Hung is another “willing to be edgy” show from HBO that seemingly takes little risks with content despite its over-the-top theme of a man with a large member. I come to season two with no background on the show. As a man, the “sizes matters” subject matter is presumed. So if you are a man that is not well endowed, you may find yourself in a state of penis envy if not a bit envious that other men in life don’t have to work hard in bed.
In fact, the story line is lost since the lead character Ray Drecker (Thomas Jane) never seems to acknowledge any real effort in pleasing his partners is important. For a man that is “hung” all he has to do is show up. And that’s his job. Set in Detroit, Drecker and his female friend Tanya (Jane Adams) launch the season attempting to build a store front as happiness consultants insulating their actual business of prostituting his wares. He’s a high school teacher coach suffering in a down economy in a down city and she’s come up with the answer to both their financial troubles.
In season two, the writers work the question of what do you do with a man that doesn’t have to work for love? (Pun), you give him competition. Enter Jason. He is introduced as an adversary – a younger adversary with more energy and perhaps affection. For Drecker and his pimp, they learn a friend from the past is the cause of their woes. This sets the stage for the season. There are many other sub-plots established by week three such as Drecker’s ex-wife and Jason’s fiancé. By this time you have something to sink your teeth into but the story does move slow in its half hour installments.
Another concern is that when building a story centered around a man with a big member, you can either go for keeping it real in dialog or building unreal scenarios. No doubt the producers here went for caricatures of characters taking plausible scenarios and standing them on their head. Often in situations where real people would never react producing television results, you get just that – leaving you wishing the writers and producers had kept it more real. When this happens it dulls your appreciation as a viewer making it harder to accept these characters because they don’t deliver believable results. An example would be how Drecker’s ex wife (Anne Heche) doesn’t see obvious overtures from an unattractive sexual predator that gives her a job simply because he wants to have sex with her.
One other oddity, while I don’t need to see a man’s Johnson (while the women are often much exposed), we never even get a clue of his size in order to appreciate the impact it’s supposed to have on the women he encounters. While it is fair to say sizes matters, it’s assumed here that it is all that’s necessary. In a show such as this that conception should be tackled and considered in every episode for the believability of the concept. Many things fall flat. Despite all the issues with this show, it is still mildly entertaining. Using a few puns here, it’s just not as big as it could be. You could say a lot goes to waste here; the show comes up short, but gets the job done.