August 18th, 2009
03:49 PM ET

Hung up on 'Hung'

When I first heard about HBO's "Hung", I wasn’t necessarily looking for a new Sunday night show.  The marketing and promos didn't get me, but the fact that it was squeezed between “True Blood” and “Entourage” made me give it a shot one night. I quickly went to OnDemand and caught myself up. In a nutshell, the show's about an average guy who loses his house in a fire and turns to gigolo-ing to support his kids.


I have to say, the season started up a bit slow, but now I'm addicted to Thomas Jane’s character, Ray, and his odd children. Ann Heche’s character - Ray's ex-wife - is unbelievably obnoxious, but then again, you kind of need that one person to hate on every show, right?

What I don’t understand is Ray’s new love interest, Jemma. She's a bit 'unbalanced' to say the least, but because she's attractive she seems to win him over.  Now mind you, this comes after she pays him to be her fake boyfriend, and drags him to a session with her psychiatrist to act out a melodramatic, yet realistic, fight about something that never happened.

Ray might decide that he wants to date Jemma as "Ray" and not as his prostitute alter-ego, "Randall", yet he still seems to view this whole male prostitute thing in a very nonchalant manner. Can normal, basketball coaching, history teaching fathers really have sex for money with random women and not seem to be bothered by it at all or is “Hung” as out there as the fictional concept of vampires and shape-shifters in “True Blood” ?

What do you think? Where is this show going, especially if Ray gets himself a girlfriend? "Hung" fans or haters... please weigh in.

Filed under: Hung • television

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soundoff (19 Responses)

    Hung up on hung.. Ho-o-o-o-t 🙂

    April 21, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Doug

    I thought the season started out slow. The acting was a bit amateurish and canned, but then as each character began to develop, I'm now looking forward to watching it as part of our Sunday evening line up.

    Thomas Jane's character "Ray" is a doofy straight guy trying to make the most of his "assets" for the sake of his kids. Hes sexy anyway, but with the added "dimension" of his character, it makes him more appealing.

    "Tanya" seems a little tragic and screwy enough to make it work. Ann Heche is the type of person the show needs; you either love her or hate her. "Jemma" is perfect as a twisted character in "Ray's" already screwy life.

    We'll keep watching. We have it on auto record anyway...

    August 20, 2009 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Marc

    Once you get past the sex (but boy, the scene with that lusty neighbor!), this show is not just about getting it on. As each episode has unfolded, we explore human relationships in ways we never expected: Consider Ray's ex and her dreadful husband, Tanya and her mom (Rhea is perfect!), and, of course, Ray's relationship with himself. I can't recall a more touching and REAL scene than the one between Ray and that plump, unhappy woman in the hotel room. Beautifuly handled. I became a T. Jane fan when I saw him simply become Mickey Mantle in 61* (and I still can't see Barry Pepper as anyone other that Maris). HBO once again has brought together some amazing, talented writers, directors, actors and cinematographers (some of the scenes are as visually stunning as those in "Six Feet Under"). But then, I'm just biding my time until the return of L.D. next month. I've been trying to curb my anticipation.....

    August 20, 2009 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Cherri

    Viewer, I am sorry to say that I agree with you. Ozzie and Harriet are long gone and so are values we older people grew up with and tried to uphold. It saddens me that more and more children are growing up literally raising themselves. Parents check in to see if they are alive and well, toss them a cell phone to call for emergencies, and they are on the way to their own self-serving activities.

    As for our society breaking down, I pray it isn't as hopeless as you portray. But you do have valid points and I think we are definitely on the wrong path. I lived in Europe for a number of years and I was embarrassed at how more intelligent and directed the kids were there; they must learn 3 languages by the 6th grade – English, French, and Spanish. They are mathematically accomplished, and know their history (the Germans, however, know nothing of the concentration camps nor do they teach it in schools). We coddle our kids and even have classes on how to potty train 'em. No common sense allowed. Well, enough on the soap box. Thank you for responding.

    August 20, 2009 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. viewer

    Cherri, I think you need to move to a different country or go back in time. It's not that I don't wish for better days, but they're long gone.
    When the elected officials who represent the conservative, family values, and highly religious faction of our society can't keep it in their pants (hetero or homosexual excursions, it doesn't matter) it's a pretty good sign that sexual promiscuity is here to stay and will be a key component of most storylines because no matter how fictional the story is it needs some basis in reality. The reality is that we are a nation of "give it to me now, hard and fast!!" in everything we do. We are a Babylon system of excesses across the board, we are a pompous, fat, lazy, corrupted, and mutated great power that is collapsing in front of our own eyes.
    What you really want is a country that is not on a direct path to another civil war, bankruptcy, and second tier status. There is no way to stop it – our politicians, influential people, and wealthy citizens only care about sucking the last dollar they can before the whole brick house falls down. The only people who care about our society are the people who can't do anything about it.
    So just accept it, plan ahead, and move to the boonies so when everyone starts attacking each other when the dollar is not the currency of international trade or we have to give up control of international trade routes to China to avoid paying them what we owe (same as we did to the UK after World War II) and our economic standing matches our health care and educational ratings (around 37th in the world). Get ready – history has taught us what causes a great power to fall and what has gone on the past 10-15 years couldn't be more aligned with historical precedent. It really does appear that this was an orchestrated plan to destroy the nation as every decision made over that time period was the wrong one.

