Hung – “Don’t Give Up on Detroit; Hung Like a Horse”

Hung – “Don’t Give Up on Detroit; Hung Like a Horse

Hung has always been a tonally odd show. It is nominally a comedy and to be sure there is a lot of humor in it. All that humor comes out of a sort of desperate place, though. Both Hung and Breaking Bad are about down-on-their-luck teachers who turn to illegal professions to provide for their families. Breaking Bad is a drama about the loss of a man’s soul as he delves deeper and deeper into trafficking in human misery. Hung is a comedy about a man who finds a weird sort of purpose making people happier… through fucking. It’s about a more-or-less regular guy who uses what he’s got to make it during hard times. It’s hardly a realistic portrayal of prostitution (most of the women who hire Ray’s services are gorgeous) but is that really what you’re looking for on TV? Realism?

Season 3 joins Ray (Thomas Jane) and Tanya (Jane Adams) on their latest attempt to bring male prostitution to the women of Detroit with their Happy Consultants Female Wellness Center. Basically adult sex education with some man-whoring on the side. This involves getting a bank loan from Judy (Michaela Watkins, formerly of Saturday Night Live). Initially she disapproves but then Tanya offers her the opportunity to sample the services. She and her friend co-worker (Arden Myrin, formerly of MadTV) agree to give this a shot. Of course when it comes to the moment they end up being into each other instead of Ray. Ray doesn’t get to live the dream with the two former sketch comediennes but the loan still gets approved, and Ray and Tanya find themselves in a position of success for once. Ray finally gets his house fixed (his goal since the series premiere) and even buys some luxury items like a fancy massaging recliner and a sports car. However former co-pimp Lenore (the often-nude Rebecca Creskoff) finds herself recruiting an unsuspecting and well-endowed busboy (new cast member Stephen Amell) into providing some competition for the Happiness Consultants.

I think it might just be the magnetism of Thomas Jane’s screen persona… or the bevy of attractive naked women, that keep me watching Hung. It’s not a show I am into with any vigorous enthusiasm, but I watch it, I enjoy it, and I care about the characters. Now that Ray isn’t just barely getting by, it will be interesting to see how he defends his home turf against (younger) competition. Although he didn’t appear in the episode I saw that Lennie James, who plays Tanya’s pimp mentor Charlie, has been added to the main cast. It’ll be interesting to see how he finds a regular role in the series. I have a feeling it might be to help Tanya in her war against Lenore. Now that the stakes have changed, I’m interested to see where the show will go from here…

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