Home Entertainment ‘Hacks’ delivers what audiences didn’t know they needed: Jean Smart in a...

‘Hacks’ delivers what audiences didn’t know they needed: Jean Smart in a starring role

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The moment the camera zooms in on her face, aglow under an adoring spotlight, it’s hard not to see the Deborah Vance story briefly eclipsing with the Jean Smart story. Since 1979, Smart, 69, has shone in small roles, in supporting roles and as a member of ensemble casts. Just as familiar as her face to anyone who has watched TV or movies in the past 40 years are Smart’s dazzlingly deadpan line readings, her come-hither drawl and her signature sharp cackle. But “Hacks,” which has just been renewed for a second season, is a rarity: It capitalizes on the impressive momentum Smart has created in the last half-decade with an array of ensemble roles as mysterious, disillusioned women (sometimes with a heart of gold, sometimes not) — and it lets one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood, one of its surest bets to wring a stellar performance out of a small or supporting part, seize a true starring turn.

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