Monday, June 29, 2009

Hung - Series Premiere Review


Ray Drecker (Thomas Jane) is a down and out gym teacher. His kids hate him, his wife divorced him, he has no money, and his house just burned down. But Ray has one plus. He's conveniently endowed with a huge package. Whats a guy to do in this economy? Become a male prostitute of course.

The Hung series premiere follows Ray through the machinations that lead to his job as a gigolo. His motivations are basic. He is a loser just looking for a way, any way, to succeed in a world he feels has dealt him a bum hand. Thomas Jane plays the character in a way that made me want to both root for Ray and slap him at the same time. He's not a bad guy but he isn't an angel either. He exists somewhere in between and thats what makes him believable. Jane plays the part so well that it doesn't seem a stretch at all that Ray Drecker would turn to prostitution in order to pay the bills.

Shows labeled "dark comedies" always make me wary. Adding humor to a dark premise can seem forced or fall flat. Hung does neither. From Ray searching, "How to make money from your large penis" on google to a poet/one night stand becoming his pimp was funny without pressing the issue. Jane plays the "everyman" perfectly and the premiere dealt more with Ray as a person than Ray as a working dude.

Hung has potential and the pilot left just enough for us to think about with out over burdening the viewer with a ridiculous premise or situations. I'll hang around for this show.

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