I only discovered 'Hung' when it became one of the Prime offerings on amazon instant video. The pilot felt awkward to me - as if the writers were trying to lay out the basics really clearly, something difficult to do AND sound natural.
After, say, the third episode, I was hooked. Thomas Jane plays Ray Drecker, a beautiful man and has a gorgeous body. But beneath that hunky exterior beats the heart of a great big old puppy dog: eager, sweet, loyal, trusting, and devoted. He's not good with money, he's not the best judge of character, and he's no businessman. Hence, his pimp.
Contrast that to the women around him. Tanya, who at first would seem to have lack the guile to maximize profits in her pimp business (but surprise, surprise), and Lenore, who looks like she could be anyone's trophy wife but is capable of almost any crime as long as she believes she won't get caught.
I knew this would be a GREAT show when I realized it was not about sex. I could see it would be about the challenges of building a business when a woman has very little talent for that. Tanya, Ray's pimp, can only produce baked goods with a gimmicky lagniappe but she talks a good game about the prospects of using Ray's natural well-endowed physique to please women for money.
Even there, her thinking is flawed. As a real pimp tells her, homosexual prostitution is where the money is at. What is she doing trying to find women who will appreciate a roll in the hay with Ray?
Tanya discovers soon enough that another woman, Lenore, will make life more difficult unless Lenore can become a partner in this prostitution business. Watching the women going at each other, fighting over material possessions, money, and even Ray's time, will instantly bring the female viewer back to the high school lunch room where such dramas played out for almost any teenage girl. Over a boy, over a man, over a dog - what's the difference? The skirmishes are the same.
I recommend sticking with the series past the first few episodes to get to the 'good stuff,' which is the birth of the business these characters will share.
One thing I learned from this show is how important the pimp's job is. Without the pimp, a prostitute is awkward, somewhat sleazy, and unprotected. Also, searching for johns seems to me to be a little like looking for a job. You really need to know the right place to go, the right person to talk to. It has to be frustrating and near-impossible to do it on your own if you are a hooker!
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