    August 20, 2009 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cherri

    You know, I am so sick and tired of sex being the main theme of TV shows these days. Mind you, I have sown plenty of wild oats in my younger days, but it's getting ridiculous. I was really looking forward to the first episode of Saving Grace – I like Holly Hunter and was anxious to view it. What was the very first opening scene? She was totally naked and sitting astride some dude and riding him for all that it was worth. I was shocked. But I watched it to catch the premise of the show. I watched the following week and the next and then the next. On each and every episode, she got screwed. She gets more ass than a toilet seat. Bottom line – she's a slut. I stopped watching it and couldn't care less what she and God are dealing with. Children are immune to death and violence. 10 year old boys are raping 7 year old girls. Just the title, "Hung" flashes images of porn stars standing there with all their glory down to their kneecaps. I really am tired of it all. It takes no brains to screw on TV or anywhere else. I just don't know where it all ends. We need some modicom of self-respect and modesty – which leads me to pregnant women wearing their pants just above their pubic hair and shirts just below their breasts with their huge belly hung out for all to see. I just don't get. I am not an old bitty by any means. I just want to see some substance on TV for a change.

    August 19, 2009 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Zaiquiri

    Though this show may be a bit more dry than various other HBO shows (in terms of character depth, the ability for viewers to relate, etc), it's a quirky take on a rather interesting and taboo plot line. The character of Ray, though somewhat lacking in reality and common sense, is continuing to gradually develop and show more emotion and intrigue. As far as the show being immoral and hypocritical (come on, a teacher/coach/parent is also a gigolo?), I think that is a terrific element of the show which makes the story telling work. Aren't educators supposed to be role models for young adults?? The fact that he lives such a bi-polar professional life is where we find the humor and controversy, two elements I feel most viewers search for in a series. Kudos to HBO for one again introducing us to a lifestyle that, though is probably abundant in dark corners of the country, offers a rare, insightful, risque, and fresh approach to American lifestlye and lving (along with Entourage and Big Love I might add).

    August 19, 2009 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Daniel

    Love this show! The opening with him walking through metro Detroit makes me miss home. Song is money too. I knew right away when they introduced the Jemma character he was going to get involved. I'm curious to see where it goes.

    August 19, 2009 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tom

    Hildago –

    To answer your question about whether teachers are supposed to prostitute himself...really? Prostitution (in almost ALL states) is illegal. So to answer your, neither teachers nor anyone else is supposed to become prostitutes.

    I really am enjoying this show. Great cast, the kids wierd me out a bit, but they are growing on me.

    August 19, 2009 at 7:01 am | Report abuse |
  10. JJW

    I tuned in 'cause I've been hooked on Thomas Jane since his movie "Deep Blue Sea."

    I love this show, not as much as I love True Blood, but that's apples & oranges.

    Jemma's definately trouble. But soo damn likeable, in a nutty "I gotta fix her" kinda way. She didnt' show for their trip....that spells doom for Ray.....

    August 19, 2009 at 1:17 am | Report abuse |
  11. L

    Still watching, but just not that into it.

    August 19, 2009 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
  12. Franklin in Chicago

    I love Hung! I wasn't thinking it was going to be all that, but I was very surprised. The episodes just fly by. I didn't think they could do much with the plot but it seems to be doing well. It isn't all about sex which is very interesting given the name. JANE ADAMS is the best part of the show. She is hilarious as his mousy female PIMP! It isn't laugh out funny she has going for's normal, best-friend type of humor that you would expect to see in real people. When she suggested a croissant with Maya Angelou poetry baked inside as a million dollar idea, how could you not laugh? Or, when she kicks out "creepy motivational speaker" after he preemptive dumps her...LOL.

    August 18, 2009 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Hidalgo222

    Hung is actually growing on me. I like Hung's crazy yet sad characters. I had some moral issues (still do a little) about a teacher prostituting himself to make ends meet. Are teachers supposed to do this? Aside from that, Ray seems like a real good guy who cares about his kids and loves his job. I like how the economy is starting to affect the storyline. Ray's ex-wife (what is her name?), played by Ann Heche, is starting to appear somewhat sympathetic given her household cutbacks. Poor Tanya – can someone please give her a hug?

    August 18, 2009 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  14. J. Lopez

    I have to admit that I don't usually get into these types of shows, but I really like this one so far. I also want to know how they're going to write this new love interest. She seems like trouble though. I guess we men are suckers for a pretty face. I think it's funny that his kids are not at all what anyone would expect from a good looking man, and that he has to deal with the awkward teenage problems that he probably never experienced. Good show! I recommend it....

    August 18, 2009 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  15. KennyNYC

    Didnt think it was gonna be funny. Actually not bad, though.

    August 18, 2009 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Dave

    I gave this show 4 episodes ( usually give 3) and I gave up on it. The storyline and acting were horrible, the sex scenes were worse (hello, it's HBO!! Somebody tell the writers to rent "Tell me you love me" and get back to me) I just couldn't hang with it. I'd rather watch "House Hunters" with my wife than sit through this show.

    August 18, 2009 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  17. April

    I was caught by the storyline....for a while. I really enjoyed the characters, I think because they really could be your next door neighbor's secret life. But no, do real people act this way? No. It is a nice reprieve from reality though.

    August 18, 2009 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Dennis Lujan

    After seeing Thomas Jane as THE PUNISHER, gritty beefcake is what women want. Men that are "hung" are just that. And a hot Hung plumber could fix any womens broken chair.

    August 18, 2009 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Jon

    I started watching it since it was shoved in between true blood and entourage. it's pretty good. it seems like a realistic premise to me. good article.

    August 18, 2009 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |

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