Plus, we celebrate the current Smartaissance with the debut of Jean Smart's Hacks.

By Gerrad Hall
May 14, 2021 at 09:20 PM EDT
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We're celebrating a beginning and an ending this week on What to Watch, as Jean Smart's HBO Max series Hacks kicks off, while Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist on NBC wraps up its second season.

The star of the latter, Jane Levy, is our guest this week, where she looks back on photos of some of her former roles and picks the song those characters are thinking about. As for Zoey's, which has its season 2 finale on Sunday, Levy reflects on her character's journey this season.

"A defining moment for this season was definitely the flashback episode," Levy says. "Seeing Zoey five years ago, seeing her sincere, pure desire to work at SPRQ Point, to see her first meeting with Max, to see what her family was like pre-diagnosis of the neurological condition that Mitch eventually dies from... learning the character's past really informs the future, and I really had a lot of fun with that episode."

Elsewhere, EW critic Kristen Baldwin celebrates Smart's new dark comedy, where she plays a Las Vegas comic who hires a young writer to freshen up her stale act. The role is the latest in a string of standout performances by Smart, who can also currently be seen on HBO's Mare of Easttown. Coming off her critically acclaimed and Emmy-nominated performance in Watchmen, we can't help but wonder if we're currently living in a Smartaissance.

"It's not as though she truly went away, but these are roles where she's mixing the drama with really sharp comedy, and she's just so great at it," observes Baldwin. "I cannot imagine a world where she does not get an Emmy nomination [for Hacks]."

Check out more of Kristen's commentary on Smart in Hacks, and Levy talking Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist in the video above.

Check out our daily must-see picks — plus news, celeb interviews, trivia, and more — in EW's What to Watch podcast, hosted by Gerrad Hall. 

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