Huffpost Homepage
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Michael Shrage Headshot

Hung Comes Up Flaccid

Posted: Updated:

First let me apologize in advance for my not-so-subtle innuendo throughout this piece.

After watching the first four episodes of Hung, I'm still wondering if those lay-up innuendos will end up being the most this show has to offer. The show has been touted as HBO's next big dark comedy. And for me, that means it should grab my attention simply because I'm praying that it will be the next Six Feet Under. The jury is still out on whether it packs enough meat to keep me tuned in for the entire season.

At first glance, a show called Hung which chronicles the life of a well-endowed, yet financially troubled high school basketball coach who is struggling to provide for his children sounds entertaining, right? I was excited. I was hoping for an off the wall series of absurd circumcisions -- I mean, circumstances -- which ultimately lead to Ray Drecker's promiscuous exploits and lots awkward and funny sex scenes. Not the case.

I'll admit that my perception may have something to do with the high expectations I had going in -- but it's just not that great. Maybe it's the predictable cliches or the oddly scattered side plots, but something just doesn't work.

There are strong scenes and performances that give me hope that the series may hit stride mid to late season. Jane Adams (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Wackness) is spectacular in her role as Ray's pimp, and Anne Heche is genuine as Jessica Haxon, Ray's ex-wife on the verge of a mental breakdown.

Perhaps it's Thomas Jane (The Punisher, 61*, Deep Blue Sea) in the role of Ray Drecker that bothers me about the show. Ray just does not have the firmness and swagger to carry this show.

Hung has potential, but a show about an amateur male gigolo trying to make ends meet should be funnier, or at least more dramatic. A few more sex scenes wouldn't hurt either. Watch the first three episodes and decide for yourself if you're willing to let Hung penetrate your weekly television lineup. It's still probably better than 80% of the shows on the air.

Hung premieres on HBO this Sunday, June 28th at 10:00 PM ET.