HUNG “Don’t Give Up On Detroit; Hung Like A Horse” Season 3 Episode 1 Review

HUNG Season 3 Premiere (1)

HUNG “Don’t Give Up On Detroit; Hung Like A Horse” Season 3 Episode 1 – So straight out, as I am the new Hung reviewer: I loved the first season of Hung, and was slightly less enthusiastic about the second season. Here are my thoughts on the main players:

Ray Drecker (Thomas Jane): While charismatic enough to command the lead, this isn’t a role that requires Jane to do a lot more than stay in shape, continue to look like a J.C. Penny catalogue model, and toss wry or confused looks at the camera. That said, he’s probably better in the role of Ray than most other people would be; I can’t imagine the series without him. Some friends of mine battened around a few names of “Who else could play Ray?” and we came up with squat. (Scott Bakula was suggested, which I found slightly idiotic.) For better or worse, this show sinks or swims with Thomas Jane, and thus far he’s been believable in a role that could be, admittedly, a little ridiculous. I like the fact that he’s not really struggling with the morality of his “night job” any more, though no doubt occasions will arise during the season to make him squirm.

On the suggestion that the show is cheated by us not getting to actually see Ray’s junk, well… perhaps this is the male view, but I too stand by the producers’ argument that his package is best left to the imagination. Pulling out dude’s Hodor and showing it to the world can only polarize the viewers, in my opinion, and not for the good. A small percentage will think his little broski is perfect, but most will probably find it lacking in some way, shape, or form. (What, do you need a list?) And really, how many of us have perfect, critic-proof schwanzes? Besides my dog, I mean.

(Wait, what were we even talking about?)

Tanya Skagle (Jane Adams): Speaking of polarizing. This is a woman who I thought was brilliant and unique in season one, and ended up a grating, one-trick pony in season two. This is probably because I had never seen Jane Adams in anything before season one, and the honeymoon was definitely over this same time last year. It’s not that Adams is not good at playing scatter-brained id-infused low-esteem nutcases; she’s damned good at it. My problem was the fact that she went to the crazy well way more often than she should have. It was like someone said, “You do crazy well,” and she responded by screaming, “Bluuaaaaauuuughhhh!” Like right in our faces. Every episode.

I just wanted her to make occasional sense, not drive plot with crazy. And they really went to the well too often last year.

Damon Drecker (Charlie Saxton): I still really like this kid. There’s a kind of Phillip Seymore Hoffman-meets-Chris Griffin thing going on beneath the surface, and—unless I’m completely wrong—I think this is the year for him to break out. I really want to see if he has more of that uncomfortable in his own skin stuff.

Darby Drecker (Sianoa Smit-McPhee): Likable, though at times has come off as simply “huffy” rather than deep. Looks like she dropped about 80 pounds between last year and this one; I’m wondering if this made the producers happy or not. (Probably not, as they purposefully cast a rather plain-looking oversized girl for story purposes.) (But by the same token, who wants to be known as “The fat girl on Hung?” If this was Smit-McPhee’s choice, more power to her. Though I have no idea what she and her mom will argue about now. Hopefully they make the weight loss a story hook.)

Jessica Haxon (Anne Heche): An odd effect this show has had on me is making me like Anne Heche. I can honestly say she was the strongest thing about last season, and I love the vulnerability she showed. I will argue Heche’s Jessica is her strongest role to date, and very few actresses could walk that tightrope of sympathetic dislike without falling off to either side.

(No, I’m still not sure if Heche was pretending to be a lesbian, way back when. That’s a topic for a different forum, written by someone even more retarded than me.)

Lenore Bernard (Rebecca Creskoff): I liked her snarky and naked last season, and lo and behold—we find her snarky and naked in season three again! It’s not TV—it’s HBO. I like that they’re setting up Jason (newcomer Stephen Amell) as Ray’s Lenore-driven rival. Let’s hope the studmonkey can actually act.

Mike (Gregg Henry): I like Mike. And Gregg played Sheriff Bourne on Firefly‘s second episode, years ago. What else needs be said? That is all that’s needed to be awesome and employed forever.

Charlie the Pimp (Lennie James): I’ll have to come clean; part of my love for Lennie James is the fact that he stole scenes in last year’s The Walking Dead in such a way that I’ll literally pay to see just about anything he’s in. If James is onscreen, the believability factor immediately goes up by 10%. It’s simple math. So that said, I thought he was underused last season. There’s only so many diner / cafe talks Charlie can have with Tanya before we go, “Okay, he’s the Yoda of pimps. Now do something!” More James!

Let’s get to this new season!

“Don’t Give Up On Detroit; Hung Like A Horse”, written by series creators Dmitry Lipkin and Colette Burson (directed by Colette Burson), was a nice ease-back-into-the-series episode. It’s nice to be reminded where everything is.

So now we come to the whole “Wellness Center for Women” idea, which, initially, feels somewhat realistic. They’re covering the oldest profession’s newest twist (male prostitution) with a modern-day facade.

Tanya’s classroom speeches are more than a little cringe-worthy (honest to god—I had a creative writing professor in college who was just as expressive about her own “poetic orgasms” as Tanya), though that can be a good thing as far as our entertainment goes. Tanya doesn’t seem to understand that young people don’t like to envision older people having sex—and certainly not as graphically as she likes to present it. “It’s the word. Vulva. Not sexy.” Amen, Ray.

And by her demonstration at the bank, Tanya is still a spazzmonster and, I fear, will always be a spazzmonster. I’m hoping for a little more nuance. We’ll see if that happens. The Judy (brunette—Michaela Watkins—excellent performance) and Joni (blonde—Arden Myrin—equally excellent performance) bank tellers story twist was kind of awesome. (HBO consistently lands excellent supporting actors.) Poor Ray. Hold you head high and just leave, man. But at least they got the loan. Also, I can’t but love the term, “The Sampson File.” It just struck me as funny. And very Tanya.

“So thanks to a lot of fucking, I could fix up my house.” Poor Ray again—they’re setting him up to fail. That Detroit-born Mustang ain’t gonna last the season, trust me. Not because it’s badly made, but because the psychotic bitchiz that pass through Ray’s life probably won’t leave it be. Looking forward to this season. Bring it, HBO!

If you have bitchiz, follow me on Twitter! That’s @Axechucker, you buncha Mustang Sallys!