We owe one of the most moving comedy-dramas in recent TV history to a monster truck rally. Jen Statsky was en route to Portland, Oregon to film a comedy sketch at the Monster Jam rally back in 2015 when she got chatting with her road trip accomplices, fellow comedy writers Lucia Aniello and Paul W. Downs. They spoke about the history of pushed-aside women in the entertainment industry – female comedians like Singin' In The Rain star Debbie Reynolds, whose careers were derailed by misogynistic practices in Hollywood. On that day, Hacks was born – a HBO series up for a number of awards at this year's Emmys and deservedly so.
The show – starring Jean Smart as a comedian in the twilight of her career and Hannah Einbinder as the young comic sent to write new material for her – is as funny as you'd expect from Jen, whose previous TV writing credits include The Good Place, Parks and Recreation and Broad City. But it's also tremendously emotive. She and fellow series creators Lucia and Paul have crafted a show that's both heartwarming and heartbreaking in its depiction of an unlikely female friendship that makes each party look at the world a little differently.
In this episode, Jen talks about the thousands of titles explored for the show before they landed on Hacks, the evolutions in the streaming market that have allowed for shows like this and Barry to so ambitiously blend comedy with drama, and how some of the show's most memorable moments to date were written. This is a spoiler conversation so you might want to catch up on the series in its entirety before tuning in.
Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on email@example.com.
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