If you find yourself looking for something different to watch on TV and finding the options limited, you should definitely go to HBO and watch Hung on Sunday nights. Having recently entered its second season, Hung is a drama set in Detroit about the struggles of Ray Drecker (Thomas Jane) who plays a school teacher/coach who is facing all the normal struggles of a recently divorced dad complete with troubled teenage kids.Ray’s kids believe they are the biggest nerds in the school where Dad teaches. They are also dealing with obesity and a drug culture.
Ray has a tough job with an uncertain future and financial problems which give his character a sense of the real world. He is also trying to rebuild his house which was nearly destroyed in a fire while it was uninsured. If that isn’t enough, Tanya (Jane Adams), an old friend from high school, convinces Ray he can earn the money he needs to rebuild by working as a male prostitute and she becomes his pimp.
Tanya has her own financial struggles and finds herself competing for Ray’s business with one of Ray’s old flames, Lenore (Rebecca Creskoff.) Lenore convinces him that she can do a better job getting business for Ray so he agrees to work for both of them giving him not one but two pimps. Needing some advice as to how to be a successful pimp, Tanya turns to a real pimp for lessons and advice.
While HBO’s Hung certainly contains adult content and has its’ fair share of sex scenes in every episode, this is a show about much more than sex. Hung is a drama about people and their lives which are sometimes funny, and sometimes sad but always full of surprises. The characters in Hung are surprisingly believable despite their unusual choices. Once you get over the strangeness of the male prostitution business, it’s easy to see the human side of the characters and enjoy the humor in their situation.
Ray Drecker is a guy like many in Detroit who are facing hard times. There are a lot of people facing financial struggles like this character including divorce, lack of insurance, and a posible lay off. He’s recently divorced but clearly still has feelings for his x-wife, Jessica (Anne Heche.) Meanwhile, Jessica still has residual feelings for Ray while promising her new husband that she wants to have a baby while in actuality it’s the last thing she really wants to do.
I highly recommend Hung and will definitely continue watching the drama unfold. The show is totally unique, well acted, well written and though it has the element of male prostitution as part of it’s plot, it’s done in a humorous way to make it not particularly vulgar. While Hung is often amusing, this is no typical sitcom. Hung successfully combines family, male prostitution, humor,drama, and reality into an intriguing mix unlike any other TV show you’ll find anywhere. But, you’ll need to keep an open mind as this is obviously not a show for family hour.
HBO:Hung; Retrieved from: http://www.hbo.com/hung/index.html