Cube Critics Alex V. Cipolle and Max Sparber discuss a show about women in comedy and a movie about an English coastal town rocked by a string of obscene letters.

The following are capsule reviews edited from the audio heard using the player above.

Click here. ‘Hacks, Season 3’

The third season of “Hacks” on HBO Max continues to explore the comedic and sometimes contentious dynamics between different generations, especially highlighting the relationship between a boomer and a millennial. Jean Smart shines as Deborah Vance, a legendary Las Vegas comedian grappling with the threats of becoming irrelevant in the ever-evolving world of comedy.

Paired with her is Ava, a young queer comedy writer portrayed with an awkward aplomb by Hannah Einbinder. Their forced partnership serves as the core of the show, driving much of its humor and heart.

Set against the vivid backdrops of Las Vegas and Los Angeles, which almost become characters in their own right, the series delves into the contrasts between old and new, mainstream and alternative, straight and queer. These juxtapositions not only fuel the series‘ sharp wit but also foster a narrative where friction and differences lead to growth and improvement, albeit with growing pains.

Season three of “Hacks“ particularly excels in showing how Deborah and Ava break yet another glass ceiling for women in comedy, presenting their victories as both monumental and tinged with melancholy. Now streaming on HBO Max.

— Alex V. Cipolle

‘Wicked Little Letters’

“Wicked Little Letters“ is a light and foul-mouthed British film now streaming, starring Jessie Buckley and Olivia Colman. Set in an English coastal town in the 1920s, the story is loosely based on true events involving a series of obscene letters that disturb the peace of the community.

Colman plays a sweet, somewhat coquettish woman bullied by her father, who is shocked to find herself receiving these crudely written and shockingly rude letters.

The suspicion quickly falls on Colman‘s Irish neighbor, Rose, portrayed by Jessie Buckley in a delightfully chaotic performance. Buckley‘s character, likely innocent, stands out even alongside the formidable talent of Colman. As the mystery unfolds, a group of quirky English women come together to solve the case, adding to the film‘s comedic and light-hearted flair.

“Wicked Little Letters“ coasts on a slight but enjoyable plot, enhanced by the strong chemistry between Buckley and Colman. Their dynamic performances drive the film, making it a must-watch for those who appreciate a good blend of humor and mystery in a quintessentially British setting.

The film, reminiscent of classics like “The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill but Came Down a Mountain,“ though more profane, is highly recommended and available for streaming.

— Max Sparber

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