy LuSaque


Kayla and Jimmy in Hacks

Jimmy LuSaque (Paul W. Downs) serves as both Deborah’s and Ava’s manager, and he has taken over the job of being his father’s ex-representation, a role he takes very seriously.

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Although Jimmy is crucial to the plot of Hacks—being the one who sent Ava to help Deborah in the first place – his generally rational attitude means he’s often overshadowed by more lively and chaotic characters. Even so, that contrast is part of what makes his scenes with polar opposite wizard Kayla so fantastic.


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6 Mark


Marcus in Hacks

An unpopular opinion on hacks is that Marcus (Carl Clemons-Hopkins) was underdeveloped in the show’s first season, the extent of his personality remains to be seen, though he’s by no means an unsympathetic character.

Deborah’s longtime COO, Marcus is an extremely hard worker who always prioritizes his career over relationships, which is the source of his main conflict in the first season. Although he eventually lets loose in a joyous streak while Deborah is out of town, he later accepts an offer to become her CEO, crushing his budding romance with Wilson in his tracks.


5 Kayla


Jimmy and Kayla talk in Hacks

Kayla (Megan Stalter) has found a good deal for herself in her job as Jimmy’s assistant because her dad’s place as Jimmy’s boss means he won’t fire her no matter how many times. mistakes she will make.

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While Kayla herself seems oblivious to this fact, it’s painfully obvious to those around her. This charming ineptitude is part of what makes Kayla so enjoyable to watch, especially when paired with her lively personality and ability to throw Jimmy off balance with just a few words.


4 Ava Daniels


Ava in the hacks

One of Hack’s protagonists, young comedian Ava Daniels (Hannah Einbinder) had her life turned upside down when an insensitive tweet got her fired.

On the show so far, Ava’s journey with Deborah – developing gear and improving her own skills – appears to be setting the pair up for one of the best female friendships on TV in years, though. that their dynamics are complicated. Trying to prove her worth as a writer and deal with issues in her personal life, Ava can be brash, but as her story progresses, we understand why, and her innate talent shines through.


3 DJ Vance


Deborah and DJ in Hacks

Deborah Vance’s daughter, DJ (Kaitlin Olson), has lived a troubled life due to her mother’s fame, addiction and being in the spotlight, but she’s determined to succeed in her latest endeavor as a jeweler.

Although DJ and Deborah aren’t the kind of people who share the kind of wholesome mother-daughter moments, Gilmore Girls do, their affection for each other remains clear despite their disagreements, as proven when Deborah reveals that she lets DJ sell pictures of her to the paparazzi to feel self-sufficient. Although she may be naïve, DJ’s persistence as she takes more control of her life makes her a character to be cheered on.


2 Deborah Vance


Deborah Vance in Hacks

Playing the role of comedy legend Deborah Vance led to one of Jean Smart’s best performances of 2021, and as a character as elaborate as Deborah, it’s clear to see why.

Deborah Vance is hard to sum up, being a lot of different things to a lot of people in the world of hacking; icon, employer, mother and adversary to name a few. Yet whether she projects a cruel facade or shows moments of sweetness, she remains compelling, both to those in the story and to the audience watching the spectacle.




1 kiki


Kiki in Hacks

One of the few to trust Deborah Vance to be part of her entourage, Kiki (Poppy Liu) works as Deborah’s personal blackjack dealer, and she also develops a great friendship with Ava.

Kiki is a single mother who works hard to provide for her daughter, but that’s far from the only aspect of her character. Confident in herself, Kiki is unapologetic in how she moves through the world, and her sharp one-liners always get right to the heart of a problem. Also, Kiki isn’t afraid to speak her mind and will be honest with Ava even though it might be easier not to.

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