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STUDIO: HBO Studios
RUNNING TIME: 350 minutes (10 episodes)
- Cast and crew interviews
- Deleted Scenes
- Audio Commentaries
Mild-mannered schoolteacher by day, shameless man-whore by night.
Created by Colette Burson and Dmitry Lipkin. Starring Thom Jane, Jane Adams, Eddie Jemison, Lennie James, and a bunch of other people with similar-sounding names. (Okay, not really).
Ray Drecker is a(n insufferably) mild-mannered schoolteacher by day and a fairly self-loathing man-whore by night. Meanwhile, his teenage kids seem to be going for some kind of record at avoiding eye contact with him, his ex-wife is married to a hapless rube she’s obviously going to end up leaving by the end of the show, and a sexy red-haired chick is lurking around making some sort of mischief. Also, Ray’s best friend is a dork. Oh, and Ray’s pimp is taking pimp lessons from Lennie James (who, by the way, is totally the man I’d go to if I was in the market for pimpin’ advice).
I took the last show I reviewed to task for failing to do anything new or interesting with a time-honored (read: worn out) formula; that of the courtroom drama. So it’s fitting, I guess, that my next show would be something like Hung. Frankly, it’s hard to imagine a show with a more idiosyncratic premise than this one. But they say to be careful what you wish for, and I have to say that in this case, it turns out they were right.
I want to like this show; I really do. It seems like the kind of thing that would be right up my alley. And truthfully, I think I would enjoy a Breaking Bad-style show that made some effort to explore, from an even halfway realistic (or even just edgy) perspective, what it would actually be like for an average Joe or Jane (hah!) to try and make a living as a high-class escort – or a low-class one, for that matter. There seem to be lots of interesting areas to explore, from the potential legal complications, to emotional entanglements, to the character’s own possibly diminishing capacity for real intimacy, and so on. Even just exploring the nuts and bolts of how such a situation would unfold in the real word – the workaday aspect, in other words – seems potentially intriguing. How does your character arrange his “appointments”? How does he sidestep the law on a continuing basis?
This show, unfortunately, doesn’t have time for any of that.
What it does have time for is lots of Ray mooning over his ex-wife (you may know her as Anne Heche); lots of said ex-wife not being able to stand her nebbishy current husband, which for some reason manifests itself in the form of an unsightly skin rash; and lots of pimp-in-training Tania fighting with the aforementioned redhead over who’s got the sexiest pimpin’ skills. In between all that we also get a smidgen of Ray’s surly teenage daughter, a chubby chick who hates her mom ’cause she’s thin, her stepdad ’cause he’s a dork, and her adoptive brother ’cause he’s in love with her. (At least I’m pretty sure he’s adopted… I was zoning out a bit by that point).
Don’t get me wrong… Hung isn’t a bad show. It’s just way more concerned with corny relationship humor, Ray being mild-mannered, and Tania being spastic than it is with exploring the dramatic (or, for that matter, humorous) potential of its premise. Better luck next time, guys.
A few commentaries, some deleted scenes and a featurette. Nothing to write home about.
Out of a Possible 5 Stars